Bryson DeChambeau admitted he came back from injury faster than expected to prepare for the Masters and still hasn’t returned 100% to Augusta National.
The former US Open champion has struggled for form and fitness during an injury-plagued start to the year, missing his Arnold Palmer Invitational title defense and also missing players due to issues wrist and hip.
DeChambeau failed to advance from the group stage to the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and missed the cut at the Valero Texas Open last week, raising questions about his preparation for another assault at Augusta National.
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“Going into injuries, I mean, I didn’t expect it to be this prevalent,” DeChambeau said. “One of the things I didn’t do was take care of my hands and my hip like I should have, and I went pretty hard at that.
“I wouldn’t do anything else to change what happened because it made me a better person because of it I learned a bit more about my body and how to react and recover better.
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“[I’m] proud to have been able to get here in such a short time. Normally, a broken bone takes four months to heal completely and properly; I’m back here in two. So happy with that. And hitting golf balls on the range today kept the practice going for quite a while.
“I’m probably around 80, 90 per cent right now. I can’t do everything. I can’t do speed workouts. I can’t train for excessive hours like I have to figure it out things. It’s also allowed me to become, I guess you could say a bit smarter in the way I practice. I have to be careful with things and be really efficient and limit the number of golf balls that I can hit.
All eyes were on Tiger Woods at Augusta National on Monday, but whether he will return on Thursday remains to be confirmed.
DeChambeau has been limited to five starts worldwide in 2022, missing the cut in two of them and retiring in another, with the American admitting it’s been suggested he’s had a longer spell for help in his recovery.
“Doctors have advised me not to come back for a while,” DeChambeau added. “And even (coach) Chris (Como) told me ‘you probably shouldn’t play’, although he obviously wants me to play. But that was a huge risk a few weeks ago.
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“It probably wasn’t the one my doctors recommended, but I’m like, ‘man, this only happens once a year and I have to try’.”
On the state of his game, DeChambeau said: “At 80% I’m still around 190 ball speeds, so that’s not bad from a speed standpoint. From a chipping standpoint and putting, I’m very close to having my A game there.
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“Chris Como and I are rigorously working on it. We’ve been working hard for the past three weeks since I came back. It’s kind of unraveled. That knot I’ve had in my game for the past. We’re finally moving in one direction. which in my opinion is positive for me to be able to win again, I hope, regularly as I did in 2018.
“This is the last part of it where I stabilize and get my golf swing to a place where it’s really repeatable at these speeds. I knew it was going to be a long process. How am I going to win here? It’s going to be a lot hitting the fairways, hitting the greens and rolling the putter really well.”
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