Bryson DeChambeau came up just short in what was arguably the best golf tournament of the year on Sunday, losing to Patrick Cantlay in a 6-hole playoff at the BMW Championship. Since DeChambeau is one of the most polarizing figures in golf history, the reactions to his shortcoming were quite mixed. Apparently, DeChambeau felt one of his detractors could not be ignored.
ESPN’s Kevin Van Valkenburg described an extremely tense exchange DeChambeau had with a member of the gallery as he was walking off the course at Caves Valley Golf Club. The fan reportedly yelled, “Nice job, Brooksie!” at DeChambeau, who has long been at odds with Brooks Koepka. DeChambeau was in no mood.
Van Valkenburg says DeChambeau “spun around in a fit of rage” and began walking toward the patron.
“You know what? Get the f— out!” DeChambeau shouted.
DeChambeau motioned for a police officer to confront the fan and then continued on his way. He was so furious that Van Valkenburg said it would not have been a surprise if the situation turned extremely ugly. Fortunately, it did not.
DeChambeau tried to handle the brutal defeat gracefully. Just before his confrontation with the fan, he handed a young boy his hat.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 30, 2021
It’s tough to feel sorry for DeChambeau. You can understand why he was on edge after losing a tournament in which he shot 27-under, but he has — whether willingly or not — turned himself into a heel. While he heard people shouting “Brooksie!” all weekend because of the way he and Koepka have trolled each other, that is only part of the story.
DeChambeau, with his surreal swing speed and unique approach to the game, has an arrogance about him. We saw it with some of his club twirls on Sunday that would have rivaled the most aggressive bat flips in MLB history. There was also a tense moment where he scolded Cantlay for moving as Bryson was about to hit a shot (video here). And let’s not forget about how he openly bashed his club manufacturer after struggling at The Open Championship.
The DeChambeau-Koepka rivalry has been good for golf, and DeChambeau has certainly done everything he can to keep it going. You can’t have it both ways.