Bryson DeChambeau says he will tee it up on Wednesday at the WGC Match Play with “no expectations” as he returns to the action following injury.
The American is out to 33/1 in the outright betting having made just three starts worldwide this year, finishing T25 at the Tournament of Champions, before missing the cut in Phoenix and withdrawing from the Saudi International.
DeChambeau has revealed he has been dealing with a torn labrum in his hip and a fractured hamate, a bone near the wrist, with the latter potentially requiring surgery.
The 28-year-old is the ninth seed at Austin Country Club and starts his campaign on Wednesday against England’s Richard Bland, before taking on Lee Westwood and Talor Gooch in Group 9.
Bland finally claimed his maiden DP World Tour title at the 478th time of asking by claiming the last year’s Betfred British Masters and has continued his form, finishing second at this year’s Dubai Desert Classic.
The 49-year-old has warned his opponent that he has a “game on his hands” and the former US Open champion admits that he is unsure how well he’ll be able to play.
DeChambeau told Golf Channel: “No expectations. A great week is being here.
“People are going to say it [the injuries] is off of the speed training and all that and, sure, some of the things have been a part of that, just abuse and working really, really hard.
“At the same time, I wouldn’t have traded it for anything. I’ve learned so much about my body as time has gone on and learned how to manage things and how important rest is.”
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Meanwhile, world number one Jon Rahm say he is not letting the jibes about his putting damage his preparation.
The Spaniard leads the PGA Tour in strokes gained off the tee and greens in regulation but is down in 139th in strokes gained putting.
Holing out is arguably more important in match play as it can swing a tie in a player’s favour.
Rahm is chasing his first win since claiming the US Open at Torrey Pines last June and could only manage a T55 last week at Sawgrass after closing with a 77.
The 27-year-old admits he could improve on the greens but insists that the way golf is played means you cannot excel in every facet.
“When you’re number one off the tee and top 10 in strokes gained approach, my putting stats are not going to be top 20,” he said. “It’s absolutely impossible unless I’m winning every single week by eight (shots). Kind of how it goes.”
Despite his perceived woes, Rahm is the 14/1 favourite to win this week and has been drawn in Group 1 to face Patrick Reed, Cameron Young and Sebastian Munoz.
Rahm and Munoz face off in the day’s penultimate match, with the Basque 4/7 to win, the tie 13/2 and the Colombian 2/1.
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