DeChambeau frustrated by Bland on return

Bryson DeChambeau

Bryson DeChambeau (60/1 – Tournament Outright) admitted he was “very cautious” and lacked confidence upon his return to action when halving his opening group match against Richard Bland at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

DeChambeau was back playing for the first time since early February on Wednesday when he took on Englishman Bland (150/1 – Outright) in Group 9 of the event at Austin Country Club but had to settle for a share of the spoils.

The American has had wrist and hip injuries and he admitted he wasn’t able to play at his fluent best when going round in one over to halve the match.

“I know I can play golf. That’s first and foremost,” DeChambeau said. “I was very cautious.

“There was a lot of drives out there I felt really bad because it’s not going the places I want it to go just because I’m not confident with how my wrist will go through it. That will get ironed out over time.”

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Bland admitted it was a scrappy opening match as the pair cancelled each other out, DeChambeau two-putting from 15 feet to make a four on the final hole for his par to ensure it ended all-square.

Bland told Sky Sports: “Bryson was probably a bit rusty and it was never going to be pretty golf,” Bland told Sky Sports. “So I think a half was probably right.”

In the other match in Group 9, Talor Gooch beat Lee Westwood 3&2 and the American will face Bland (Bland 7/4, Gooch 4/6, Tie 13/2) in his second-round match with Westwood taking on DeChambeau next.

Elsewhere, there was a victory on day one of the tournament for Matt Fitzpatrick in Group 5 as he finished 1 up to beat fellow Englishman Tommy Fleetwood but in the same group Ian Poulter lost 2&1 to Scottie Scheffler (14/1 – Outright).

In Group 11, Justin Rose lost to Adam Scott and Jordan Spieth (20/1 – Outright) beat Keegan Bradley, while defending champion Billy Horschel beat Min Woo Lee 3&2 in Group 12.

Tyrrell Hatton beat Christiaan Bezuidenhout in Group 13 and Open champion Collin Morikawa (12/1 – Outright) began his campaign with a 2&1 victory over Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre, with Sergio Garcia beating Jason Kokrak 4&3 in the other game in Group Two.

Justin Thomas was beaten 3&2 by Luke List, world No.1 Jon Rahm (10/1 – Outright) beat Sebastian Munoz 4&2 and Maverick McNealy posted the biggest win of the opening day when beating Joaquin Niemann 8&6.

Paul Casey was forced to concede his game against Corey Conners due to back spasms, Irishman Shane Lowry lost to Harold Varner III 2&1 and in the same group Brooks Koepka beat Erik van Rooyen 3&2.

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