In admitting he was getting ‘hammered’ in most quarters over recent years, Bryson DeChambeau wants to be at peace with all those involved in golf and to be better recognised for his efforts in helping to grow the game.
DeChambeau was at home in Texas hosting a Zoom conference call in his ‘trophy room’ with the John Deere Classic trophy, his first win on the PGA Tour, over his left shoulder and there down on the right of the American you could spot the top of his US Open trophy beside the golden Ryder Cup trophy.
After managing to get his cat Chester out of the room, it was a near 40-minute call with the World No. 8 with golf reporters on both sides of ‘The Pond’. DeChambeau looked very relaxed, was obliging and clearly comfortable with all the questions. Well, albeit an obvious Saudi International political-related question.
It’s an understatement that DeChambeau’s popular with fans around the world while there are those running the game who are worried what he will do to a particular golf course each week he tees-up. That was no more obvious among the green jacketed members of Augusta National.
And after suggesting everyone was against him last year, DeChambeau heads into season 2022 calling on everyone to realise and better appreciate his good intentions.
“Everything was so heightened with how far ahead — oh, he’s going to win every week. He’s going to do this or that or whatever,” said DeChambeau.
“Sometimes the letdowns were super difficult. Then last year with everything going against me, whether it was the media, the players or whatever it was, it became a lot on a human being. It’s amazing what people can do when they tell you you’re this all the time or that all the time when you know it’s not true personally in the background.
“You’re doing a lot for charity. You’re doing a lot for people around you, your team around you, and continue to provide the best entertainment for the world of golf, and it becomes difficult sometimes.
“But as time goes on, you have to realise what are you doing this for? Why are you doing it? And how can you continue to improve in that quest in inspiring a next generation or inspiring someone to work harder?
“I think that’s really where it changed. Chris Pratt helped me out a bit through a really difficult time for me. He said play this fictional character for a while. I know you’re not happy, you’re in a very, very difficult spot, but just act like you’re acting for a little bit.
“As time went on, it went away, and I became myself again. Because there was a point in time where it wouldn’t have been fun being around me just because of how frustrated and sad and disappointed I was.
“A lot of it was, people could say, brought on to me by myself. I understand that, but, again, the two things, three things I’m trying to accomplish are to inspire and grow the game of golf and be a positive influence for the world.
“Those are the three things I really want to do. Sometimes it’s difficult. Sometimes I fail at it. Sometimes I get mad and frustrated like everyone else does, we’re all human. The biggest part is I hope people realise we’re all human.
“As much as I’m trying to influence the game of golf in a positive way, people are like, ‘no, we don’t like that’ or ‘we don’t want that change, that’s not what is good for the game’. Whatever their thoughts are, I just hope people have a different level of respect no matter what. They don’t try to push anyone away.
“It doesn’t have to be me. Whenever you’re having a conversation with somebody and somebody thinks a little differently, just try to have respect for that person because they’ve gone through years of experience of figuring something out or experiencing something a certain way that maybe you can’t see yet and vice versa on both ends.
“It’s got to be a mutually beneficial and mutually respectful focus to grow the game. I think that’s where things got to, and it’s just very disappointing for me to feel like I was just getting hammered all the time. I was just like, you know what, I don’t really need this anymore.
“This once great game that was giving me so much just turned quite a bit on me. I felt like it’s not worth it anymore. As time has gone on, that has changed. I have grown. I have learned the place that I’m in. Is it still difficult and frustrating sometimes?
“Absolutely, just like anything. But my whole goal is I want to inspire and show off a little bit when I’m able to hit it really far and really straight one day and then chip it and putt it well. That’s my favourite thing to do, and I want to continue to do that. That’s what kept me moving in the right way.”
On the Zoom call was a German-based female reporter who had asked Shane Lowry and Tyrrell Hatton their reaction to a recent article in the Washington Post stating that those golfers heading to Saudi were accepting ‘blood money’ to compete.
It seems that DeChambeau must have been listening-in a day earlier as he repeated Lowry’s comments in answering the same reporter but in far fewer words than the Irishman.
But while Lowry’s reply was close to 200 words, DeChambeau needed just 41 words.
“So not a politician, first off,” said the American.
“There are — I’m a golfer, first and foremost, and I want to play where the best golfers in the world are going to play. And that is the end of the story for me.”
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