Bryson DeChambeau removes Masters signage en route to wild birdie

A split image of Bryson DeChambeau's shot track on 13 and him carrying a Masters sign.

Bryson DeChambeau played the 13th hole like no one before. Images

Bryson DeChambeau earned the nickname “the Scientist” for the meticulous research and experimentation he pours into his game.

But there’s no way even DeChambeau had ever experimented with the route he took on Augusta National’s 13th hole on the way to a birdie.

DeChambeau had just birdied the par-3 12th to regain the Masters lead at seven under par, where he had started the day, when he blocked his tee shot at the iconic par 5 into the trees.

The 2020 U.S. Open winner could easily have decided to play his ball back into the 13th fairway through one of the gaps in the pine trees that line the right side of the landing area.

But Byrson likes to do things Bryson’s way.

Seeking a better angle, DeChambeau eyed a gap in the trees way to the right. His line was so far right he was actually playing into the neighboring 14th fairway. He began moving patrons away so he could play toward the 14th tee.

“He’s parting the Red Sea,” said Mark Immelman on the Amen Corner live stream.

Trouble was, one of Augusta’s iconic signs, with arrows pointing to various locations around the course, was blocking his path.

No worry for the 6-foot-1, 240-pound captain of LIV Golf’s Crushers GC! DeChambeau simply ripped the sign out of the ground and carried it away, much to the patrons’ amusement.

“It was probably like 30 pounds, it wasn’t too bad,” DeChambeau said on ESPN after his round. In a press conference Friday evening, he added: “I was looking at an opportunity to hit it back into the 13th fairway, and look, it would have only led me 200 — a hundred yards in probably, something like that, and I knew I could hit one around the corner down 14 fairway and have 140 to 150-yard shot in.”

Broadcasters across multiple Masters streams were stunned.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen that,” said Grant Boone on the live stream.

A clip of Bryson carrying the roughly 15-foot tall sign made its way on the ESPN broadcast and quickly went viral.

“Is that a souvenir?” chuckled Trevor Immelman.

“Is this Paul Bunyan or Bryson DeChambeau,” Jim Nantz joked.

DeChambeau didn’t make it far before a Masters volunteer relieved DeChambeau of the sign and laid it down. New York Times photographer Doug Mills later tweeted that a Masters official had the sign replaced before he played.

Still, DeChambeau took his line toward 14 anyway, his ball bounding through the fairway and settling just behind the grandstand just left of the tee. He told ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt afterward that he was only considering going toward 14 when he got to his ball.

“The shot going towards the creek was just not possible,” DeChambeau said. “It would have been a 200-yard shot in.”

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From there, he got a free drop to the left for line-of-sight relief from the temporary immovable obstruction.

He left himself 134 to a back left pin for his third.

“This is not an angle you try in a practice round,” said announcer Brian Crowell on the featured group stream.

“Anything right gives you the better angle, so really not too bad,” Smylie Kaufman added. “I think the most difficult thing is getting the correct number.”

DeChambeau and caddie Greg Bodine dialed up the right number as his third shot as DeChambeau’s ball carried the slope in the middle of the green, took one bounce toward the flag, then spun back to 14 feet. From the proper level of the green, DeChambeau drilled the putt to open up a two-shot lead.

He bogeyed 14 to give that shot back and made another one at 18 to finish off a 73 for a six-under start to the week, which when he finished had him in a tied for second one back of Scottie Scheffler.

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