Bryson DeChambeau has dominated the PGA Tour in 2018.
The 26-year-old has seven victories on the PGA Tour, including the last two majors — the 2018 Masters and the PGA Championship in August. DeChambeau is up to a 7-under par 202 total, nine shots ahead of second-place Matt Kuchar, with nine holes left at Augusta National.
But not everyone knows how to appreciate the young star. In a viral campaign earlier this year, netizens created the “IHateBryson DeChambeau” website and began tweeting memes, GIFs and even full-blown songs attacking the golf star for his repeated complaints and what they thought was lack of team spirit.
Before the 2018 Masters, there were times when DeChambeau would publicly talk negatively about other players in the field — things that get personal between opponents, but would likely not attract attention if it were not for the association with DeChambeau’s golf skill.
While DeChambeau certainly doesn’t rank among the greatest players ever, he didn’t have to be one to succeed in his third major. But that does not mean the hype surrounding his play this year does not dwarf what he accomplished in 2017.
DeChambeau was unsure when he was selected to be in the top four at Augusta National in 2015. He was also reluctant to include a third major victory as a goal.
“I always thought it was a great accomplishment to win a major,” DeChambeau said in August. “But it was never going to be at the expense of a birdie chance.”
After DeChambeau finished a strong day of golf, spectators who watched the conclusion told him he had a chance to win his third major in front of him. But they didn’t have an idea DeChambeau had that expectation inside his head.
“I had a whole bunch of confidence in the locker room,” DeChambeau said. “When I walked out in front of them, I had such a high-end expectation of what I could do. No way did I think I was going to win. I think the odds were 100/1, but I didn’t think about it. I just walked out there.”
DeChambeau beat reigning Masters champion Sergio Garcia by one shot to win the 2016 FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis, Tennessee. He has also won the Valspar Championship in March and the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February.
But before he won at the age of 22, which rank among the youngest major-championship winners of all time, DeChambeau was not even considering a career on the PGA Tour. The young star was a star on the PGA Tour developmental Web.com Tour, playing about 55 events in 2015, and took a shot at professional golf in 2012. DeChambeau appeared to be living his dream, going from playing at home school Lipscomb University to winning on the Tour, but he turned professional that December.
DeChambeau is not backing down from his bold predictions. He told reporters at the Masters earlier this week that he would add to his PGA Tour victories.
“When I’m on top, I’m going to try to do the best I can to get higher,” DeChambeau said. “And now that I’m where I am now, I’m not going to try to do anything different to do something different.
“I feel that I’m capable of better things. I’ll definitely work on my game to get better. I’m not trying to try to trade off wins for other things. I think I’m capable of doing that, but there’s a different standard I hold myself to now. I want the PGA to say, ‘What he’s done is the most amazing in the history of the PGA.’ It’s not about anything other than that.”
As for the recent internet meme campaign, DeChambeau had this to say.
“I like all the memes,” DeChambeau said with a smile. “That’s always funny.”
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