Boorish Bryson bombs out

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149th Open Championship / Royal St. George's Golf Club
Posted on
July 18, 2021
M. James Ward in
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Boorish Bryson bombs out
(R&A via Getty Images)

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes


Just when you think you've heard / seen the most egregious behavior from Bryson DeChambeau, he goes one step beyond and seriously calls into question whether his mental acuity is on a level equal to his physical prowess in hitting a golf ball prodigious distances.

After Thursday's 1st round at the 149th Open championship at Royal St. George's, DeChambeau was quizzed by media on his inability to hit no more than 4 of 14 fairways.  Instead of answering the question with a reply spotlighting his own deficiency -- Bryson preferred to throw his equipment company -- Cobra Golf -- under the bus. Bryson's rationale for the poor driving -- his driver "sucks."

Most golfers when asked about their poor play will take ownership in some meaningful way simply to put thing in perspective and then go forward. Not Bryson. He doesn't take ownership -- it's always something or someone else.



Coming into this week's Open -- DeChambeau had sacked Tim Tucker his regular caddie two weeks ago before the start of the Rocket Mortgage event on the PGA Tour. To assist him on the caddie front -- Ben Schomin, Cobra Golf's tour operations manager -- took on the assignment. When Schomin was reached via Golfweek regarding the comments DeChambeau had made -- the reaction was not exactly warm and fuzzy.

“Everybody is bending over backwards. We’ve got multiple guys in R&D who are CAD’ing (computer-aided design) this and CAD-ing that, trying to get this and that into the pipeline faster. (Bryson) knows it,” Schomin said. “It’s just really, really painful when he says something that stupid.”

“It’s like an 8-year-old that gets mad at you,” he said. “They might fly off the handle and say, ‘I hate you.’ But then you go. ‘Whoa, no you don’t.’

“We know as adults that they really don’t mean that and I know that if I got him cornered right now and said, ‘What the hell did you say that for,’ he would say that he was mad. He didn’t really mean to say it that harshly. He knows how much everyone bends over backwards for him, but it’s still not cool.”

Keep in mind, Cobra Golf pays the sixth ranked player in the world serious money to promote the equipment he uses for the general masses. When someone of Bryson's stature says the driver "sucks" the time, energy and dollars that Cobra Golf is undertaking to lift its reputation above other equipment companies competing for the same audience is significantly undercut. When most players have issues with the equipment they use -- the remedy will be handled privately - not taped for worldwide dissemination.

Cobra Golf, like others in the equipment category, are hoping those endorsing their products will send a message to consumers to plunk down money to purchase the equipment they produce. DeChambeau's comments are just another example of where the 27-year-old fails to be clear about his own shortcomings and not deflect them onto others as he is wont to do.

Boorish Bryson bombs out
Jordan Spieth and Bryson Dechambeau during Day One. (Warren Little/R&A via Getty Images)

DeChambeau did offer a contrite message via Instagram shortly thereafter.

"The comment I made in my post round interview today (Thursday) was very unprofessional. My frustration and emotions over the way I drove the ball today boiled over. I sucked today, not my equipment. Cobra and I have worked together for over five years and they are some of the hardest working people in (the) golf industry and make an incredible product. Their team is like a family to me, especially Ben Schomin who has been there for every step of the way since I started my career. I deeply regret the words I used earlier. I am relentless in pursuit of improvement and perfection. Part of that causes me to become outwardly frustrated at times. With the new speeds I am obtaining my game is a constant work in progress and so is controlling my emotions."

Now, whether DeChambeau actually crafted the above statement is a matter of debate. Likely Cobra Golf, in tandem with Bryson's agent, fine-tuned a statement covering all the bases. That's not unusual but the higher priority is whether a meaningful learning curve has happened for him.

DeChambeau simply fails to realize the platform he has given the quality accomplishments earned via tournament play. He won the 2020 U.S. Open, has banked over $24 million in earnings, was selected as a Captain's pick for the 2016 USA Ryder Cup team and has won 8 times on the PGA TOUR.

There have been other moments when DeChambeau has sought to lay the blame on others and not take ownership. During the Northern Trust event in 2019 he was called out for his slow play -- something which he vehemently denied although there were instances when timed that were excessive. There have been rules imbroglios where Bryson has sought free relief but was denied in each instance. The hissy fit displayed at The Open was clearly not in alignment with what should be the character of a world class professional golfer. One could never imagine the likes of Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus carrying on in such an ill-conceived manner.



There has also been the running feud with fellow golfer Brooks Koepka which has resulted in various broadsides via social media. Looking to slam Bryson given his latest pratfall, Koepka tweeted that he "loves his driver."

DeChambeau deserves credit for bringing forward analytics to better understand his golf performance and to seek ways to improve it. That's certainly fine. It's also something that ordinary golfers can and should do in seeking ways to improve their own golf games.

When Bryson won earlier this year at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, he thrilled crowds with his bold play and long hits -- most notably at the boomerang par-5 6th hole. Getting people enthused through the sheer distances he can hit a golf ball is one way to spur positive attention on what he's able to do as a golfer.



The issue for Bryson is how to go forward. Does he learn anything from these ongoing situations or is just a waiting game till the next one emerges.

Bryson, take a bit of advice to heart. Better to keep one's mouth shut and have people think you're a fool than opening your mouth and removing all doubt.

As always -- the next installment of the DeChambeau saga might be around the corner.

For Bryson's sake -- let's hope not.

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About M. James Ward

A GWAA and MGWA member, the 66-year-old from the USA has covered golf in all facets since 1980, notably the major championships and other high level events. He has played over 2,000 courses globally and has competed in USGA Championships.

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