“I can take the heat. I’ve taken heat my whole entire life,” declared embattled Bryson DeChambeau in a first public interview since the PGA Tour threatened fans with expulsion for unruly behaviour. The American then likened himself to billionaire businessmen Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.
“It’s because I am a little different. I understand that and I appreciate that. Whether you are Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, there’s always going to be heat. I understand that and respect that,” said DeChambeau.
DeChambeau was speaking with NBC Sports and this after declining PGA Tour requests to speak with the media following last Sunday’s play-off loss to Patrick Cantlay and then also declining a request to speak to media ahead of this week’s season-ending Tour Championship.
All but one player who attended the East Lake media centre in suburban Atlanta was asked their opinion of this latest controversy to embrace DeChambeau, including Rory McIlroy who is chairman of the Players Advisory committee.
McIlroy was sympathetic of DeChambeau and called on golf fans to respect the values of the game whereas Cantlay remarked that DeChambeau is socially media driven and potentially driven by the $10m PGA Player Impact Program.
“It’s another variable that I have to take into account, but guess what? I am going to do my best to treat people the way they want to be treated and absolutely give all my heart on the playing field,” said DeChambeau.
“The crowds are going to say what they are going to say because they have a right to do so. And it’s been going on for months now, everyone has their own tipping points. I’ve done a pretty good job of letting that fuel me in a positive way.”
Of course, it all kicked-off when Brooks Koepka took on-air objection to something that DeChambeau may have said when walking behind Koepka who was being interviewed on day two of this year’s PGA Championship. The duo just recently agreed to bury the hatchet.
“I really don’t have an issue with him,” DeChambeau said in his NBC interview.
“Personally, I am 100-percent willing to do that and move on. I think highly of him (Koepka). He’s done a lot for the sport. He’s an interesting character who can be an amazing asset to the team. I can be an amazing asset to our Ryder Cup team and if we all focus on being the best we can possibly be we will win.”