Bryson DeChambeau Explains Road Hole Free Drop At 150th Open

The American made a stunning par on the 17th at St Andrews despite a very wayward drive

Bryson DeChambeau gestures
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Bryson DeChambeau benefitted from the Abnormal Course Conditions rule on the 17th and 18th holes at The Open to finish par-birdie despite two pulled tee shots.

His drive on 17 went about as far left as we've seen anyone hit it this week, with his ball nestling into thick rough on the edge of a gorse bush. From there it looked like a chip-out and a battle to make bogey but he was allowed a free drop because a grandstand and scoreboard stood in his line of play - which are classed as immovable obstructions.

DeChambeau managed to get a free drop and was able to get his ball to the edge of the green on the road, where he played a sublime chip shot into the bank and managed to come away with a par.

Watch his crazy 17th hole:

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"You had the grandstands in my line and the scoreboard in my line," DeChambeau said. "So I could go back out where it was in between the TV tower, which is a totally different drop as well. I could have dropped again, but it would have put me in the fescue. I was like, you know what, I'm just going to leave it. I'm fine with that. Work it to my advantage and overcut it. Compensation from 16 [he made double bogey]. Just got to go work on being more consistent."

He then went miles left again on the 18th hole, hitting it towards the grandstand and then benefitting from a free drop. Bryson got it up-and-down from there to finish par-birdie and get into the clubhouse at six-under-par after a 67.

"I was up against the fence, and they have drop zones for that," he said of the 18th hole. "And then out-of-bounds stakes were past that and farther left of that. Kind of nice. You can just hit it into there. Yeah, it rolled into there. I'm not trying to actually hit it in there. Just kind of pulled left."

DeChambeau is just about within touching distance of the leaders at St Andrews and should record his first top-10 finish in a world ranking event this year. He's been plagued by injuries and has seen his world ranking tumble down to 33rd. He says he's is almost back to 100% so we could start to see him back in the winner's circle in the LIV Golf Invitational Series this year.

"I'm probably 97 to 98 percent now," he said. "There's every once in a while where my hand gets tired, fatigued still. For the most part, I'm going to start speed training here again after -- in the month of August when I don't have any tournaments going on for me."

And on LIV, the Golfing Scientist thinks that the rival tours will find a way of coexisting.

"I think over the course of time it will all work itself out," he said. " I think in some capacity we'll find a way to coexist and work together through this to make the best entertainment we possibly can for the world."

Elliott Heath
Senior Staff Writer

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x