When Bryson DeChambeau Tried To Drive The Par 5 6th Hole At Bay Hill

Remember this? How can anyone forget... Bryson DeChambeau takes an aggressive line over the water at the 2021 Arnold Palmer Invitational

Bryson DeChambeau
Bryson DeChambeau launches a drive at the par-5 6th hole at Bay Hill
(Image credit: Getty Images)

What a shame Bryson DeChambeau isn’t in the field for this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, for it’s at Bay Hill where we witnessed one of the boldest ever plays in PGA Tour history: the big-hitting American having a go at the green… on a par 5.

DeChambeau, now a LIV player for Crushers GC, was the star of the show at Palmer’s tournament three years ago – and not just because he edged out Lee Westwood on the final hole for a one-shot victory. It was the way he attacked the course that really turned heads, something that would have got a nod of appreciation from ‘The King’ himself, whose motto was to play boldly.

That bold play came at the par-5 6th hole. Earlier in the week, a bulked up Bryson (he had been adding lots of muscle mass over the preceding 18 months) had attempted to fly his ball over the water, only to see the ball splash – but he was not to be deterred.

In the first round, DeChambeau whipped out an iron on the 6th, as he had a laugh with the fans. He was not to be tempted on this occasion, but told reporters, “If it's 10 miles an hour downwind I'll for sure go for it.”

Bryson DeChambeau

It's rare to see players celebrating good tee shots, but this was no ordinary drive

(Image credit: Getty Images)

On Friday, it was a similar story – the wind just wasn’t favorable. “Hopefully if it's downwind, consistently downwind and I'm comfortable with it, I'll take it up by the green,” he said. Come on Bryson, show some bottle…

The temptation to aim one at the green, or thereabouts, was just too much on Saturday. A few people were shaking their heads in the crowd, and there were some disbelieving looks as he took aim, but as soon as the ball left the clubface DeChambeau was celebrating with his hands in the air. The ball carried 347 yards with an incredible 194mph ball speed, and ended in the right rough. A missed fairway, then, and a bit sloppy if you're going to be critical. 

“Oh, man, I felt like a kid again, for sure,” said a pumped DeChambeau after his round. “It was exciting. Especially when you pull it off and you know... it was almost like winning a tournament. I don't know. It's kind of the feeling I had, it was like, 'Oh, I did it.' I got the same chills and feeling when I saw it clear and there was no splash, it was like, 'Yes!' I gave the fans what they wanted.”

On Sunday, he did it again. Did it really make a difference in terms of his scoring? Westwood might have been 72 yards further back off the tee, but the Englishman made a birdie four as well, the conventional way. Let’s not pick holes… DeChambeau, who has just revealed his new eye-watering stock yardages, was at his entertaining best that week. 

Michael Weston
Contributing editor

Michael has been with Golf Monthly since 2008. As a multimedia journalist, he has also worked for The Football Association, where he created content to support the men's European Championships, The FA Cup, London 2012, and FA Women's Super League. As content editor at Foremost Golf, Michael worked closely with golf's biggest equipment manufacturers, and has developed an in-depth knowledge of this side of the industry. He's now a regular contributor, covering instruction, equipment and feature content. Michael has interviewed many of the game's biggest stars, including six world number ones, and has attended and reported on many Major Championships and Ryder Cups. He's a member of Formby Golf Club.