The Open: Bryson DeChambeau branded as 'eight-year-old' in astonishing club row
The big-hitting American found himself at the centre of an astonishing row after criticising his equipment following a wayward day off the tee at the Sandwich course as he opened with a one-over-par 71.
DeChamebeau, who only hit four out of 14 fairways, didn’t hold back as he assessed an effort that left him sitting seven shots behind the leader, South African Louis Oosthuizen, in the season’s final major.
Asked if he thought he could still contend and win the event on the Kent coast if he straightened out his tee shots, the 2020 US Open champion said: “If I can hit it down the middle of the fairway, that’s great, but with the driver right now, the driver sucks.
“It’s not a good face for me, and we’re still trying to figure out how to make it good on the mis-hits. I’m living on the razor’s edge, like I’ve told people for a long time.”
The comments provoked a furious response from Cobra, the company he has been with for most of his professional career, which has seen him lead the way in trying to overpower courses with sheer length.
“It’s like an eight-year-old that gets mad at you,” said Ben Schomin, Cobra’s tour operations manager and the man who stepped in to caddie for him in the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit a fortnight ago after he’d parted company with his long-time bagman, Tom Tucker.
“They might fly off the handle and say, ‘I hate you.’ But then you go, ‘whoa, no you don’t’.
DeChambeau is currently using a Cobra Rapspeed driver that has been made specifically for him, having a 46-inch shaft and just five degrees of loft.
“Everybody is bending over backwards,” added Schomin. We’ve got multiple guys in R&D who are CAD’ing (computer-aided design) this and CAD-ing that, trying to get this and that into the pipeline faster. (Bryson) knows it.
“It’s just really, really painful when he says something that stupid. He has never really been happy, ever. Like, it’s very rare where he’s happy.
“Now he’s in a place where he’s swinging a 5-degree driver with 200 mph of ball speed.
“Everybody is looking for a magic bullet. Well, the magic bullet becomes harder and harder to find the faster you swing and the lower your loft gets.”
DeChambeau later apologised for his comments in a lengthy post on social media, saying he was "very unprofessional" and admitted "I sucked today, not my equipment".
He added: "I deeply regret the words I used earlier. I am relentless in pursuit of improvement and perfection. Part of that causes me to become outwardly frustrated at times. ... My game is a constant work in progress and so is controlling my emotions."
A message from the Editor:
Get a year of unlimited access to all of The Scotsman's sport coverage without the need for a full subscription. Expert analysis, exclusive interviews, live blogs, and 70 per cent fewer ads on Scotsman.com - all for less than £1 a week. Subscribe to us today https://www.scotsman.com/subscriptions
Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.