Covid-19 scare, body issues dim DeChambeau's Masters bid

Augusta (United States) (AFP) –


Bryson DeChambeau's fears he had contracted Covid-19 proved wrong, but the US Open winner who bulked-up during the virus layoff now wonders what is causing his Masters health issues.

After overwhelming Winged Foot in September to win the US Open with his power-driving style, DeChambeau has fizzled at the Masters, barely making a record-low cut on level par 144.

When he felt dizzy in the start of the second round Friday, DeChambeau worried he might have the coronavirus.

"As I kept going through the round, I started getting a little dizzy. I don't know what was going on, a little something weird," he said.

"So I got checked for COVID last night, and I was fine, nothing. But I had to do the right thing and make sure there was nothing more serious."

DeChambeau said those around him also tested negative.

While he has displayed moments of the ball-bashing form he said made Augusta National play like a par-67 layout instead of a par-72 course, DeChambeau has struggled and now has health issues he can't explain, especially tough on a golfer who uses statistics and details to plot his every golf move.

"It's no respiratory anything. It's more of just very dizzy and I've got a pain in my stomach, so I don't know. Just some weird stuff going on," DeChambeau said.

Sixth-ranked DeChambeau, who explored body changes to heal a back injury, packed on 40 pounds to boost power when the PGA Tour was idled by Covid-19 from March to June. Now his precisely enlarged body is faltering.

"It's the first time," he said. "I'll go figure it out, just like anything. I'm more concerned for the health, the way I'm going about that.

"Golf is golf. You're going to have stuff go on, but I want to fix my body. Last time I had back issues, I went and fixed that, and I haven't really had any body issues since, until now, internal, so I've got to go fix that."

- 'Silly mistakes' -

An off-season approaches that will give DeChambeau time to find out why he began feeling dizzy Thursday night.

"Every time I'd bend over and come back up, I'd like lose my stance a little bit," he said. "I don't know what's going on.

"I've got to go and do some blood work and get checked out and figure out what's going on for this off season."

DeChambeau has been inconsistent and unlucky. He closed birdie-birdie to shoot an opening 70, but a lost ball Friday led to a triple-bogey. He rallied with four birdies in a five-hole span late in round two only to close bogey-bogey and make the cut on the number.

"I don't know what it is or what happened, but these past couple days, I've felt really odd, just not 100%," he said. "Some of that has played into it. I just feel kind of dull and numb out there, just not fully aware of everything, and making some silly mistakes for sure."

The pressure of the moment, being a favorite at a major for the first time just as his meticulous technique was gaining attention, could be part of the problem as well.

"There's just something in my stomach that's not doing well," he said.

And Augusta National wasn't making his life any easier.

"It just seems like there's a lot of things going not in the right way," he said. "I've certainly played worse golf than this and won. It's one of those things. You can't control everything as much as you try."