Not all sports have resumed since the COVID-19 pandemic pretty much shut down the entire world of competition for about three months, but the resumption of golf has given an unlikely birth to a new star.
Many casual golf fans, let alone sports fans, probably didn’t know who Bryson DeChambeau was before the pandemic forced the postponement of PGA Tour golf events until June.
But since golf started back up, DeChambeau has been the talk of golf, and arguably, sports -- something that was heightened with DeChambeau winning the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit over the weekend.
So, who is DeChambeau? Why has he generated so much buzz? Could he become the game’s most talked-about star with Tiger Woods not playing as much and aging?
Here are five reasons why DeChambeau just might be golf’s next big thing.
1). He looks like a professional wrestler playing golf.
For those who feel golf is a finesse sport in which it’s detrimental to be bulky and muscular, DeChambeau is out here proving that theory wrong.
During the hiatus, DeChambeau worked out regularly and consumed a heavy-protein diet, which caused him to put on roughly 30 pounds and look like John Cena on the links. DeChambeau eats four eggs, five pieces of bacon, toast and two protein shakes for breakfast, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, two protein shakes, a protein bar and snacks for lunch, and steak, potatoes and two shakes for dinner.
It’s a diet in the range of 3,000-3,500 calories, according to golf.com.
The added muscle has helped him consistently hit jaw-dropping drives off of the tee. During the Rocket Mortgage Classic, DeChambeau hit 19 drives that went 350 yards or further. So much for those who think flexibility is the key to length off the tee.
2). His unusual methods could transform the game.
DeChambeau might be revolutionizing the sport with methods based on math and science.
When he was 16, he memorized a book titled, “The Golfing Machine,” that breaks down the swing into 24 components based on angles, parabolas, hinge points and plane shifts, according to Popular Mechanics.
All his clubs are the same length instead of some being longer than others, and he has added or removed weight to certain clubs based on the relationship between mass and velocity he learned in high school physics, according to Popular Mechanics.
The article said that in 2018, he began using a geometric compass to verify accuracy of course maps, which was then taken away by the United States Golf Association.
DeChambeau told Sport 24 that Albert Einstein and his methods have been an inspiration to him, and he wants to bring general relativity to the game of golf.
“It really is a sport that hasn’t been figured out,” DeChambeau said in the article. “I wanted to kind of do that. I wanted it to be one of my goals in life.”
3). He is controversial.
DeChambeau has ruffled some feathers, so to speak, on the tour with his unconventional methods and brashness. But that bad-boy element has only made him more enticing in the eyes of many.
During Saturday’s third-round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic, he confronted a cameraman who filmed him reacting angrily to a bunker shot.
At past tournaments, DeChambeau has drawn the ire of fans and players for slow play.
In a video last August, DeChambeau fired back at those critics in a profanity-laced video defending himself and his pace of play.
4). He’s already accomplished.
Being unconventional and not caring about other people’s opinions -- well, it wouldn’t mean anything if DeChambeau had poor results. But after turning pro in 2017, he has already become one of the world’s top players.
He has won six times on the PGA Tour in those three years, has made more than $16 million in career earnings and was a member of the 2018 Ryder Cup team. This year, he has finished in the top-10 in seven of the 11 tournaments he’s competed in.
5). He’s young with more to come.
It’s not like DeChambeau is a late bloomer who has suddenly caught fire, but there is a tiny window going forward because of such a late arrival.
Instead, he is just 26 -- and the sky is the limit. The next big priority for DeChambeau is to win his first major title, and his next chance will come in August at the PGA Championship in San Francisco.
A major would only add to his growing legend, but if the last month is any indication, it’s already starting to become as big as his newfound biceps.
What do you think of DeChambeau? Let us know in the comments below.