SAN DIEGO — After struggling to keep his tee shots in the fairway in the first round of the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines on Thursday, Bryson DeChambeau said the changes he needed to make came to him in his sleep.
Yes, while he was sleeping before Friday’s second round at the South Course.
“I walked off pretty frustrated yesterday,” DeChambeau said of his opening-round 2-over 73 on Thursday. “It’s one of those things that I was sleeping and it came to me in the middle of the night, woke up and I was like, ‘Hmm, I’m going to try this.’ And I went out, and my intuition is pretty good, so I went out and tried it and it worked.”
DeChambeau said he tried to keep his right wrist bent a lot longer through impact on Friday. The change helped him improve by four shots for a 2-under 69 in the second round, putting the defending U.S. Open champion back into contention with a 36-hole total of 142, which was five shots behind leader Richard Bland after the morning wave on Friday.
“I think I caught a couple more breaks today,” DeChambeau said. “I drove it pretty well for the most part, and I capitalized in certain areas. Made a great eagle on 18, great shot on 16, and then when I missed it, I was able to get up-and-down a few more times than yesterday. That’s what it was. It wasn’t anything crazy.”
After Thursday’s round, which was delayed because of morning fog and didn’t end until around 11 p.m. ET, DeChambeau spent about an hour on the driving range. He was the last player there, long after the lights had been turned off.
“I couldn’t figure it out for an hour last night, and going back and just sitting down, eating dinner and just thinking about it, thinking about it,” he said. “I literally won’t talk to anybody for like an hour, just thinking, thinking, thinking, and sure enough, I went to bed and I found a little something that worked for my driver. It didn’t work for my irons, so hopefully going to fix that this afternoon.”
DeChambeau’s ah-ha moment came in the middle of the night. He said it’s not the first time it has happened, either.
“I remember it for the most part,” DeChambeau said. “It’s one simple thought. It’s usually not a complex series of things. It’s more just my intuition telling me there’s something weird here, what’s going on. You kind of wake up in a daze and you’re like, ‘Okay, I’m going to try that,’ and go right back to sleep.”