It was a dominant individual performance not seen since Tiger Woods at the 2000 U.S. Open.
Bryson DeChambeau won his first major title by not only conquering an elite field and a treacherous course during this weekend’s U.S. Open at Winged Foot, but obliterating both.
DeChambeau was the only player in the field to shoot an under-par score during Sunday’s final round -- and was the only player overall to be under-par for the tournament en route to the title.
Many casual golf fans, let alone sports fans, might not have been familiar with DeChambeau 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.
So, who is DeChambeau? Why has he generated so much buzz? Could he become the game’s most talked-about star with Woods aging and not playing as much?
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 caused by the pandemic, 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 in Detroit earlier this year, 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.
During his win at Winged Foot, he hit just 23 of 56 fairways, the fewest of any champion in U.S. Open history.
But his drives were so long that even when they landed in the rough, he was able to get approaches on the green because all he needed many times was just to run up shots out of the rough with a wedge.
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 the third-round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic in July, 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 became the sixth player ever to win the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Open, has made more than $20 million in career earnings and was a member of the 2018 Ryder Cup team. This year, he has finished in the top-10 in 10 events.
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.
He is just 27 -- and the sky is the limit.
Will his colossal drives and quirky methods play well at Augusta National during The Masters in November? Given his track record so far, the answer likely is yes.
What do you think of DeChambeau? Let us know in the comments below.