But it was no career-best drive-wise from a physically converted, bulk-up US golfer. It was a broken club.
So what happened to the club ‘Kraken’ of Club ham the Kraken ‘one day at TPC Harding Park on Thursday?
With his ever-trademark Lightning swing piled on an extra 40 pounds of muscle during Golf’s Kovid-19 shutdown, a few seconds after finally being crushed on the wrong drive on the seventh hole – proceeded to take his tee.
But when things started falling apart. quite literally.
The 26-year-old – who had never had a top-10 finish at the helm – then apparently leaned on his driver to such an extent that the club’s head actually fell off the shaft, in awe of his sporting partners, Ricky Fowler and Adam Scott.
The world number 7 – who finished his opening three goals behind co-leader and 2015 champion Jason Day and leveled with four-time winner Woods – later revealed that the driver became a well-worn device in his bag had gone.
“This material isn’t going to last forever,” he explained after finishing with a two-under 68.
“No matter how strong you make it, but this thing has lasted for over a year and has been swung at over 200 mph. I would say it did very well.”
Meanwhile Scott, the 2013 Masters winner, was the front row seat for the real series of events.
“It was definitely a funny voice and a funny flight of the ball and then he barely leaned on it and the shaft swung at him. He says it happens when you swing as hard as him.”
But things could have gone much worse for Dechambo.
He would hardly have been relieved to know that under the local regulations introduced last year, he was allowed to change what is now his most powerful golf weapon – he is the PGA Tour’s biggest hitter, with an average drive distance of 324.4 yards – because his crash was completely accidental.
This still meant a team member had to make a trip to DeChambo’s car to get a replacement shaft for his club as he went to complete the hole himself, while bringing back the new shaft Just had to complete our repair work.
But the change implemented did not affect them very much. The next time he needed his driver, he was at the ninth hole, which he birdied.
In fact, DeChambeau reacted brilliantly to adversity, dropping the ball from about 20 yards, averaging 340 yards after his club broke.
California – which recently claimed its sixth PGA Tour title at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit, where his drive averaged over a record 350 yards – says he also tested a replacement in the making of the tournament, revealing he Knew it was going to work.
“To be able to put another shaft in the right and that thing has performed amazingly, it just shows how amazing the company is.”
Return to form?
Five months away from golf due to a back injury and an epidemic, Woods returned to the competitive tournament last month to finish 40th in the Memorial tournament.
But he did better in the first major match of the year in his first round, as he was back on familiar ground at TPC Harding Park and was a junior and playing at Stanford University.
He finished with a two-under 68, his lowest opening round in a major since 2012.
The 44-year-old is chasing a record-equal fifth PGA Championship title, with Walter Hagen and Jack Nicklaus scoring five each. He is also looking for an 83rd PGA Tour win, as he is currently tied with Sam Snead for the most time.
One of the most notable changes Woods has made for his game is that he is switched to a long putter, something that puts pressure on his back.
And the switch showed positive signs on Thursday, as it made 114-foot, 9-inch puts, its season-high for a season.
“I’ve been messing around with this puter for the better part of over a year,” the 15-time major winner explained. “It is hard for me to bend at times, and so I practice, I don’t spend the hours that I used to do.
“It was not uncommon for me to spend four, five, six hours a day. I certainly can’t log in, because I have fusion on my back. Most of the people on the Champions Tour now go to maximum putters. Has grown. It’s easier to bend, or not to bend. And so this putter is just a little bit longer and I’m able to put in a little bit more time. ”
Brooks Kopka, searching for his third consecutive PGA Championship title, placed a shot behind co-leaders, Australian Day and Brendan Todd.