Bryson DeChambeau has broken his silence on the noise that continues to engulf him as the PGA Tour season reaches its climax.
Speaking to the Golf Channel ahead of this week’s Tour Championship, the world No.7 touched on his feud with Brooks Koepka, how that might impact the US team at the upcoming Ryder Cup, and the issue of fanbehaviour towards him.
DeChambeau has been singled out for special treatment from a portion of golf fans over the summer following an escalation in tensions between he and Koepka at the US PGA Championship in May.
recently as last weekend, the former US Open champion was reportedly
involved in an angry confrontation with a fan who called him “Brooksie”
at the conclusion of the BMW Championship, DeChambeau allegedly telling the spectator to “get the f**k out of here”.
Earlier this week, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said that any fan caught making a similar comment to DeChambeau at future tournaments would face the threat of expulsion, with Rory McIlroy adding that he has sympathy for the former US Open champion over the way he has been treated.
DeChambeau, who continues to shun print media, spoke to the Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis at East Lake to give his version of events as they currently stand.
“I can take heat," said the 28-year-old. “I’ve taken my whole entire life. It’s because I’m a little different and I understand that. I appreciate that, too. No matter what, if you’re a little different – whether it’s Elon Musk, whether it’s Jeff Bezos, whoever it is – there's always going to be heat and I recognise that and I respect that.
“I would say, on my own end, golf was always a game where integrity and honesty was
always super-important and I personally think, as time has gone on,
there’s a bigger issue at hand. It’s not just me. What’s going to happen
with live betting down the road? How can we make sure that every player
has a fair chance to play their bets and have an equal playing field?
“So it’s not about me. Everybody thinks it’s about me right now. I understand that things are going to happen. It’s really about the future of the game and where we want to take this game because I believe in this game so much and I care so much about this game that I don’t want to lose track or lose sight of what this game actually means to the world.”
Asked if the noise around him has become a distraction, he added: “It’s another variable that I have to take account for but, guess what, I’m going to keep trying my best to treat everybody the way they want to be treated and absolutely give my heart out there on the playing field.”
Whilst they have not played together since their quarrel intensified some months ago, DeChambeau and Koepka will be teammates at the Ryder Cup later this month, raising the question of whether or not they would be able to play with one another should the need arise.
According to Bryson, he’d have no problem doing that.
am 100% willing to do that. There’s no issue in regards to that. I
think highly of him. He’s done a lot for the sport. I think he’s a very
interesting character that can be an amazing asset to the team. For me, I
know I can be an amazing asset to the team and if we all can focus on
being the best we possibly can be, we’ll win. We’ll win.
“Everybody thinks I have an issue with him. No. I don’t. I really don’t. At the end of the day, the people saying things in the crowds are going to say what they’re going to say because they have the right to do so. It’s been going on for months now and everybody has their own limits. Everybody has their own tipping points and what not. I think I’ve done a pretty good job of realising that, you know what, I’m going to let that fuel me in a positive way. That’s the way I look at it. That’s the way I want to migrate it and move it into some energy that’s really positive.
“I hope people understand that all these things that have occurred, I’ve never tried to have happen on purpose. This is all about me trying to show people there’s a different way to play the game and you can enjoy reinventing yourself.”
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