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Bryson DeChambeau is set to make his first appearance in almost seven weeks after recovering from a wrist and hip injury. His last start came in Saudi in early February where he withdrew following the opening round.
The eight-time PGA Tour winner is present in a strong field at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club.
The 28-year old had initially planned to return to defend his Arnold Palmer Invitational title earlier this month, however he withdrew after confirming on social media that he hadn’t returned to full fitness. The American said: “I don’t want to go out there and hurt myself even more and not be 100% ready for the rest of the season.” The same lingering injury ruled him out of the Players Championship, where Cameron Smith took home the largest pay cheque in PGA Tour history.
The former US Open champion will begin the tournament by going head-to-head with Richard Bland. Bland won his maiden DP World Tour title at last year's British Masters in his 478th DP World Tour appearance. The Englishman is currently ranked 60th in the Official World Golf Ranking, with the top-50 earning an invitation to the Masters when they update on Monday.
DeChambeau makes his return in a bid to step up match fitness ahead of the year's opening Major and doing so this week makes perfect sense given the match play format and significant likelihood of playing less than 18-holes per outing. Austin Country Club is also located just three hours from his home in Dallas.
This week also marks DeChambeau's first start since pledging his loyalty to the PGA Tour amid ongoing speculation of his involvement in the Super League. LIV Golf Investments and its CEO, Greg Norman, have since officially launched the LIV Golf Invitational Series; which features eight events with $255m up for grabs.
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James joined Golf Monthly having previously written for other digital outlets. He is obsessed with all areas of the game – from tournament golf, to history, equipment, technique and travel. He is also an avid collector of memorabilia; with items from the likes of Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Adam Scott and Ernie Els. As well as writing for Golf Monthly, James’ golfing highlight is fist bumping Phil Mickelson on his way to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. James grew up on the east coast of England and is the third generation of his golfing family. He now resides in Leeds and is a member of Cobble Hall Golf Club with a handicap index of 1.7. His favourite films are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tin Cup.