May 22, 2024
Bryson DeChambeau gets text from Tiger Woods; then wins Arnold Palmer invitational

Bryson DeChambeau gets text from Tiger Woods; then wins Arnold Palmer invitational

Going into the crucial final round of the famous Arnold Palmer International vying for his first PGA Tour title of 2021, Bryson DeChambeau had a message of support from a certain 15-time major winner.
“I got a text from Tiger [Woods] this morning … We just talked about ‘Just keep fighting, no matter what happens’ and play boldly like Mr. Palmer,” DeChambeau said in a televised interview.
Woods is currently recovering from serious leg injuries suffered in a single-vehicle rollover accident near Los Angeles, where his SUV crossed a median, went across two lanes of road, then hit a tree and landed on the driver’s side in the brush.

The inspiration from the eight-time Arnold Palmer Invitational winner clearly helped motivate DeChambeau. After bogeying the opening hole of the final round, the 2020 US Open champion didn’t drop another shot, eventually finishing 11-under for the tournament — one shot ahead of Lee Westwood.

“It’s beyond my wildest dreams to win Mr. Palmer’s event,” said DeChambeau, adorned in the champion’s red cardigan sweater in honor of Palmer.

“I came here as an amateur, he (Palmer) gave me an invitation and I loved this golf course the minute I arrived. I loved the atmosphere and I love the fans. I loved what Mr. Palmer did with this place and what he’s done and his legacy he’s left here.”

DeChambeau celebrates making his putt on the 18th green to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Changing the sport

While DeChambeau’s win was memorable, it probably won’t be what people remember from this tournament in coming years.

The sight of him pumping his arms in celebration after driving the ball about 370 yards over a huge expanse of water on the par-five sixth hole could be a seminal moment for the sport.

Since returning from golf’s break last year 40 pounds heavier and with a faster swing, DeChambeau has pushed the boundaries of the sport.

His ability to drive the ball further — he led the PGA Tour last season by a considerable distance — helped him claim the first major of his career last year and has tamed some of golf’s toughest challenges.

And he once again showed how his added strength has proved a cheat code, delighting fans with his ridiculous show of power on the sixth hole over the tournament.

DeChambeau plays his shot from the 11th tee during the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

While players usually have to go around the lake at Bay Hill, Florida, DeChambeau attacked the obstacle head on, driving the ball 370 yards on Saturday.

He even went one further on Sunday as, according to the PGA Tour, he drove the ball 377 yards, leaving only 88 yards to the hole.
Westwood — who was seeking his first Tour title since 2010 — joked with the media afterwards that perhaps DeChambeau will take an even more aggressive line on the hole next year, and go “straight at the green, not chicken out.”

“He can overpower a golf course, so it’s fun to watch, I think,” Westwood said.

“I thought we had a good battle. I don’t think anybody was going to shoot 68 or 67,” Westwood said. “It was a day for playing sensible and hanging on and grinding out the pars.”