The 18th hole at Sawgrass
The normal route is to follow the fairway to the right of the lake, while DeChambeau considered aiming left over the trees
Date:11-14 March Venue: Stadium Course, Sawgrass, Florida
Coverage: BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra commentary – Saturday: 21:00 GMT and Sunday: 20:00. Live text commentary of final two rounds on BBC Sport website from 19:00, with in-play highlights

The PGA Tour has introduced an internal out-of-bounds at Sawgrass to ensure Bryson DeChambeau does not take an unusual route to the 18th green at this week’s Players Championship.

The US Open champion considered hitting his tee shot to the left of the water and onto the ninth fairway, rather than following the hole’s natural path.

The PGA Tour said the decision was made for the “safety” of spectators.

Teenager Jeevan Sihota hit the shot at the 2020 Junior Players Championship.

The Canadian did not try the shot in practice but in round one set himself up to take it on.

“My playing competitors thought I was lining up to hit a big slice,” the 16-year-old told the Golf Channel.

“The line is the right edge of tree. I knew if I hit it 350 yards, I could get past it.

“It’s a lot wider target to hit. I knew I had speeds capable of doing it, so I figured why not? It leaves you a better angle into the green and basically takes the water out of play. It takes the big mistakes out of play.”

Shilota hit his tee shot safely onto the ninth fairway in each of the three rounds of the tournament and registered a birdie and two bogeys.

The par-four 18th on the Stadium Course is a 460-yard hole that has water between the tee and green to the left of the fairway.

Before the PGA Tour’s announcement, 27-year-old DeChambeau said: “I’ll probably give it a try, but it’s most likely not going to happen.

“If there are stands there, there’s really no reason to go for it, when I could just drive it 100 yards from the green if I get a good wind.”

The American won his eighth PGA Tour event last week, holding off England’s Lee Westwood to claim the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, Florida by one shot.

However, he said he was not happy with how he played from tee to green, rating his overall play as a “C”.

“From my perspective I just didn’t feel like I had it all,” the world number six said.

“My driving didn’t feel great. My putting was obviously ‘A’, I’d give it an ‘A’, but my iron play was just not where I wanted it to be.

“By no means am I trying to cause anything by that, other than saying that I just was not hitting my best – the way I wanted to, last week.

“I think I haven’t really won with everything firing on all cylinders, but then again, you have to have some luck. For example, with making putts from 40, 50 feet, that’s a little lucky.

“You have to have luck go your way in order to win tournaments, and that’s what happened last week, and hopefully that can keep going on and we can keep figuring out more with the iron play and driving and wedging.”

DeChambeau will play with world number one Dustin Johnson, the Masters champion, and US PGA champion Collin Morikawa in the first two rounds at Sawgrass..

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy is the defending champion. He won the event in 2019 and last year’s tournament was halted after round one because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Selected tee-times (all GMT)

Round one – Thursday, 11 March

11:56 L Westwood (Eng), R MacIntyre (Sco)

12:29 V Hovland (Nor)*, J Thomas (US)*

12:40 R McIlroy (NI)*, S Garcia (Spa)*

13:02 M Fitzpatrick (Eng), P Casey (Eng)*, T Hatton (Eng)*

17:49 J Rahm (Spa), P Reed (US), J Spieth (US)

18:00 D Johnson (US), B DeChambeau (US), C Morikawa (US)

18:11 J Rose (Eng)*

18:44 T Fleetwood (Eng)*

* denotes teeing off from 10th

Full list of tee times (external website)external-link

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