Bryson DeChambeau learns a lesson at TPC Sawgrass: to keep his mouth shut

After getting his 2021 PLAYERS Championship off to a solid start with a round of 69 the American admitted he should have kept his plans to himself.

If Bryson DeChambeau has become golf's most cartoon-like character, it's kind of fun that the authorities have responded in kind.

When he revealed his latest dastardly plan earlier this week - to attack the 18th hole via the 9th fairway - there was an immediate response that was not so much comic-like as comical.

You could practically hear the suits running round the clubhouse in a flap, desperate to find some way of stopping the nasty baddie from running amok, and so it was that they eventually issued an edict that the 9th fairway was internal out of bounds.

After he posted a first round of 3-under-par 69, good for a share of sixth on the first round leaderboard, DeChambeau added to the wonderful scenes.

What does a foiled scoundrel do next? He lets the good guys know that next time he won't be caught out.

"I probably shouldn't have said anything," he admitted.

"Knowing that now, I won't ever reveal any lines that I'm taking any more.

"But that's okay. I understand it. I've got no issues with it. I understand why they made the decision for safety reason, totally get it.

"But I'm going to keep myself a little quiet next time."

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Fun as it all is, DeChambeau is clearly on a roll. He heads into the second round four shot back of the early pace-setter Sergio Garcia and is rated a 9/1 shot to win with Paddy Power.

Let's take a closer look at his chances.

DeChambeau on Pete Dye designs

Do they suit him? Even Tiger Woods felt constrained by TPC Sawgrass. So how does the big hitter feel about the test?

"Cramped-in is not the right word," he said. "I think dialled-back is the right word for me.

"For the most part it's position golf. And two years ago I loved position golf, that was one of my favourite things so Pete Dye was my favourite architect from that sense.

"He made you hit to position A, hit it on the green, hit it close. It wasn't a bomber's paradise.

"But, now, I kind of like a bomber's paradise a little bit more.

"I will say, it definitely tests every aspect of your game out here and you have to be on point. My iron play was a lot better today than last week. Driving was a little better and I putted pretty decent, not great but good enough."

His record at TPC Sawgrass

Ahead of this week he had an odd logbook here.

He's always opened with a 70, he's always closed with a 71, he's always made the cut, and he's never really contended.

He's bucked the first trend, will he buck some more?

Can DeChambeau add PLAYERS Championship glory to his Palmer Invitational win last week?
Can DeChambeau add PLAYERS Championship glory to his Palmer Invitational win last week?

In the past he has always ranked top 20 for Strokes Gained Off the Tee, in round one he was a lowly 60th.

He's never been in the top 40 for Approach so 15th on Thursday bodes well.

He's putted well and badly here in the past (10th and 55th for SG); in the first round he split that (28th).

What happens next is intriguing. Will he be hemmed in? Or will he continue to baffle the cynics? He's 9/1 with Paddy Power to win and complete a second win in two weeks.

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