WASHINGTON (AFP) - Reigning US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau flew 1,000 miles (1,600km) home to Dallas between rounds of the US PGA Wells Fargo Classic only to find he had made the cut.
The 27-year-old American fired a three-under par 68 on Saturday (May 8) to stand on one-under par 212 after 54 holes in Charlotte, North Carolina, to complete an unusual round trip.
"Very tired," DeChambeau said after his third round. "This morning was not easy. But for whatever reason I just feel like the more weird things happen to me, the greater my resolve can be and today was a case of that."
DeChambeau, who defends his US Open title next month at Torrey Pines, had given up hope of making the cut after a triple bogey at the seventh hole, his 16th of the day, and a missed birdie putt at the ninth in a round of 74 left him on 144.
"I was like, 'There's no way I'm making it. It's 90th place,'" said DeChambeau.
"So we just said, 'All right, let's pack up, let's go. Want to get ready for next week and going home.'"
It was on the 1,000-mile flight from Charlotte to Dallas that DeChambeau got the news from his agent he was in 68th place - on the verge of making the cut thanks to worsening weather for later finishers.
"I was like, 'What? No way. There's no way. I'm not going to make it," DeChambeau said.
"By the time I landed I was in... Well, whoops, that was a mistake. It was funny. We did a lot of scrambling last night to get back."
The plane crew had flown its limit of hours so a new crew and refueling was needed after the three-hour flight.
So DeChambeau decided to go home, have a workout, get five hours of sleep and fly out Saturday morning.
"I left at 2.45 on a flight and I got here at 6.20am, drove 30 minutes to the golf course, put on my clothes in the locker room and headed out to the putting green," DeChambeau said.
"I got some sleep on the plane. That was nice."
DeChambeau said he could use a good pay cheque this week to pay for his expensive travel blunder.
"Way too expensive," he said.
"Getting somebody at 2.45am is not easy either. We're very fortunate.
"But the thing is, I have a chance to go make a good check this week and I think that would offset it. So if I was to not come back and withdraw, lose world ranking points and all that, I had to incur the cost. It's my fault."
DeChambeau was pleased with his third round other than his closing double bogey.
"Energy levels, out of 10, I'm probably a 1 1/2 right now," he said. "I'm not the brightest in the world. I was pleased with my game today. I was really encouraged by the way I played."
If nothing else, DeChambeau has changed his notions about when to leave a tournament if the cut is in doubt.
"Oh, yeah," he said. "I learned my lesson, for sure."