WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Bryson DeChambeau 'not close' to full speed ahead of return to action
DeChambeau is ready to return to competitive golf after missing almost two months with hip and left hand injuries; watch the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play throughout the week live on Sky Sports Golf
Last Updated: 22/03/22 11:04pm
Bryson DeChambeau has admitted he will be unable to play at full speed when he makes his return from injury this week at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, live on Sky Sports.
DeChambeau has been limited to just three worldwide starts in 2022, struggling to a tied-25th finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and missing the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open before withdrawing mid-event from the Asian Tour's Saudi International.
The former US Open champion has battled wrist and hip injuries during the early part of the campaign, with DeChambeau revealing ahead of his return at Austin Country Club that he had a torn labrum in his hip and a fractured hamate, a bone near the wrist.
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DeChambeau told Golf Channel that he may eventually require surgery on his hand injury, aggravated by playing table tennis in Saudi Arabia, although admitted the ailment had been affecting him for some time.
Speaking about his hopes of a strong return to action, DeChambeau told Golf Channel: "No expectations. A great week is being here.
"People are going to say it [the injuries] is off of the speed training and all that and, sure, some of the things have been a part of that, just abuse and working really, really hard.
"At the same time, I wouldn't have traded it for anything. I've learned so much about my body as time has gone on and learned how to manage things and how important rest is."
DeChambeau only returned to hitting golf shots last week and began using the driver in recent days, although doesn't plan to play at full speed in Texas or at next week's Valero Texas Open ahead of The Masters.
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"Am I going fully at it? No. Not even close," DeChambeau added. "I won't be able to go at it until probably Augusta time."
Bland relishing underdog status in Texas
DeChambeau will open his campaign against 49-year-old Englishman Richard Bland, who is making his debut at the event after breaking into the world's top 60 over the past 12 months.
Bland claimed a long-awaited maiden DP World Tour title at the 478th time of asking at the Betfred British Masters last May during an impressive 2021 campaign, before moving further up the rankings with a runner-up finish at the Sylnc.io Dubai Desert Classic in January.
"No one's expecting me to get through," Bland said ahead of his WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play debut. "I know I'm hitting my second shots in first tomorrow, and that's fine.
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"I can't get too drawn into what Bryson [DeChambeau] does. I've just got to do what I do really well…I drive the ball a little bit shorter than he does, but I'd like to think that I'm going to be in play most of the time.
"Then when I get the scoring clubs in my hands, that's where I've got to be very good this week. Whenever I have a wedge in my hand, if I can get that in close and put some pressure on him, then who knows.
"We play two completely different games, but that's the beauty of match play, isn't it? He's the favourite, of course he is, but he's got a game on his hands."
Watch the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage begins on Wednesday from 2.30pm on Sky Sports Golf!