Until golf’s Olympic return, Bryson DeChambeau didn’t dare dream it – the Durango Herald



Bryson DeChambeau waves after putting on the ninth green in the US Open Golf Championship Final Sunday, June 20, 2021, at the Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego. (AP Photo / Jae C. Hong)

Jae C. Hong

Bryson DeChambeau grew up watching the Olympics and wishing he could one day participate.

As a golfer, he knew that was a bit of a stretch.

Although the sport was part of the Olympic program at the start of the 20th century, it was abandoned from 1904 until its return to Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

“I never thought – until 2016, of course – that I thought I was going to compete in the Olympics,” he said this week after setting the stage for the Tokyo Games. “I never would have thought that. Playing as well as I’ve been doing for the past few years has given me that opportunity. “

DeChambeau, 27, was a year away from his amateur days in 2016, and did not come close to winning one of the four American places in the Olympic field. Now the sixth golfer in the world, he is one of four Americans selected for the field of 60 players who will play at the Kasumigaseki Country Club outside Tokyo from July 30 to August 30. 8.

Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa and Xander Sc Chaudele will also represent the United States; World No.2 Dustin Johnson has stepped down.

DeChambeau said he remembered enjoying Olympic table tennis as a child and seeing Michael Phelps dominate swimming in Athens and Beijing. Above all, he hoped to one day be able to enter an Olympic stadium during the opening ceremony.

“When I missed it in Rio in 2016, I was like ‘Dude, that’s one of my goals that I want to tick off the list. ′ I want to be an Olympian for the US team,” he said. -he declares. “And I’m very lucky to say I’m an Olympian now.”

DeChambeau said Rickie Fowler, who played in Rio, said it was “the coolest experience ever.”

Not that he needed to be convinced.

“For now, I’m definitely going,” he said, acknowledging that the games have already been postponed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and that Japan remains partially on hold. “If something crazy were to happen, obviously we wouldn’t all be going.”

2020 US Open champion DeChambeau led this year’s tournament with nine holes left before imploding on the final nine at Torrey Pines. He did back-to-back bogeys on # 11 and 12, then took a triple on the 13th hole and a quadruple bogey on the 17th.

He finished the final round with a score of 6 of 77, nine strokes behind winner John Rahm.

This week brings him to TPC River Highlands outside of Hartford, Connecticut, for the Voyageurs Championship. Five of the world’s top 10 players are on the pitch, including Johnson, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

DeChambeau has played in the tournament five times, never missed the cup and finished in the top 10 for the past three years.

“It fits my game pretty well. Hopefully I can fix the driver a bit more – still struggling with this. Misses are a little too wild. And that’s what I’m looking to change for this week, ”he said. “If I can do it, I think I have a good chance of wrestling.”

DeChambeau also said he was looking forward to getting back in front of the fans after playing last year’s tournament on an empty course. If that brings out the rowdies trying to stir up her feud with Koepka, that’s fine, too.

“It’s something that came from my back,” he said. “People think that bothers me. This is not the case. At all. It’s, like, just an afterthought for me. I hear it and it doesn’t even register in my head anymore. So people can keep saying it if they want to. I have no problem with that. Funny, if anything.

And good for golf?

“There are good aspects to it,” he said. “Now when you start saying it on someone’s golf swing, it’s different. But, you know, walking the fairway, whatever? No harm, no fault.

Bryson DeChambeau plays a shot from a bunker on the 13th hole during the US Open Golf Championship final, Sunday, June 20, 2021, at the Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego. (AP Photo / Marcio José Sanchez)

Marcio José Sanchez

Bryson DeChambeau is quick to see his shot after hitting 11th fairway rough in the final round of the US Open Golf Championship, Sunday, June 20, 2021, at the Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego. (AP Photo / Marcio José Sanchez)

Marcio José Sanchez


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