Bryson DeChambeau tears Augusta signpost from ground to set up magnificent Masters escape shot

Several signs point to Bryson DeChambeau winning this year’s Masters, including the one he yanked out of the ground at Augusta National on Friday.

Battling to maintain his early lead during a windswept second round at the 88th edition of the major, trouble looked to be brewing for the big-hitting American when his tee drive at the par-five 13th hole skewed right into the woods beside the fairway.

Most golfers would have opted to punch back out onto the fairway, but DeChambeau – once dubbed “The Scientist” for his willingness to test new boundaries and technologies – has long shown a flair for improvisation.

Calculating an alternative route to the flag, the LIV Golf star set his sights on playing onto the neighboring 14th fairway. There was only one issue with his plan: one of Augusta National’s towering signposts was blocking his line of sight to the green.

Not a problem for DeChambeau, who took matters into his own hands by hoisting the post up over his shoulder – much to the bemused delight of onlooking patrons – clearing the path for his successful escape and an eventual birdie.

DeChambeau hauls the sign out of his shot path. - Maddie Meyer / Getty Images
DeChambeau hauls the sign out of his shot path. - Maddie Meyer / Getty Images

Rule 15.2 of the USGA’s Rules of Golf states that golfers are free to “remove a movable obstruction anywhere on or off the course and may do so in any way,” so long as it is done with “reasonable effort” and without damaging the obstruction or the course.

Having safely returned the sign, DeChambeau insisted its temporary removal was “the only option.”

“I was trying to direct people. Trying to get people to go to the restrooms,” DeChambeau joked to reporters after his round.

“I knew I could hit one around the corner down the 14th fairway and have a 140 to 150-yard shot in, so I decided to do that, and the patrons were nice enough to move over to the side to make sure it was wide enough so if I hit one errant, nobody would get hit by the ball.

“I hit a great shot around the corner and was able to take advantage of a pretty open entrance to the green at that back right flag and made a nice birdie putt.”

DeChambeau played out of the woods to set up a birdie. - Maddie Meyer / Getty Images
DeChambeau played out of the woods to set up a birdie. - Maddie Meyer / Getty Images

DeChambeau carded a one-over 73 to head into the weekend level at the top with compatriots Max Homa and Scottie Scheffler, keeping him firmly in contention for a second career major.

The 30-year-old cruised to the US Open title at Winged Foot in 2020 but has never finished inside the top-20 in seven previous Masters appearances, a run of poor form compounded by his former assessment of Augusta National as a “par 67” due to his renowned swing power.

DeChambeau confessed the infamous remarks were a “mistake” Thursday, yet has proven there may be shades of truth in his prior judgement this week. A thunderous 372-yard drive from the 17th tee during his second round served as a reminder of his status as one of the game’s all-time heaviest hitters.

“Playing great golf,” Dechambeau said. “Golf swing is in an awesome place. Putting is in a great place. Chipping is in a great place.

“Just have to be smart around this place and give myself an opportunity come the back nine on Sunday.”

DeChambeau tees off for his third round in the final pairing alongside Homa at 2:45 p.m. ET (7:45 p.m. BST) on Saturday.

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