DeChambeau defends PGA title, ready for 'weird' Olympics

·3-min read
Bryson DeChambeau will defend his US PGA Rocket Mortgage Classic title starting Thursday at Detroit Golf Club

Bryson DeChambeau defends his title at this week's US PGA Rocket Mortgage Classic, a victory that inspired his 2020 US Open triumph, while looking forward to a "weird" Tokyo Olympics.

Sixth-ranked DeChambeau took his first win after bulking up his body and adopting a distance above all strategy, winning by three strokes last July at Detroit Golf Club before taking his first major crown last September at Winged Foot.

"It gave me the confidence to win the US Open knowing that I can play a game that's not normal or is a little unique and different," DeChambeau said Wednesday.

"Look at the US Open. It was a prime example. Everybody thought I was crazy by saying I'm just going to bomb and gouge it, but it worked out that week."

DeChambeau will defend his Detroit crown starting Thursday after defending his US Open crown two weeks ago at Torrey Pines, settling for a share of 26th with a final-round 77 after leading on the front nine on Sunday.

"Didn't work out at Torrey, but that's OK. Life goes on," DeChambeau said. "It's always fun to be able to defend your title. I came close at the US Open. I'm just looking forward to doing it hopefully this time."

DeChambeau qualified for the US Olympic golf squad for the Tokyo Games. He probably won't have the chance to see any other athletes at the Games, but knows who he would like to meet -- US swimmer Ryan Murphy, the reigning 100m and 200m Olympic men's backstroke champion, and the top table tennis players.

"Ryan Murphy is a swimmer. We've been talking online so he wants to meet up. That would be fun," DeChambeau said. "I would love to meet some of the professional ping pong players. I'm a huge ping pong advocate, I love it.

"But unfortunately things are going to be a little more difficult. So hopefully I can (meet them), some way somehow."

DeChambeau said it wasn't a difficult decision to compete in Tokyo even with the Covid-19 safety protocols and restrictions likely dooming his chance to watch other events and athletes.

"Any time you get to represent your country, you can't miss that opportunity, at least for me," DeChambeau said. "I want to experience it once in a lifetime even if it is going to be weird.

"Just always weird events, weird things just happen to me and situations that I can't explain. I won NCAA Championship and US Amateur the same year, never expected that, how that changed my life. Playing in a world amateur team event, not expecting to make the team but people dropping out.

"There's just weird things happened in my life that I've had to experience and this Olympics is going to be different but for me, I'm OK with it. I love the opportunity to represent my country."

DeChambeau is also ready for tight restrictions at the British Open.

"It's just a part of the life that we live in right now," DeChambeau said. "We're renting a house for sure. We'll just be staying in the house probably. Hopefully there's a ping pong table."

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