bryson dechambeau

Bryson DeChambeau is changing his image as he wins his 2nd U.S. Open title – John Cardullo

by John Cardullo, sportswriter – Photo: Jon Ferrey/LIV Golf)

Since turning professional in 2016, PGA golfer Bryson DeChambeau always marched to the beat of his own drummer. The SMU graduate, in Physics, was known for several things on the golf course and most of them were not good for a high-profile professional golfer. Most of his peers on tour could understand his single-minded obsession to succeed; they could also understand his drive to get stronger and take on an aggressive conditioning program, this isn’t uncommon in today’s professional golf, names such as Brook Kepka and John Rham and even Tiger Woods have made hitting the weights a part of their conditioning program. What rubbed his fellow golfers the wrong way was his slow pace of play on the course, and his all-business nature both on and off the links, that brought him very few friends on the tour. But it was the way he interacted, or not interacted, with the fans that was a major concern to the public relations department of the PGA.

DeChambeau grew up as a single child to Jon and Jan DeChambeau in Modesto, CA. Excelling at several sports growing up, he found that golf was the sport for him. He liked the fact that it is an individual sport, his methodical nature and analytical mind worked best as he navigated the perils of 18 holes. When it was time to choose the college that he wanted to attend, he selected SMU because he liked the golf program, but also that’s where his professional golf hero went to play his college golf.

Payne Stewart who won the US Open and was the driving force of the 1996 Ryder Cup team that upset the Europeans at the Brookline Country Club in Massachusetts. That one event made golf cool to play. Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson became household names, but it was Stewart who became the face of the PGA. The sport was lacking an identity since the aging of the great Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus stepped aside, Stewart was ready to take the torch. In a tragic turn of events, Stewart died in a plane crash a short time later. 

PGA days

DeChambeau’s road to the PGA was one that pretty much every professional had taken. Build up an impressive amateur resume and turn pro. And, in 2016, DeChambeau turned pro. Since then, he played in 147 events, winning 9 of them, coming in second place in 6 more and in third place in 3. Known on the PGA tour as “The Mad Scientist” for continuously changing his swing, tinkering with his clubs, and stance, footwork and his routine. He is the only golfer on tour who has all his club shafts at 37 ½” while most shafts go from longer on drivers and woods, to progressively shorter as they get to the putter. He also names each club in his bag. DeChambeau also played with what is know as a “Ben Hogan” style cap, the same style Stewart wore when he played, however Stewart wore golf styled “knickers” that were made popular in the very early days of golf, DeChambeau passed on the knickers.

So focused was DeChambeau on his game, he rarely engaged in any type of conversation with other golfers in his group when they were paired up. This labeled him as aloof, snobby and unsociable. He had only a handful of friends on the tour over the years. Even when he made the President’s Cup team in 2019, or both the 2018 and 2020 Ryder Cup teams. Although he played well in his matches, he was neither a team nor a crowd favorite. Even when he won the 2020 U.S. Open, that was played in the middle of the Covid pandemic, the only spectators allowed at the event were the volunteers that worked the event. DeChambeau didn’t seem to notice or care, the loner achieved this milestone alone. Even his parents couldn’t attend because of the pandemic, but they were televised in so they can share this moment with their son. A short time later, his father, Jon, passed.


In 2022 DeChambeau left the PGA to sign a $125 million guaranteed contract with the upstart and rival LIV golf tour. He was suspended by the PGA when it was discovered they were recruiting PGA members to jump to the LIV. Although he committed to an aggressive LIV tour schedule, he was allowed to play in the PGA tour events that he had already received exemptions and invitations to compete in. The Masters, the British Open, and the US Open were the majors that he was able to play in.

As he teed up on Thursday, June 13th on Pinehurst #2, the same course that his hero, Payne Stewart won, in the US Open many years earlier, there was a change about DeChambeau. He was talking and engaging his fellow golfers, the staff and even the crowd, especially the crowd. Smiling, laughing, taking selfies, and signing autographs, giving high fives to anyone and everyone. People were now cheering for him, his game was spot on, finishing the first two days of competition two strokes behind the leader, then taking the lead only to drop back after the third round.

On the fourth and final day, DeChambeau took the lead and held onto it as several challengers made a run to take the lead away. He hit big shot after big shot and clutch putt after clutch putt. The crowd became louder, DeChambeau encouraged them on with fist pumps, and arm flexes. Here was a man who enjoyed the pressure and the reward of the crowd support. He wasn’t just accepting the cheers; he was embracing the cheers.

After sinking the final putt on the 18th hole, DeChambeau was presented his 2nd US Open trophy and was able to address the crowd. He thanked his team who he credited for supporting him through tough times, especially the loss of his father. Then he thanked the crowd for the support that they have shown him all weekend. He was humbled and sincere, and the transformation of a cold mechanical playing golfer to a warm person was completed right in front of our eyes. We all liked what we seen, and he has become a golfer that we can cheer and support for many years to come.

As a side note, many professional golfers who left the PGA to go and play on the LIV tour were labeled as greedy and money hungry. The fact is that anyone who is given the same opportunity to make twice or three times the amount of money playing the same sport that they have been playing, they are going to jump at that opportunity. This is why the professional free agent market is as active as it is. Players leave teams for greener pastures all the time. Golfers now have that opportunity as well, and in reality, who can blame them?


John Cardullo, sportswriter. John is a lifelong Rhode Islander. His sports experience is extensive, as a player, coach and sponsor of youth and high school sports. He has been the Public Address Announcer for the CCRI Men’s and Women’s Soccer teams. Both the Cranston East and Cranston West football, Cranston East Boys and Girls basketball for 12 years before moving onto the Central, Juanita Sanchez and Mt. Pleasant football teams. Also, Central HS Boys and Girls Basketball, Scituate High School Boys and Girls Basketball, Johnston High School Girls Basketball, Boys Volleyball, Girls Softball, Boys and Girls Soccer teams, and CLCF football.

John has been involved in Men’s softball for 61 years, starting as a batboy for his father’s team in 1964. He moved to the teams scorekeeper then became a player in 1975, and created the men’s team, Players Corner Pub, that went on to win 20 State Championships in their 35 year history. In the 1990’s he published the statewide softball magazine “The Fielders Choice” which was dedicated to all topics related to adult softball. As a feature writer, John and the publication won several media awards. In 2019 he was elected and inducted into the Rhode Island Slow Pitch Softball Hall of Fame which he also helped create. John is a softball umpire in Warwick, Rhode Island.

In his spare time John golfs with his life long friends on a weekly basis in season. After retiring from the printing Industry after a 45-year career, he now writes specialty sports columns for

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