Bryson DeChambeau plays his shot from the ninth tee during the third round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic. (halip_2014_42)
By Tod Leonard
Bryson DeChambeau has been getting more media attention than any other player since the PGA Tour’s return from its coronavirus break. It’s warranted, given how remarkably well he’s played. But life in the spotlight apparently becomes tiresome, too.
En route to a five-under-par 67 on Saturday in the Rocket Mortgage Classic that has him three strokes behind leader Matthew Wolff, DeChambeau got testy with a cameraman after he hit a greenside bunker shot on the sixth hole. The cameraman stayed close to DeChambeau and tracked him coming out of the sand and onto the green to mark his ball. Bryson then lingered to talk to the cameraman after putting out for bogey.
“He was literally watching me the whole entire way up after getting out of the bunker, walking up next to the green,” DeChambeau recounted for reporters afterward. “And I just was like, ‘Sir, what is the need to watch me that long?’ I understand it’s his job to video me, but at the same point, I think we need to start protecting our players out here compared to showing a potential vulnerability and hurting someone’s image. I just don’t think that’s necessarily the right thing to do.
“As much as we’re out here performing,” he continued, “I think it’s necessary that we have our times of privacy as well when things aren’t going our way. I mean, we’re in the spotlight. if somebody else is in the spotlight they wouldn’t want that either. It’s just something about respect I think that’s necessary on that end. So for me, I feel like it’s one of those things that we had a conversation, it was all good after that.”
DeChambeau was asked what he meant by “protecting” the players.
“Look,” he said, “I feel like when you’re videoing someone and you catch Tiger [Woods] at a bad time, you show him accidentally doing something, or someone else, they’re just frustrated because they really care about the game. It could really hurt them if they catch you at a potentially vulnerable time. … For that to damage our brand like that, that’s not cool.
“If you actually meet me in person, I’m not too bad of a dude, I don’t think. So that’s the thing, I hope we can get to the point where everybody understands that we just care a lot about the game, we want to do well, we’re passionate about what we do, and we want everybody to enjoy the entertainment. We don’t want negative stuff coming down.”