The 2022 PGA Championship will have one fewer former major champion.
“I’m close, but it’s just not there yet,” DeChambeau told GOLF. “I need to make the decision to protect my health in the long term.”
DeChambeau has played only sparingly in 2022, dealing with a fracture of the hamate bone in his left wrist and a torn labrum in his hip. After a second-round 80 spawned a missed cut at the Masters in April, the 29-year-old elected to have surgery on his wrist to completely correct the issue.
That surgery — which shaved down the bone to remove the fracture — was successful, but came with an eight-week recovery timeline. The PGA Championship, most medical professionals said, was a longshot, while a U.S. Open return appeared more likely.
“I just realized it wasn’t going to be the right decision for me to play this week,” DeChambeau told Golf Channel shortly after announcing the decision. “For me, it was going to be 7-8 weeks, whatever, till I could get back. So this was a big stretch for me to play.”
According to DeChambeau, his wrist healed to the point he felt comfortable swinging a club entering the week, but as he continued to ramp up his preparation for the tournament, his condition deteriorated.
“Endurance-wise, my wrist is just not able to hold up,” he said. “It’s still swollen, and I gotta give it more time. I could play a couple rounds. I could shoot a low round maybe one of the days. But considering doing half days and feeling fatigued and tired, four days is a big stretch for me right now.”
The decision to withdraw so late before the beginning of the tournament was made to give him the best chance at teeing it up, DeChambeau said.
For now, 2020 U.S. Open champ’s next start remains a mystery, though he noted his original recovery timeline would put him in line to play at the Memorial Tournament, which is currently scheduled for June 2-5.
“Considering the team around me and what we’ve all talked about, I want to be 100 percent when I come back,” DeChambeau said. “Not 70 percent and let that linger for a while.”