Bryson DeChambeau decides against trying to drive a par-five green at Bay Hill, which left Jordan Spieth

“The only reason I played this week was to see you hit it over the lake,” Spieth tells DeChambeau after he decided the wind would have scuppered his attempt to drive the green at a 559-yard par-five!

Last Updated: 06/03/21 2:02am

Bryson DeChambeau has not been able to take dead aim at the green on the sixth

Bryson DeChambeau disappointed the Bay Hill fans, and even playing-partner Jordan Spieth, when he opted against attempting to drive the green at the par-five sixth on day two.

DeChambeau insisted he would seriously consider trying to make the carry of some 340 yards over water at the dogleg left hole, measuring 559 yards if you follow the fairway, but only if the wind was in his favour.

“If it’s 10 miles an hour downwind, I’ll for sure go for it,” he said after his opening 67.

But when he arrived on the sixth tee, he felt the breeze was coming off the left rather than behind and, after much deliberation and a few whirlwind practice swings that revved up the crowd, he chose a more conservative route and settled for a drive of “only” 327 yards.

DeChambeau was egged on by the fans, and playing-partner Jordan Spieth

DeChambeau was egged on by the fans, and playing-partner Jordan Spieth

The US Open champion was perhaps regretting his decision when he blocked his second shot right of the green and couldn’t get up and down for birdie, and his long game became ragged mid-round before a strong finish, with birdies at 14 and 16, salvaged a 71 and got him back to within three of the lead.

“The only reason I played this week was to see you hit it over the lake,” Spieth told his Ryder Cup team-mate as they left the tee box, but DeChambeau was adamant that the change in wind direction stifled his aggression on that hole.

“The wind actually switched off the left and in, it was really weird,” he said. “Jordan and I were talking about it down the fairway, and he was joking about it, giving me a hard time even.

Spieth was 'really upset' when DeChambeau couldn't go for the green

Spieth was ‘really upset’ when DeChambeau couldn’t go for the green

“There’s just some times where the wind was swirling and it turned back and in on us a little bit. So hopefully if it’s downwind, consistently downwind and I’m comfortable with it, I’ll take it up by the green.

“But today it wasn’t an opportunity again. Everybody thinks it was, but no matter what they say, you weren’t in that situation, couldn’t feel the wind.

“When the opportunity presents itself and it is 10 miles an hour downwind or even five, whatever, I will give it a go, especially this weekend, when there’s really not much to lose any more, you just go for it.

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“Hopefully, it is downwind, it’s a little warm out and it gives me an opportunity to go for it, because I would love to give the fans something to cheer about.”

Spieth, whose recent resurgence continued with a 69 that left him just four off the lead heading into the weekend, added: “I was really upset that the wind was flipping around when we got to six, because he would have taken it really far left. It was actually into the wind, but it was forecasted that it was straight down.

“So we were kind of dealing with a little bit of that today and it’s probably a good thing he didn’t try and go straight over the left side. But, yeah, there’s some holes – like on 10 today, where he took out driver and hit it just in front of the green. He’s done that on a number of holes out here.

Spieth has been impressed with DeChambeau's power and accuracy with his driver

Spieth has been impressed with DeChambeau’s power and accuracy with his driver

“He’s hit the fairway on 15 twice, which is pretty ridiculous, with driver. What’s amazing to me, obviously it’s coming off his driver fast, which it does for Rory and Cam Champ, there’s a number of guys who strike the ball and it just sounds a little different like that, but the amount of control he has with how hard he’s going at it is really impressive.

“He’s driving the ball extremely well and straight. If I’m going to be shorter than him I would like to be straighter and I don’t think I was those two days, I don’t think I hit as many fairways. So I’m going to need to work on my own driver. But more from that accuracy standpoint than distance.

“But it’s a show. It’s fun. It was really cool to watch. I nudged Michael (Spieth’s caddie, Michael Greller) half a dozen times the last two days, telling him, ‘Watch this’. And that doesn’t happen out here very often.”

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