AUGUSTA, Ga. — Three years ago, Bryson DeChambeau, when describing Augusta National for its brute-strength length, called the par-72 course as “a par-67 for me’’ because he can reach all the par-5s.
DeChambeau had to withdraw from that Masters with vertigo.
In the ones he has played, he hasn’t fared much better, with a tie for 38th in 2018, a tie for 29th in 2019, a tie for 46th in 2021 and a missed cut last year after shooting 76-80.
Asked on Monday if he regrets making that statement, DeChambeau said, “Do I regret? Everybody has a perspective on it. I don’t think I regret anything. What I do understand is that I have a lot of respect for the course. This is one of the greatest golf courses in the entire world, and if anybody thinks I don’t have respect for the course, they’d better go check out who I actually am because it’s not accurate one bit.
“With the distance I’m hitting it and was hitting it, I thought there was a possibility, but that’s only with your ‘A’ game, and I should have rephrased that; if you have your ‘A’ game, there’s a good chance of being able to do that [shoot 67 every round].
“I don’t want anybody to take it out of context. I just want it to be known for the fact that I have great respect for this course. Do I regret it? I learn from all my mistakes.’’
DeChambeau, who’s playing on LIV Golf now, is coming off a difficult year in which his father died.
“It’s a tough one for me,’’ he said. “I’ve never had a traumatic experience like that in my life, and I had a lot of weird stuff happen last year. Not just going to different Tour and dad dying, I had other stuff, too. It was a huge learning year. I felt like it was just rooting me and humbling me all last year, and then this year I feel like I’m slowly progressing back again.
“It takes time to get things back on track, but with my dad, I mean, it was not easy for a couple months. The nice part about it was that he was in a lot of pain, and he’s in a better place now, and I know that. That gave me a lot of comfort, knowing that, that he’s just in a better place compared to everything he was dealing with here, and I can take comfort in that.
Dustin Johnson, one of the high-profile players who joined LIV Golf last year, insisted on Monday that the reduced amount of tournaments he has played on the Saudi-backed tour won’t hurt his form this week at Augusta.
“I usually don’t play that many [tournaments],’’ he said. “I probably only played one or two less than normal. No, the game is … if I’m ready, I’m going to be ready no matter how many events I played. If I’m playing how I should, I’ll be right there at the end.’’
Johnson, too, insisted that it’s not awkward being reunited at a tournament for the first time with players from the PGA Tour, which considers the likes of Johnson and the other LIV players defectors.
“I played a long time with all these guys,’’ he said. “For me it’s the same. All my buddies are still my buddies. It’s still golf, so it doesn’t matter where you play at. I still play golf for a living. I’m here at the Masters and enjoying this week.
“This week’s all about Augusta. It has nothing to do with where you play at, but guys that are here, they play all around the world. Not everybody just plays in one spot. All my buddies are still my buddies. It’s nice to see a lot of the guys because I haven’t seen them all that much.’’
Asked what he’s looking forward to at Tuesday night’s annual Champions Dinner, Johnson said, “Eat some good food and some good wine. It’s special just to be a part of it. It’s something that you’re a part of forever. It’s a special evening. Excited for Scottie [Scheffler] obviously to enjoy it. I think it’s going to be a great evening. It always is.’’
Johnson, who won the 2020 Masters on advice he’d give defending champion Scheffler: “It’s still a golf tournament. You’ve just got to treat it like any other Masters, what you normally do, and just stick to that and try to enjoy it.’’
𝗖𝗿𝗲𝗱𝗶𝘁𝘀, 𝗖𝗼𝗽𝘆𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 & 𝗖𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘁𝗲𝘀𝘆: nypost.com
𝗙𝗼𝗿 𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗿𝗲𝗴𝗮𝗿𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗗𝗠𝗖𝗔,
𝗣𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝘀𝗲𝗻𝗱 𝘂𝘀 𝗮𝗻 𝗲𝗺𝗮𝗶𝗹 𝗮𝘁 firstname.lastname@example.org