Bryson DeChambeau has been the talk of the PGA Tour since it returned from a COVID break. He’s bulked up and turned into a monster off the tee and is overpowering courses left and right. He’s become a weekly top-10 lock and must-watch television.
On Saturday, during the third round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic, DeChambeau berated a cameraman for … doing his job.
DeChambeau got off to a slow start and found himself in a greenside bunker on the seventh hole. Per Golf Channel, after his shot, he “fired his club angrily into the sand” and walked away with a bogey.
The five-time PGA Tour winner then walked over towards a cameraman, who followed his every move from the bunker to the green and let him have it.
Bryson running a little hot. Caught up with him on 7 where he took a Sergio slash at the sand after splashing out of a greenside bunker, muttered an expletive after missing the par save and spent 60 seconds in a…testy discussion with a cameraman on his way to 8 tee. pic.twitter.com/ENjQt1U689
— Will Gray (@WillGrayGC) July 4, 2020
After his round, DeChambeau had this to say about the incident:
“He was literally watching me the whole entire way up after getting out of the bunker, walking up next to the green. And I just was like, ‘Sir, what is the need to watch me that long?’ I mean, 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, 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, but if somebody else is in the spotlight they wouldn’t want that either. 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.
“We don’t mean anything by it, we just care a lot about the game. For that to damage our brand like that, that’s not cool in the way we act because if you actually meet me in person, I’m not too bad of a dude, I don’t think.”
Sorry Bryson, but it doesn’t work that way. If you want to play a game for millions of dollars in front of millions of people on national television every week then you need to understand that everything you do, say, or react to can be filmed for the rest of us to react to.
Had DeChambeau not lost his cool, and moved on quickly, the cameraman, who is paid to film professional golfers on the course and get their reactions, would likely have moved on as well. Fans want to see real reactions from golfers on the PGA Tour. No one wants to watch a bunch of robots who are always happy and positive. Those outbursts make watching pros on the PGA Tour more relatable to the rest of us.
No, DeChambeau doesn’t need to change, but he does need to understand that he is in control of his own “brand.” How he reacts to situations will determine whether his brand is seen in a positive or negative light.
The 26-year-old still managed to fire off a five-under 67 putting him into a tie for second entering the final round.