Every golfer that has ever played the game, pro and weekend hacker alike, has dealt with their fair share of good and bad breaks on the course, but Bryson DeChambeau got one of the all-time bad breaks in the second round of the 2020 Masters.
On the short par-4 3rd, DeChambeau hit a booming, drawing drive up the left side of the hole — and never recovered it. But his ball hadn’t sailed out of bounds, or into a clump of azalea bushes. It landed a mere 10 yards off the fairway in some deep, but manageable, looking rough, where it disappeared.
Coming off a birdie on 2 that started with a monster drive, DeChambeau was sitting at three under for the tournament and looking to make a run at the lead. First, he tried to make a run at driving the green on 3.
He smacked a long one for sure, just not straight enough. It tailed to the left of the green, but not by far. TV cameras showed the ball falling somewhere about 10 yards off the fairway. But in a cruel twist of fate, Bryson, his caddie, rules officials, and a host of other people were unable to find his ball within the three-minute window permitted by the rules.
They all presumed that it had plugged in the wet area of deep rough, but no one could say exactly where it had plugged. Because of that, it was considered a lost ball, and a dejected Bryson had to ride back to the tee in a golf cart with the rules official to hit his third shot.
Making the whole situation even stranger, as cameras rolled and mics caught DeChambeau discussing the ruling with an official while searching for his ball, commentators on the ESPN broadcast suggested that the search party was looking in the wrong area. And the video replay seems to suggest they were right.
Either way, the ball was lost, and the ruling was clear, though devastating to DeChambeau who wasn’t really at fault. He eventually tapped in for a triple-bogey 7, dropping him back to even par and way down the leaderboard.
After enduring the worst break of the tournament, DeChambeau will now have to fight back just to make the cut.