AUGUSTA, GA. – Bryson DeChambeau's goal is to hit the golf ball farther than any golfer in the history of the PGA Tour. He learned Friday that hitting the ball literally out of sight can be costly.
On the third hole of his second round, he blasted a 319-yard drive uphill on the 350-yard par-4. But the ball flew over elevated bunkers and landed somewhere near the scoreboard in a valley below the hole.
Despite all of the television cameras, spotters and officials in the area, no one saw the ball. DeChambeau raked through the rough, and soon he had a dozen helpers, but he couldn't find it. He was forced to return to the tee and wound up making triple bogey on a hole he had hoped his length would turn into at least a birdie opportunity.
Then he bogeyed Nos. 4 and 5. DeChambeau is at 1 over through 12 holes. He'll complete his second round on Saturday morning thinking more about making the cut than winning a green jacket.
Golf Channel analyst and former tour player Brandel Chamblee called the ball lost in plain sight "the worst break I've ever seen.''
When DeChambeau left the third green, an official approached him to say that the ball had been found, plugged in the mud. "OK, thanks,'' DeChambeau said.
It was difficult to tell whether he was being sincere or sarcastic.
The time allotted to search for a lost ball recently was changed from five to three minutes. DeChambeau may have been able to find his ball with another two minutes, as his fellow golfers and caddies joined the search.
DeChambeau did not conduct an interview after he finished play on Friday. But a Golf Channel reporter said DeChambeau noted that he was a little "off'' with his swing, and didn't complain about the lost ball ruling.
Tuesday, DeChambeau said that his length makes par-72 Augusta National "like a par 67 for me.''
In that case, DeChambeau is well over par, well off pace and right on pace to be the most disappointing player of this tournament.
Asked if he helped look for DeChambeau's lost ball, playing partner Jon Rahm said, "Which one?''
DeChambeau has seen his prodigious drives find unusual landing spots around Augusta National. He is hitting the ball far, but isn't capitalizing on his good drives, and his bad drives have ruined both rounds.
On Thursday, he hit a drive behind a tree on the par-5 13th, then tried to hit a hook around the tree. That led to a double bogey.
On Friday, his lost ball on No. 3 seemed to shake him. He dropped in the rough under the scoreboard, skulled a pitch over the green, putted past the hole and missed the comeback.
On Friday afternoon, he made his length work at No. 13, launching a high, 317-yard drive over the trees on the left side of the fairway, cutting the corner and leaving himself a sand wedge from 124 yards, where he'll continue his round on Saturday.
Length remains an advantage, when you can find your ball.