Defending Arnold Palmer Invitational winner Bryson DeChambeau won’t try to defend his title at Bay Hill Club & Lodge this week because of a lingering left hand injury.
DeChambeau won the 2021 event by 1 shot over Lee Westwood for his eighth career PGA Tour victory. DeChambeau withdrew from the API on Monday and will be replaced by Scott Piercy in the field.
In a social media post over the weekend, DeChambeau revealed that he was recovering from a bone bruise in his left hand.
“I’ve been hitting a lot of balls in the simulator, I’ve been working hard on my game and working hard on recovery,” DeChambeau said in a video posted to his Twitter account on Monday. “Man, it’s a tough decision right now. I have a lot of work to do to get everything back into order for this week, and I just feel that it’s too short of time for me to get back playing at 100 percent capacity.
“Right now, I’m at like 90 percent. I just don’t want to go out there and hurt myself even more and not be 100 percent ready for the rest of the season. I don’t want to come back early and then have to take more time off.”
DeChambeau, 28, has competed in only two official PGA Tour events this season, finishing tied for 25th at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and missing the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open in early January. He is 196th in the FedEx Cup standings.
He withdrew from the second round of the Saudi International earlier this month because of left hand and left hip injuries after shooting 3-over 73 in the first round. He later said he was hurt in a fall earlier that week.
DeChambeau said he hopes to make his next start at next week’s Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass.
“As of right now, I just can’t risk going out there and have it re-aggravate,” he said. “It has been one of the hardest moments in my life because I’m not able to do much. Although I can hit some golf balls, it’s not fully comfortable. It’s been frustrating.”
DeChambeau is one of the highest-profile PGA Tour players who was linked to a Saudi-backed breakaway league. The Daily Mail of London reported this month that he had been offered $135 million to join the Super Golf League. DeChambeau called the report “wrong.”
DeChambeau said in a Feb. 20 statement that he said he would continue competing on the PGA Tour.
“While there has been a lot of speculation surrounding my support for another tour, I want to make it very clear that as long as the best players in the world are playing the PGA Tour, so will I,” he said. “As of now, I am focused on getting myself healthy and competing again soon. I appreciate all the support.”