As Bryson DeChambeau struggled to a 76-80 showing at last week's Masters, where he beat just nine players and lost to 63-year-old Larry Mize by a stroke, the chatter around him was that his injured left hand would need surgery. As expected, DeChambeau did indeed have wrist surgery, he announced Thursday on Twitter.
"I made attempts to play through this injury at three recent events, including the Masters, but this is typically an injury that requires surgical treatment," DeChambeau wrote. "Through continued discomfort from the fracture, it has caused me to alter my grip and swing, resulting in my inability to compete at golf's highest level. This has not been easy physically and mentally for me."
Today, I underwent successful left wrist surgery on my fractured hook of the hamate. The surgery was performed by world renowned Hand Surgeon Dr. Thomas Graham. I want to thank Dr. Graham and the incredible staff and The Kettering Medical Center in Ohio. pic.twitter.com/SoS9HVh7Wo— Bryson DeChambeau (@b_dechambeau) April 14, 2022
DeChambeau was scheduled to compete in this week's Professional Long Drivers Association event in Jupiter, Florida, and while that didn't really seem like it was going to happen after his Masters performance, surgery still seemed up in the air until the confirmation came through on Wednesday.
DeChambeau did not play a PGA Tour event between the Farmers Insurance Open at the end of January and the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play at the end of March as he tried to rest his injured hamate bone in his left hand. He did not play well at the match play and then missed the cut at the Texas Open before missing it badly last week at Augusta National. He noted that his doctors told him he should not come back for a while, but the Masters is the Masters and DeChambeau, admirably, wanted to give it a rip.
"I'm like, man, this only comes around once a year, and I've got to give this a go," DeChambeau said last week.
This could be a lost year for the 2020 U.S. Open champion just 12 months after he was the toast of the town on the PGA Tour. DeChambeau has won once every year since 2016, but that seems to be in jeopardy given this situation and his impending procedure.
As for how it happened, DeChambeau said he first noticed it during his match with Brooks Koepka over 2021 Thanksgiving weekend and then also later when he played the Farmers. It got worse from there when he went to play the Saudi International the following week.
"And then I went to Saudi, and I was playing ping-pong against Sergio and Joaquin Niemann," said DeChambeau. "And we were on some marble floors, and they just wiped it. And me not paying attention, I Charlie Brown'd myself and went horizontal and then hit my left hip and my hand at the same time, and that really just took me out.
"That's really when it just got to the point where I couldn't even grip the golf club. I tried to play that week, and it was impossible. I was not even gripping with my left hand that week. I was like, this is dumb, I have to go take care of my body first and get it right.
"That's what happened. And went and got a CT scan, MRI, and we found out that -- and X-rays in my left hip, was kind of -- I had a torn labrum, a partial tear. And then in the hand I had a hairline fracture in the hamate bone, which a lot of baseball players get from excessive hitting. That's kind of how it all happened."
DeChambeau said that his hip injury (the torn labrum) was a result of speed training and also said that his finger strength wasn't where it should be to withstand the number of balls he hits. However, he declined to say that he would change any of the ways he's been training over the last few years, only saying that he would be a bit more careful going forward.
"It's a bit of rerouting how I'm doing it," said DeChambeau. "I am not 21, 22 anymore, right, so I've got to be careful with how I do things now. I'm not saying I'm anywhere near some of the veterans out here, whatnot, but again, putting a lot of stress on the body is not a great thing, and I've got to learn how to rest better. So that's part of the new strategy."
There is no timetable for DeChambeau's return. The PGA Championship at Southern Hills, the next major championship event on the schedule, starts in five weeks.