Bryson DeChambeau, the Liv's metamorphosis

Between the two episodes lies just over a year. The first occurred in May 2021 when Bryson DeChambeau was repeatedly booed at Oak Hill during the PGA Championship.

by Andrea Gussoni
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Bryson DeChambeau, the Liv's metamorphosis
© Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images Sport

Between the two episodes lies just over a year. The first occurred in May 2021 when Bryson DeChambeau was repeatedly booed at Oak Hill during the PGA Championship. The rift between the PGA Tour and LIV reached its peak, and the Californian from Modesto has traded American dollars for Saudi petrodollars.

The second episode happened last Sunday. His photo illustrates this piece. DeChambeau in ecstasy after securing his second US Open. The grandstand surrounding the 18th green at Pinehurst No. 2, host of the 124th edition of the tournament, the 1,000th championship organized by the United States Golf Association (USGA) throughout its history, was ignited.

Bryson DeChambeau, results

"It's been the shot of my life," he says afterward. And it was. His approach on the 18th will remain in the minds of the thousands who watched live and the millions who watched on television. Fans visiting Pinehurst from now on will try to recreate it.

And his putt for par, and his joyfully unrestrained celebration. Memories of the late Payne Stewart a quarter-century ago. Two US Open victories now, the first at Winged Foot four years ago. Another at the US Amateur in 2015 at Olympia Fields.

Anyone can literally win one, such is the randomly beautiful nature of this tournament. Two or more narrows it down to surnames remembered by all. Jones, Hogan, Nicklaus, Irwin, Hagen, Sarazen... Bryson DeChambeau will forever be there.

From a golfing perspective, immortal. It's the result of a metamorphosis that leaves a life lesson. Because DeChambeau began to be loved by the general public when he started being himself. He abandoned the bodybuilder pose after some injuries and a bizarre diet that revealed several food intolerances.

He adopted an equally methodical and eccentric approach (currently playing with clubs made from 3D printing) that earned him the nickname 'scientist golfer,' but more complete. Distance ceased to be his mantra, or at least the only one.

He won this US Open with putting and wedges, sinking everything he needed from two meters down and stopping balls on greens as slippery as glass. But above all, he embraced the people. And the people, who mocked him in that childish spat he had with Brooks Koepka for a few months, embraced him back.

His YouTube channel, covering aspects of the game and life itself, is a success. His interactions with fans go viral. One day he scolds an adult for intercepting a signed ball meant for a kid, another he asks not to be booed for not using the driver off the tee...

After winning his second consecutive US Open followed by a throng that raises dust from the Pinehurst pine needles as they pass, touching his cap with every cheer, with every "Let's go, Bryson!" he spends an hour signing autographs.

"They just make comments that make me want to interact with them," he explains. It's a circus that doesn't seem contrived. It comes naturally because he has abandoned the need to be liked, something that paradoxically often makes people like him.

He's back, in a more refined version, even more presentable for the show. And now that golf is enjoying peaceful times, his victory has no flaws except for Rory McIlroy's dismay.

Bryson Dechambeau Pga
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