TOP 30 PLAYERS TO WATCH
No. 26: Bryson DeChambeau
December 05, 2017
By Staff, PGATOUR.COM
Bryson DeChambeau wins John Deere Classic for first win on TOUR
By Cameron Morfit, PGATOUR.COM
Word to the wise in 2018: Keep an eye on Bryson DeChambeau, especially at the Masters.
The 2015 U.S. Amateur and NCAA individual champion struggled at the beginning of last season, when he made just three cuts in his first 10 starts and experimented with side-saddle putting. Things began to improve when his father, John, received a long-awaited kidney transplant just before the Valspar Championship in March, and DeChambeau briefly rallied. Then he missed eight straight cuts through the U.S. Open.
Maybe it wasn’t such a great idea to play with the same length shaft in every club. Maybe DeChambeau wasn’t crazy like a fox. Maybe he was just crazy.
But a T26 at the Travelers Championship broke the streak, followed by two top-20s and his emotional win at the John Deere Classic. Told that the late Payne Stewart, who like DeChambeau went to SMU, also got his first TOUR win at the Deere, DeChambeau broke down.
So it hasn’t come easy. But now that his quirky approach has been validated, and his father is healthy, DeChambeau, the so-called “Mad Scientist,” can dedicate his considerable mental energies entirely to his game. He keeps track of his stats, paying special attention to Strokes Gained: Tee to Green, where he says, “I’m used to seeing it at plus 3 or 4.”
As for the Masters, DeChambeau missed it last year but looked very comfortable at Augusta National in 2016, at least through 35 holes. He was 3-under and looking like he might be in the final pairing with leader Jordan Spieth the next day. Alas, DeChambeau hit his drive into a holly bush and made a triple-bogey 7 on the finishing hole. He eventually finished T21.
That was then. This is now. Don’t bet against DeChambeau figuring it out.
2017-18 position: 38
Playoff appearances: 1
TOUR Championship appearances: 0
Best result: 49th (2017)
BY THE NUMBERS
INSIGHTS FROM OUR INSIDERS
PGATOUR.COM’s Insiders offer their expert views on what to expect from Bryson DeChambeau in 2018.
TOUR INSIDER by Ben Everill
When you spend time with this guy, sometimes you don’t know whether he’s pulling your leg or if the avalanche of information he’s feeding you is legitimate. But here’s the thing – he believes every thing he says. And he can make you believe it to. To DeChambeau, golf is melding the worlds of science and art and he’s dedicated to the pursuit of perfection. I was not a believer at first, but I saw first-hand what he could do when he won the John Deere Classic. Now I’m onboard. His approach is clearly not for everyone, but it works for him, and that makes it right.
FANTASY INSIDER by Rob Bolton
He presented more inspiration as a compelling, feel-good story going about it his own way than he does a fantasy investment on a weekly basis. However, he's already taken aim at that narrative with a superb start this fall. The second-year PGA TOUR member knows exactly who he is at just 24 years of age, so gamers need to keep up. With essentially a free season in which to explore even further (because he's fully exempt through 2018-19), the former physics major at SMU could deke everyone and stick with what works. Because it does. This lifts him into position as a dangerous contrarian in DFS.
EQUIPMENT INSIDER by Jonathan Wall
Currently testing Cobra's latest King F8 lineup for 2018. Already has F8+ driver dialed-in. Added a single-length version of Cobra's King utility iron to the top of his King Forged One Length set just before his win at the John Deere Classic. Sik putter has a Matrix U11-PO prototype graphite shaft that, according to DeChambeau, delivers an optimal feel and consistent roll.
STYLE INSIDER by Greg Monteforte
Not many players on the PGA TOUR have a signature look, but DeChambeau’s old-school Hogan cap has made him one of the most recognizable players out there. Not since Payne Stewart has a player rocked this style of lid as effectively as Bryson has. Look for him to continue his juxtaposition of styles as he pairs athletic apparel and footwear with this vintage cap.