Bryson DeChambeau has broken his silence on the USGA’s decision to ban his use of a compass to help him read greens.
The quirky American courted curiosity at last month’s Travelers Championship when he was pictured using the device. He later explained it was to help him ‘figure out the true pin locations’.
Initially, the PGA Tour ruled, after consultation with the USGA, that he could continue using it because the Rules of Golf don’t legislate for its use.
However, last week, the USGA announced it was reversing that decision after determining that it was in violation of Rule 14-3a and considered ‘unusual equipment that might assist him in making a stroke or in his play’.
Speaking ahead of this week’s John Deere Classic, where he is the defending champion, DeChambeau described the decision as ‘unfortunate’.
“It's just a reference tool,” he said. “I talked to John Bodenhamer [the USGA’s senior managing director of Championships & Governance] about it quite a bit and we had a great conversation. The USGA has been really responsive. We've had fantastic talks. I'm honestly look forward to working with them on helping make the rules better, more clear.”
DeChambeau added that it was never his intention to ‘skirt by the rules or anything like that’.
“It was just a device I thought had been used for a long time in different fields,” he continued. “It shouldn't be an issue. It's not a distance measuring device. It's just a referencing tool.”
He went on to say that he wouldn’t let the incident deter from his infamously creative approach to the game.
“I'm not trying to push the game in any direction,” he added. “I'm trying to utilise every tool in my brain to be able to reference information and get information in a way that I can utilise it to the best of my ability.”