Two years on, DeChambeau returns to The Open a walking headline

Bernie McGuire
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Two years on, DeChambeau returns to The Open a walking headline

Bryson DeChambeau (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/R&A/R&A via Getty Images )

Two years on from his last appearance on this side of the Atlantic and Bryson DeChambeau has returned as a walking headline, so much so, it’s an understatement to say much has happened in the life of the now 27-year-old American.

Golfwise? Well, nine months after missing the halfway cut at the 2019 Open at Royal Portrush, DeChambeau stormed to a six-shot victory at the U.S. Open at Winged Foot. Earlier this year, he earned an eighth PGA Tour title in winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

DeChambeau also has a new caddy after sacking Tim Tucker who had been on the bag for all eight of his Tour wins, replacing Tucker with instructor Brian Zeigler, who starts this week at Royal St. George’s.

Bodywise? DeChambeau turned himself into golf’s equivalent of Hulk Hogan and sent fear into the green jacketed Augusta National members with talk of bringing the Georgia golfing gem to its knees at last November’s rescheduled Masters. He’s not played a links course since Royal Portrush and is just dying to test his new-look body around the old-style golfing gem that is Royal St. George’s.

Public Appearance-wise? DeChambeau is involved in what is now a very-public spat with fellow American Brooks Koepka. We were not aware of the feud that first began as far back as the 2019 Northern Trust when Koepka brought up DeChambeau’s name in relation to slow-play.

The golf world was not aware of the disagreement until Koepka rolled his eyes in disgust when DeChambeau walked past while Koepka was being interviewed on TV during this PGA Championship at Kiawah Island. And now after both Koepka and DeChambeau faced the media at this week’s Open Championship, more fuel has been poured onto the feuding fire.

Koepka went so far as to suggest he would welcome a final round, last match square-off alongside DeChambeau at Royal St. George’s as well as declaring he could put-up with DeChambeau but ‘just for the week’ as his Ryder Cup team-mate.

“He (Koepka) can say whatever he wants,” DeChambeau insisted. “I think he said something to say back at Liberty National about not upholding something. I don’t know what he’s talking about in that regard. Maybe that’s on me. Maybe I didn’t. I really don’t remember anything about that.

“We just had a conversation that I really don’t know what happened, because we haven’t really bantered back and forth until now, so it’s like why is that happening now.

“Besides that, I’m just here to play golf and focus on that. If we want to keep bantering back and forth, obviously being respectful and keeping lines where they aren’t getting crossed, yeah, I think it’s fun and a good environment for people in golf.”

DeChambeau defended his demeanour in the ongoing saga by citing his upbringing when asked if Koepka’s comments ‘hurt’ him.

“Well, I think it makes it emotionally a little more difficult to, I would say, resolve that because in my heart of hearts, I really think I’m a great person and a really good person to be around, a kind person to be around,” said DeChambeau.

“It’s sometimes difficult, but at the end of the day you can just keep doing what you’re doing, and I think that’s why for me I’ve done a lot on social media, done a lot of YouTube series to showcase myself in a different light because I want people to see that side.

“I think there’s a lot of greatness to that and also humbleness to that, as well, and showcasing that I am human and I did start pretty much from nothing.

“My parents were nice enough to give their whole lives to help me play golf. Played at a public golf course and country club every once in a while when I got the chance, but it was a humble beginning. I hope people can realise if you work hard enough, you can be successful in life. That’s really my goal. And yes, at times it can be difficult, but at the same point in time, I’ve just got to keep pressing forward.”

And there was one journalist who thought he’d score a point against DeChambeau but DeChambeau wasn’t about to be taken down when asked why he doesn’t call ‘FORE’ whenever a shot is headed towards spectators.

“I do shout fore,” DeChambeau declared, despite evidence to the contrary. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. There are plenty of people on the tee box that do shout fore. You’re bringing up a very controversial thing, which is unfortunate, but 99 percent of the time I do, and unfortunately people think I don’t. But that’s okay, they can say whatever they want.”

Given that answer, DeChambeau is certainly not about to let Koepka get the better of him.

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