Bryson DeChambeau has established himself as one of the best and perhaps most controversial golfers in the world, but who exactly is the reigning US Open champion?
Early Promise Pointed to Bright Future
Born in California in 1993, DeChambeau showed signs of golfing promise from an early age and he earned a scholarship to the Southern Methodist University in Dallas in 2012 where he majored in physics, thus earning his infamous nickname of ‘The Scientist’.
DeChambeau followed in the footsteps of the likes of Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods during his college years by winning the NCAA individual championship in 2015 and he made his PGA Tour debut as an amateur later that same year, finishing 45th in the FedEx St. Jude Classic.
A major debut then followed at the 2015 US Open, where he only just missed the cut, before he finished as the low amateur at the Masters the following year.
The 27-year-old immediately turned professional after his Masters’ performance and he claimed his full PGA Tour card in 2017, while he also won his first title on the tour that year, beating Patrick Rodgers by one stroke to claim the John Deere Classic.
Finding the Right Formula Key for the Scientist
DeChambeau enjoyed a highly successful 2018 season, winning four PGA Tour titles, but was unable to enter the winners’ circle the following yeard and that led to a change in tactics from a man always aiming to use his science background to gain an edge.
The world number five felt he needed to gain an extra yard, or perhaps 30 to 40, by adding muscle mass and he took that opportunity during the coronavirus pandemic at the start of 2020, returning to the Tour in June looking noticeably stronger.
That was reflected in his driving ability, as he quickly moved to the top of the rankings for distance off the tee, and that was followed by a first PGA Tour title in nearly two years when he triumphed in the Rocket Mortgage Classic in July.
More was to come for the Californian, as he followed up a first top-10 finish in a major at the PGA Championship by winning last month’s US Open by an unprecedented six strokes, with his driving power effectively taking the teeth out of New York’s notoriously tough Winged Foot.
Controversy Never Too Far Away
Of course, DeChambeau’s power approach has not been widely appreciated across the golfing community, with many people feeling he is taking things too far and, perhaps dangerously, is undermining a lot of the skill it takes to reach the top level.
Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick recently said the American was making a ‘mockery’ of the game, while nine-time major winner Gary Player feels the sport’s authorities must look at the equipment to stop players like DeChambeau being able to hit the ball so far.
DeChambeau has always defended his approach and insists it does take skill to hit the ball as far as he does, while his recent performances would suggest he is certainly reaping the rewards of all his hard work, whether that be on the course or in the gym.
With a major under his belt, it will be interesting to see if DeChambeau’s power play will work at Augusta during next month’s Masters, where he is priced at
8/1 to make it back-to-back major titles.
One thing is for sure, if he continues to enjoy the success he has been having, then more players may look to adopt the DeChambeau approach and he could end up becoming almost a pioneer in the way golf is played.
*All odds correct at time of writing