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NAPA, Calif. – Bryson DeChambeau quickly went from bogey-free to birdie-free at the Safeway Open.
DeChambeau was the only player not to drop a shot through the first two rounds at Silverado Resort and Spa, amassing a two-shot lead heading into the weekend. But things unraveled in a hurry for the five-time PGA Tour winner, who struggled to a 4-over 76 without making a single third-round birdie.
That score beat only three players among the 67 who made the cut and dropped DeChambeau from solo leader into a tie for 15th, six shots behind Cameron Champ. DeChambeau declined to speak with media following his round.
After rolling in more than 116 feet worth of putts en route to a second-round 64, DeChambeau struggled on the greens Saturday amid swirling winds. He needed 33 putts to complete his round, including five misses from inside 10 feet.
DeChambeau’s woes included an adventurous 18th hole, where his approach to the par-5 bounced over the greenside grandstand and into an adjacent penalty area. That initiated a lengthy discussion with PGA Tour officials as to where he would be allowed to take relief from the grandstand.
Mark Russell, the Tour’s vice president of rules and competitions, oversaw a ruling in which DeChambeau was allowed to move the ball to a different spot behind the green to get relief from the temporary immovable obstruction while maintaining a position within the penalty area.
“He could not take the ball freely outside of the hazard. He would have to take a penalty stroke to do that, but he got maximum relief from the TIOs in the hazard,” Russell said. “He only gets maximum relief. Not complete relief, maximum relief. So that’s what he did.”
DeChambeau played a pitch shot from the penalty area over the grandstand that landed on the green en route to a closing par.