After hitting four of his first six drives over 325 yards in the opening round of the 2020 PGA Championship, Bryson DeChambeau's driver finally had enough. Following a drive of a mere 296 yards at the par-4 7th hole, DeChambeau leaned on his driver shaft as he bent down to pick up his tee and the driver completely snapped at the neck, leaving him with the shaft in one hand and the head of the driver in the other.
With his ball speed approaching (and sometimes topping) 200 mph, it's not difficult to see how the wear and tear on his driver -- he swings as hard as his frame will physically allow -- would cause it to crack and break by merely putting his body weight on it. Still, it was an unfortunate time -- halfway through Round 1 of the first major of 2020 -- for it to take place.
"I guess it's all those ... swings I put in," said DeChambeau as he walked off the 7th tee.
Based on a local rule for this event, DeChambeau was allowed to get a new driver shaft and put the club back together in time for his drive at the meaty par-4 9th hole, but a backup driver isn't the same as your gamer, and it will be interesting to see how this affects his chase for a first major championship.
The local rule, said PGA pro and rules official Brad Gregory on the broadcast, is for a club that is significantly damaged. DeChambeau, according to CBS Sports reporter Amanda Balionis, has three backup shafts and two backup drivers.
"Since it happened without abusing it, he would be allowed to replace it," added Gregory. "They may bring him out just a shaft; that would be considered replacing it or a brand new club."
That is, in fact, what happened as the longest driver in the game tries to overpower TPC Harding Park. He's done a fine job of it so far as he's currently first in the field in driving distance and 2 under through the first eight holes of his first round.
There's never a dull moment with DeChambeau on the course -- or there hasn't been so far since the PGA Tour restarted -- and Thursday in San Francisco was merely more evidence of that as the man who has apparently gained 30-40 pounds this year in an effort to become the most monstrous driver in the game was -- at least momentarily -- without his greatest weapon.