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The rise and growth of Bryson DeChambeau

When Bryson DeChambeau made his professional debut in 2016 by tying for fourth at the RBC Heritage, there was already a buzz circulating around him.

At the previous week’s Masters, he tied for 21st and was low amateur — a fine way to cap an amateur career during which a year earlier he had become only the fifth player to win the NCAA individual championship and U.S. Amateur in the same year.

His wearing of a driver — or Hogan — cap, playing with thick-gripped irons of the same length and painstaking analytic approach to each shot added to the former Southern Methodist University physics major’s appeal — or quirkiness.

DeChambeau won his first professional title at the Web.com Tour’s DAP Championship, and by year’s end had climbed from 661st in the Official World Golf Ranking to 120th.

Driving distance: 294.6
Driving accuracy: 55.83
Greens in regulation: 59.50
Putts per round: 28.34
Scoring average: 71.26
* DeChambeau did not meet the minimum number of rounds played required to rank in official Tour stats.

Pictured: Bryson DeChambeau during the final round en route to winning the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links on April 17, 2016.

 (Photo: Golffile | Mark Davison)
Bryson DeChambeau’s first full season on the PGA Tour presented a learning curve. Of his first 22 starts, DeChambeau missed the cut in 14, including eight straight in a two-month stretch leading into the summer.

Then in a four-week span following the U.S. Open, DeChambeau tied for 26th, 17th and 14th before winning the John Deere Classic by a stroke over Patrick Rodgers.

“After winning the 2015 NCAAs and U.S. Amateur in the same year, I was kind of on a high from that and was playing incredible golf,” DeChambeau said at the time of his win. “Went into a bit of a low — a lull as well — trying to understand my golf swing a little bit more and was messing around with some things. “Unfortunately, that took me off track, but I realized quickly what I needed to do to get back on track.”

DeChambeau continued his ascension in the Official World Golf Ranking, cracking the top 100 and finishing 2017 at No. 99.

Driving distance: 299.4 | 45
Driving accuracy: 58.34 | 124
Greens in regulation: 65.48 | 105
Putts per round: 29.16 | 112
Scoring average: 70.72 | 87

Pictured: Bryson DeChambeau on the range before the first round of the WGC Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club on August 3, 2017.

 (Photo: Golffile | Ken Murray)
Throughout the early portion of 2018, Bryson DeChambeau showed signs of settling in on the PGA Tour. From February to early May, he recorded four top-five finishes. A month later, he won the Memorial Tournament for his second Tour victory.

He went on to win the first two stages of the FedEx Cup — the Northern Trust and Dell Technologies Championship — and made his first U.S. Ryder Cup team. He also won the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open to start the early portion of the 2018-2019 season. 

The four-win year vaulted him to No. 5 in the Official World Golf Ranking, but his statistics were starting to tell another story. He finished the season with an average driving distance of 305.7 yards, which ranked 25th on Tour and was already 11 more yards than two years earlier.

Driving distance: 305.7 | 25
Driving accuracy: 62.23 | 92
Greens in regulation: 69.65 | 25
Putts per round: 29.18 | 102
Scoring average: 69.60 | 12

Pictured: Bryson DeChambeau tees off the first hole during the second round of the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club on June 15, 2018.

 (Photo: Golffile | Eoin Clarke)
Though Bryson DeChambeau continued to push his on-course development, the results did not translate into wins.

While his win at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in November 2018 technically counted toward the 2018-19 PGA Tour season, he went winless in the 2019 calendar year. 

There was slippage in a few key statistical categories. He lost 3 yards in average driving distance (302.5), dropped 3 percentage points in greens in regulation (66.20), and his scoring average rose slightly to 69.79.

When the ball dropped on 2019, DeChambeau had fallen to No. 14 in the world, but he was already in the process of a physical makeover.

Driving distance: 302.5 | 34
Driving accuracy: 65.02 | 66
Greens in regulation: 66.20 | 113
Putts per round: 28.51 | 25
Scoring Average: 69.79 | 22

Pictured: Bryson DeChambeau watches his tee shot at the eighth hole during the second round of the Charles Schwab Challenge on May 24, 2019.

 (Photo: Golffile | Ken Murray)
In a nine-month span that began in 2019 and included a three-month PGA Tour layoff due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bryson DeChambeau beefed up his diet and training regimen. In the process, he added about 40 pounds.

DeChambeau channeled that increase into his game — specifically off the tee, where he would add nearly 20 yards of average distance.

The results were telling.

In his three starts before the pandemic, he finished no worse than T-5. When the PGA Tour resumed in June, he tied for third, eighth and sixth. Then he won the Rocket Mortgage Classic and later tied for fourth at the PGA Championship.

In September’s U.S. Open, DeChambeau bullied Winged Foot Golf Club, shooting par or better in each round and winning with a 6-under 274 score. DeChambeau joined Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the only players who added a U.S. Open title to their NCAA and U.S. Amateur wins.

DeChambeau again rose to No. 5 in the world ranking.

Driving distance: 322.1 | 1
Driving accuracy: 57.37 | 140
Greens in regulation: 68.46 | 55
Putts per round: 28.26 | 12
Scoring average: 68.76 | 2

Pictured: Bryson DeChambeau during the PGA Championship's first round at TPC Harding Park on August 6, 2020.

 (Photo: Golffile | Scott Halleran)
After a much-talked-about 2020, Bryson DeChambeau continues to push the envelope. While he appears to have toned his 6-foot-1-inch, 245-pound physique slightly, he presses forward on gaining more ball speed.

DeChambeau, 27, reportedly has a ball speed of 192.8 mph, but his goal is upward of 210 mph. Through his win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, DeChambeau was again leading the PGA Tour in average driving distance, at 323.5.

Driving distance: 323.5 | 1
Driving accuracy: 58.70 | 128
Greens in regulation: 67.09 | 106
Putts per round: 28.62 | 58
Scoring average: 69.27 | 12
* through the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Pictured: Bryson DeChambeau on the third tee during first-round play at the WGC Workday Championship at The Concession Golf Club on February 25, 2021.

 (Photo: Golffile | Scott Halleran)