What’s going on with Bryson? DeChambeau WDs again with injuries

What's going on with Bryson DeChambeau?

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What in the world is going on with Bryson DeChambeau?

The former U.S. Open champ withdrew from the Saudi International late Thursday evening after just one round of play citing injuries to his “left hand and hip,” according to a release from the tournament. The withdrawal marks the second of DeChambeau’s 2022 in just his third start, and the third time he won’t compete on the weekend in an event he was scheduled to start in.

The origin of the 28-year-old’s injury is unknown, though as many have theorized, his tremendous swing speeds could be playing a factor. When the wrist first forced him to withdraw from the Sony Open just prior to the start of play in January, DeChambeau’s agent Brent Falkoff told Golf Channel he was dealing with “soreness” and that the injury had “flared up in recent weeks.”

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“The wrist isn’t feeling that great,” DeChambeau said in a YouTube video released to his account detailing his recovery. “I didn’t have anything really happen. I probably could have played but I didn’t want to aggravate it anymore. One of those precautionary measures for me for the rest of the year.”

Bryson returned for last week’s Farmers Insurance Open, but the pain remained. He was visibly uncomfortable throughout the tournament’s opening two rounds, drawing the attention of Golf Channel’s broadcast crew before ending the week prematurely with a missed cut.

“He’s hurt himself,” analyst Nick Faldo said on the broadcast. “Something is biting him down there.”

DeChambeau and his camp have downplayed the injury, but it’s clearly affecting the former U.S. Open champ’s level of play. More than a month into 2022, DeChambeau has more withdrawals (2) than weekend starts (1) — his only final round of the year came in a T25 effort at the no-cut Tournament of Champions.

In the YouTube video addressing his wrist, Bryson insisted the nature of the injury is muscle-related.

“It’s not a joint, it’s not anything,” DeChambeau said. “But it doesn’t feel great. I’ve been working on it for about 3-4 weeks now and it hasn’t gotten better.”

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Even if the wrist has improved, it’s clearly causing problems elsewhere in his swing, where back and now hip issues have cropped up in each of the last two weeks. It could be that DeChambeau’s wrist is setting off a chain of compensation injuries in his trunk and back — two areas where the former U.S. Open champ has struggled with pain and immobility as he has continued to add muscle and weight.

“I’ve been going pretty hard at the golf swing,” he said. “My core, my trunk rotation and flexion is something that’s gone off on me and been really bad about four-five years ago. But I’ve been able to fix it and work through it over the past few years. I’ve learned a lot how to bandaid my back with [trainer Greg Roskopf].”

Bryson himself admits his physical transformation could be playing an outsize role in his injuries. He’s undergone extraordinary amounts of strength and mobility training to limit his risk of injury, but his tremendous increases in swing speed and force could be overpowering those efforts.

“We haven’t [worked on] the wrist as much because it’s way down the line, but sometimes the weakest link is going to show up,” DeChambeau said. “Clearly my left wrist and ulnar deviation into the ground and through the ground here, it just starts hurting through this muscle.”

It’s early to know if Bryson’s injuries are a temporary problem or symptomatic of a bigger issue — that much won’t be clear for some time. But it’s been an uncharacteristically quiet start to 2022 for the very reasons the big man laid out last Thursday.

“I can’t play golf today.”

James Colgan

Golf.com Editor

James Colgan is an assistant editor at GOLF, contributing stories for the website and magazine. He writes the Hot Mic, GOLF’s weekly media column, and utilizes his broadcast experience across the brand’s social media and video platforms. A 2019 graduate of Syracuse University, James — and evidently, his golf game — is still defrosting from four years in the snow. Prior to joining GOLF, James was a caddie scholarship recipient (and astute looper) on Long Island, where he is from. He can be reached at james.colgan@golf.com.