Sport Bryson Vs. Everybody: How golf’s strangest character became its best player

04:00  21 september  2020
04:00  21 september  2020 Source:   sports.yahoo.com

How much money each golfer won at the U.S. Open at Winged Foot

  How much money each golfer won at the U.S. Open at Winged Foot Bulked-up mad scientist Bryson DeChambeau can now add "major champion" to his list of titles. DeChambeau was the lone player under par at the 120th U.S. Open, running away with his first major title at 6 under par thanks to a final-round 3-under 67 (the lone round under par on Sunday). Matthew Wolff finished second at even, followed by Louis Oosthuizen in third at 2 over, Harris English in fourth at 3 over and Xander Schauffele in fifth at 4 over. The win earned the 27-year-old the $2.25 million top prize, making him the 83rd player in PGA Tour history to break the $20 million mark for on-course earnings.

When it comes to his golf game, Bryson DeChambeau is happy to be an outlier. It ' s still an opportunity to get better each and every single day." The Dallas native dominated the final day of DeChambeau becomes only the second player to win the men' s U. S . Open at Winged Foot with a

Bryson DeChambeau's powerful US Open victory will surely intensify arguments dominating the distance debate which lies at the heart of golf ' s future. The fairways were so narrow and so firm, balls were constantly running into the rough, no matter what tactics any golfer used from the tee box.

He’s got the dudebro look of a California high school quarterback, but the demeanor of a kid who reminds the teacher she forgot to assign homework. He swings with enough force to bring down redwoods, then calculates launch angles and spin rates like he’s tracking a shuttle launch. He’s a swollen-muscled weirdo who might just be the best thing to happen to golf in a decade. And now, Bryson DeChambeau is a U.S. Open champion.

a man wearing a hat: Bryson DeChambeau, of the United States, holds up the winner's trophy after winning US Open. (AP) © Provided by Yahoo! Sports Bryson DeChambeau, of the United States, holds up the winner's trophy after winning US Open. (AP)

In the strangest year golf has ever seen, it’s only fitting that the strangest golfer in the game is now at the sport’s peak — or the apex, as DeChambeau would surely say. What’s even more impressive than Sunday’s victory is just how many opponents DeChambeau had to surpass — both on and off the course — to get to this point.

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A host of players have defended professional golf from its stigma of slow play . Brooks Koepka isn't one of them. Pace of play has increasingly become an issue for the sport' s top circuits, and it “I just don’t understand how it takes a minute and 20 seconds, a minute and 15 to hit a golf ball; it ’ s not that

Everybody ' s Golf , a series that, at 20, is almost as old as the PlayStation on which it debuted, has always offered a sharp antidote to all the stuffy The game opens with a supremely flexible character creator that allows you to role- play as everything from a podgy businesswoman to a foppish toddler to

Sunday’s U.S. Open victory capped off a remarkable four-month stretch for the 27-year-old DeChambeau, but it was also the end point of a journey that saw DeChambeau draw laughter, memes and scoffing from pretty much every corner of the golf world. In a sport of show horses, he’s a jacked-up grizzly bear. But he’s a grizzly bear who just figured out how to win the Kentucky Derby.

A champion in college and as an amateur, he arrived on the PGA Tour sporting a driver cap like the ones favored by Payne Stewart and Ben Hogan. He could say it was a tribute all he wanted, but it still came off as an affectation. Then he sang the praises of uniform-length clubs, and an entire industry built on convincing everyday Joes and Janes they’re one precisely fitted titanium shaft away from greatness laughed at him.

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Another viral video of Bryson DeChambeau’s interminable process illustrates how the social media voices of its audience, and more importantly, its players , will compel the PGA Tour to Twitter mobs are bad but when they’re armed to fix golf ’ s slow play problem, they’re good . The problem will be fixed.

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But here’s the thing: all that goofy strangeness, all his talk of physics and calculus that made golf analysts chuckle and shake their heads … it was all kind of working. He notched a fourth-place finish in his first tournament after turning pro in 2016. He won once in 2017 and four times in 2018.

Still, something eluded DeChambeau: major success. Prior to 2020, he’d never finished better than T25 at any major. He’d missed almost as many cuts (five) as he’d made (seven) as a professional. He was a threat week-to-week, but on the biggest stage, he was a cosplayer in an old-timey hat.

With all due respect to the Rocket Mortgage Classics and Northern Trust Opens of the world, golfers measure themselves by majors won. For a guy like DeChambeau, it was the easiest calculation he’d ever make: himself + majors = immortality.

So DeChambeau went full Dr. Frankenstein, with himself as his patient. He put on 20 pounds of muscle prior to quarantine, then spent lockdown reshaping himself into Golf Hulk. He devoured up to seven protein shakes a day. He lived in the gym. He reshaped his swing from the spikes up, creating a corded explosion that looks like it could dent steel.

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He devised a data-driven approach based on the premise that if you hit the ball real damn far, everything else in the game becomes that much easier. And he was happy to talk at length about his theories and discoveries, no matter how much golf’s elders chuckled at him.

“My goal in playing golf and playing this game is to try and figure it out,” he said Sunday night. “I'm just trying to figure out this very complex, multivariable game, and multidimensional game as well. It's very, very difficult. It's a fun journey for me.”

It wasn’t a smooth ride. Along the way, DeChambeau found himself in scraps with everything from other players to nature itself. A sampler:

Bryson vs. fire ants. At the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational in July, DeChambeau griped that some fire ants were wandering around his ball and he deserved a free drop. A rules official disagreed, and DeChambeau got a double bogey on the hole. The ants, therefore, scored a rare victory on DeChambeau.

Bryson vs. cameras. During the aforementioned Rocket Mortgage Classic, DeChambeau got into a bit of a spat with a cameraman he believed was filming him too closely when he flubbed a shot out of the sand. “As much as we’re out here performing, I think it’s necessary that we have our times of privacy as well when things aren’t going our way,” DeChambeau said, adding that he was worried about “damage to our brand.”

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Notably, DeChambeau did not seem particularly perturbed Sunday by the cameras almost literally in his face as he walked up the 18th at Winged Foot.

Bryson vs. Brooks Koepka’s abs. DeChambeau and Koepka, who missed this year’s U.S. Open due to injury, have sparred before over slow play. But DeChambeau made it personal when he scoffed that Koepka “didn’t have any abs” in his ESPN: The Body shoot. Koepka scoreboarded him, saying he was “two short of a six pack” with a photo of his four major trophies. Weird insult, devastating comeback.

Bryson vs. a fence. At the Memorial, DeChambeau — looking far less composed than he was throughout literally all of the U.S. Open — tried to get a rules official to admit that a ball adjacent to a fence was in bounds. When the official disagreed, DeChambeau went full Let me speak to your manager, complaining about “a garbage ruling like usual.” His caddy later hustled to block a Golf Channel camera from recording DeChambeau up close.

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Again: DeChambeau could not have been more conciliatory and welcoming to a rules official on the 17th hole on Sunday. It’s almost like he realized the damage he could do to his own brand.

Bryson vs. the federal government. This one’s technically from before quarantine, but it’s too good not to share. DeChambeau uses a laser-guided putting aid — of course he does — during practice and has to have his caddy hold up a towel in bright sunlight so he could see the line. He could have just cranked up the laser’s power, he said, “but then it becomes illegal through federal law. Can't do that."

The idea of Bryson DeChambeau packing a laser that’s banned by federal law is just perfect.

Bryson vs. Death. This is the big one. In the course of one of his interviews, which tend sound a whole lot like 2 a.m. dorm BS sessions, DeChambeau allowed that “my goal is to live to 130 or 140. I really think that's possible now with today's technology. I think somebody’s going to do it in the next 30 or 40 years.”

Oh sure, you think he’s joking. But look: DeChambeau has already solved the problem of how to win majors. He carded a 6-under to win the U.S. Open when no one else even finished under par. You really think something like living to 130 is beyond him? Laugh all you want, but don’t be surprised if your great-great-grandchildren are watching DeChambeau tee it up in 2120.

All these little spats masked the fact that DeChambeau was actually delivering on exactly what he’d promised. He pounded the ball an average of 322.1 yards, first on the Tour. He blasted out of the gate notching three straight top-8 finishes before winning the Rocket Mortgage Classic. He played well enough to reach the finale of the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup playoffs in Atlanta.

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And, well … you saw what he did to Winged Foot.

“As difficult as this golf course was presented, I played it beautifully,” he said Sunday evening. “So many times I relied on science, and it worked every single time.”

Heads up, golf. It’s going to be a wild next 100 years.


Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @jaybusbee and contact him with tips and story ideas at jay.busbee@yahoo.com.

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