Maybe for the first time in a while, Bryson DeChambeau is at pains to stress this week is “not about me, it’s about winning points for the team and winning the Ryder Cup back.”
DeChambeau had not spoken to the wider media for more than a month after he got criticised for comments about Covid vaccinations prior to the FedEx Cup play-offs. But as a good team man, he fronted up at Whistling Straits.
‘This is about a team event’
— Ryder Cup USA (@RyderCupUSA) September 20, 2021
“I’m not going to make this about me again,” he stressed. “This is about a team event. I’ve got a brass chest, I’ve taken a lot of heat. But I’m okay with it. I understand I’m in the place where I’m at. It’s going to be that way moving forward.
“At the end of the day it’s not about changing anybody’s perception. All I’m going to do is my absolute best to show people who I truly am, and whatever people think about me is not important.
“It’s about the team this week. It’s about riling us all up and getting that Ryder Cup back here on US soil.”
He can at least – one would expect – avoid the recent heckling issue this week. He says he and rival Brooks Koepka have reached an understanding which will “result in something fun moving forward, although I won’t speak on that.”
“You know, again, a lot of this social media stuff has definitely been driven by a lot of external factors, not necessarily us two,” he said. “We some great conversations at the Tour Championship week when we had dinner, and then this week, as well.
“I sat down and had dinner with him last night, and it was fine.”
‘I could utilize my length on this golf course’
— Ryder Cup (@rydercup) September 20, 2021
The story that he’d got blisters preparing for a Long Driving Championship to be staged next week was an old one, he said, and he was “full force focus” into this event.
“I could utilize my length on this golf course to potential advantage,” he said. “I would say hopefully I can get out on the golf course 200 miles an hour ball speed with a 45-inch driver. That would be really nice.
“There’s going to be certain holes it’s a huge advantage on: 10, 6, 5, 1, 2. There’s a whole list of holes where it’s going to be a huge advantage if I’m hitting it in the fairway.”
There are times in matchplay he feels he might “let rip” completely when the penalty will only be loss of a hole.
“There’s certainly opportunities where that potentially could happen. In that match with Phil (Mickelson), Tom Brady, Aaron (Rodgers) and I, I got to like 204 ball speed on that.
“It’s a little colder here, but hopefully I can get over 200 miles an hour.”
‘I can adapt to anything if I have to’
Six rookies – unlimited #RyderCup potential.
We ready. #GoUSA
— Ryder Cup USA (@RyderCupUSA) September 21, 2021
Despite the feeling he won’t play foursomes, DeChambeau feels he can contribute in whatever he’s asked to.
“I feel like I’m a player that can adapt to anything if I have to,” he said. “There are certain players on our team that can mesh really, really well with my game.
“I’ve no issue playing either format. Fourball has its benefits to my style of play. Alternate-shot with the right person, can be pretty deadly.”