TULSA, Okla. — Bryson DeChambeau will not participate in the PGA Championship at Southern Hills on Thursday after all, withdrawing from the major after playing a practice round Wednesday.
“After careful consideration, I have decided to WD from the @PGAChampionship,” DeChambeau posted on Twitter late Wednesday afternoon. “I want to make a full return when I am 100% ready to compete at golf’s highest level. Thank you all for the continued support!”
It had appeared as if DeChambeau would be making his return to competitive golf after missing more than a month while he recovered from surgery to repair a bone in his left wrist.
He spent the day hitting multiple shots off different tees at Southern Hills Country Club, working the ball in different directions as he tested his wrist, which was in a wrap that extended several inches up his left forearm. He bombed several drives while playing the back nine, showing no signs of pain.
Asked during his practice round how his left wrist was feeling, DeChambeau was coy: “It’s still attached.”
His return was not meant to be, however.
DeChambeau, 28, had been out of action since early April, missing the cut at last month’s Masters, the first major of the season, after carding a 12-over total in the first two rounds. He elected to have surgery on his left wrist to repair a fractured hook of the hamate bone.
The typical recovery is four to six weeks.
“I’m proud of the fact that I’m here,” DeChambeau, who also played a practice round Tuesday, said in an interview with Golf Channel before he withdrew from the event. “I’m proud I’ve been able to persevere through it. I’ve had a lot of stuff going on recently and the game has not been a fun thing for me, so I’m excited to get back and give it another shot. Everybody deserves a second chance.”
He signed autographs and took selfies with fans for 10 minutes during the long wait between some holes. DeChambeau seemed to be in good spirits Wednesday, joking and chatting with his playing partner, Anirban Lahiri.
On the 14th hole, a par-3 that plays 230 yards, he hit a low draw with a 6-iron into the front bunker, then immediately dropped a second ball in mild frustration. On his second attempt, he hit a high draw into the middle of the green. There appeared to be no hesitation at impact, even when hitting off the firm turf.
DeChambeau, who won the 2020 U.S. Open at Winged Foot, has fallen to 22nd in the Official World Golf Ranking (down from No. 5 at his peak) and is 219th in FedEx Cup points. He missed the cut in three of his past four starts and has just one top-25 finish in five starts this season.
In 2020, he finished fourth at the PGA Championship at Harding Park, his best finish at a major outside his U.S. Open win at Winged Foot.
Denny McCarthy was added to the field for Thursday’s first round in lieu of DeChambeau’s absence.