The 2022 season hasn’t started the way Bryson DeChambeau had hoped or expected it to. It almost didn’t start at all.
“I didn’t know I’d be ready in time to be here,” he says of this year’s Masters. “Frankly, I’m surprised I’m this far along. It should’ve been four months of just, ‘see ya later.'”
Speaking with GOLF.com ahead of the 2022 Masters, where as the brand’s playing editor he writes a monthly instruction column for GOLF Magazine, Bryson explains the primary issue that has kept him on the sideline for most of the 2022 season was a hairline fracture of the hamate bone in his left hand. A minor tear in the labrum of his lead hip was his secondary issue. Both areas of his body had come under strain in recent during his notoriously long hours on the range, he says — an increasingly common theme in today’s speed-first reality of modern day professional golf — which became more severe during a ping pong accident in early February.
A painful game of ping pong
“It started with me not taking care of my hand like I should have, not training it correctly, me not giving it the proper rest. Just hitting golf balls,” he tells GOLF.com. “And then playing ping pong in Saudi, I slipped on the floor. It’s my own fault, I was being dumb playing against Sergio [Garcia] and Joaquin [Neimann], and they saw me Charlie Brown on the floor. I landed right on my hand. It hurt really bad, and I tore the labrum in my hip too because of how hard I fell on my hip and hand.”
Hitting golf balls was out of the question after that. His only change of getting back in time for the Masters was to rest up, with some last-minute competitive rounds the previous two weeks in Texas to shake off the rust.
“It can break really easily, so I have to be really careful of it,” he continues. “Thankfully, the muscles are holding really tight around it, but if it breaks it breaks.”
If that happens, Bryson will have to get surgery to get the bone removed — a minor procedure that other tour players, including Ryan Moore, have opted for — that will put him out for between four to six weeks. For now, Bryson’s plan is to take it slow, and to learn the lesson of the first major injury of his career.
“You have to take care of every part of your body, as much you have to take care of your body, I enjoy pushing limits, and I pushed through it pretty hard. And when you push through your limits, you’re going to do stuff,” he says. “I’ve taken more of a reserved approach now through this season, I’ll start ramping back up when I feel 100 percent again.”