Safeway Open: DeChambeau Misses First Cut as PGA Tour Member

The final round of the Safeway Open starts tomorrow, but Bryson DeChambeau won’t be around for it. Playing in his first event as a PGA Tour member, he missed the cut.

Bryson DeChambeau, who had such a remarkable start as a professional last spring, missed the cut at the Safeway Open, his first tournament as PGA Tour member. Still, he at least has his playing privileges and is now officially on his way to what many believe will be a strong PGA Tour career.

DeChambeau was one of several prospective PGA Tour players in recent years to try to obtain his card by earning enough money via sponsor exemptions. Unfortunately, he struggled over the summer and was not able to pile up enough good finishes to qualify on that basis.

Because DeChambeau had not played on the Tour in the 2016 season, he was not able to earn his PGA Tour card by finishing in the top 25 on that tour’s money list. But he did not get to where he is now by lying down, and he still had an ace he could play.

The good news was that he made enough money on the PGA Tour to qualify for the Tour Finals, the last four events of that circuit’s season. Those events also act as a qualifying school, determining the second set of 25 PGA Tour cards available for the 2017 season.

Amazingly, DeChambeau won the first event of the Finals, which guaranteed him a place on the PGA Tour for this year.

“It’s beyond my wildest dreams,” he told Golf Channel after the victory. “I’m just so ecstatic that I did it.”

In what seems to be a pattern for him — playing well, then disappearing — DeChambeau proceeded to miss the cut in the next two events, but he was still in third place on the Finals money list. When the last event was cancelled due to Hurricane Matthew, he officially earned his spot on the PGA Tour for 2017.

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While his debut as a card-carrying PGA Tour member at the Safeway Open was an inauspicious start, it was at least a beginning.

In the event, DeChambeau’s average driving distance was a mere 281 yards off the tee, but he hit 69.44 percent of the greens in regulation. Last season, his longest drive was well over 350 yards, but he still placed outside of the top 200 in that category.

His accuracy was also an issue. He hit just 42.86 percent of the fairways, about 10 percent less than his 2016 average. He scrambled at 45.45 percent, 15 percent lower than his average last year. He clearly needs to step up his game if he intends to stay on the PGA Tour.

DeChambeau will not go to the CIMB Classic in Malaysia and failed to qualify for the WGC-HSBC Champions, so he has a couple of weeks to prepare for the rest of the fall tournaments. He will play in the OHL Classic at Mayakoba during second week of November and the RSM Classic on Sea Island, hosted by Davis Love III, just before Thanksgiving. Whether he will add the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas and the Sanderson Farms in Mississippi remains to be seen.

What do you think: will Bryson DeChambeau rebound in his next start? Let us know in the comments, and keep it here at Pro Golf Now for more updates from the Safeway Open.

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