Bryson DeChambeau, citing 'damage' to his brand, has heated confrontation with cameraman

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Make no mistake, Bryson DeChambeau has been enjoying the white-hot spotlight over the last month.

A rising superstar on the PGA Tour, he basks in all the questions about his new physique, his to-the-moon drives, his calorie-overload diet. He loves all the attention, and all the camera time he's been getting, particularly in the four weeks since the Tour restarted.

But DeChambeau didn't love the camera time walking off the seventh green at Detroit Golf Club on Saturday.

DeChambeau confirmed he confronted a videographer after completing the hole, because he wasn't pleased that his reaction after he had hit a poor bunker shot was being filmed. After the bunker shot, DeChambeau swiped at the sand in disgust as the camera man, stationed behind the green at No. 7 most of the day Saturday, kept filming.

Bryson DeChambeau lines up a putt on the 11th green.

"He was literally watching me the whole entire way up after getting out of the bunker, walking up next to the green and I just was like, 'Sir, what is the need to watch me that long?'" DeChambeau said. "I mean, I understand that it's his job to video me, but at the same point, I think we need to start protecting our players out here compared to showing a potential vulnerability and hurting someone's image.

"I just don't think that's necessarily the right thing to do. Not that I was going to do anything bad, it's just one of those things that I hope he respects my privacy. As much as we're out here performing, I think it's necessary that we have our times of privacy as well when things aren't going our way.

"We had a conversation, it was all good after that."

DeChambeau was running hot early in his third round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic, after making bogey at No. 6 and then making a par at the relatively easy par 5; par 5s are where he makes his bread, especially since he started routinely hitting 350- and 360-yard drives.

He only had 215 yards into the seventh hole, but found the greenside bunker to the right. 

He blasted out to 20 feet, a poor effort for a PGA Tour professional, especially a player with the standards of DeChambeau, 26, who wears his emotions on his sleeves and often can be heard on microphones griping about shots and talking animatedly with his caddie. He's quite the perfectionist, and it shows in how he approaches the game — right down to the heavy emphasis on science and math.


Television coverage of live sports, meanwhile, isn't a perfect science, but understandably, it revels in the shots of candid moments, sometimes even more than the golfer's shot — sure, a hole-in-one is great, but the reaction is usually better, for instance. And the networks' hunt for compelling snippets is especially important these days, when fans aren't being allowed to most sporting events and have to watch on TV.

DeChambeau went on in his post-round interview Saturday.

"I feel like when you're videoing someone and you catch Tiger (Woods) at a bad time, you show him accidentally doing something, or someone else, they're just frustrated because they really care about the game," he said. "It could really hurt them if they catch you at a potentially vulnerable time. We're not necessarily — we don't mean anything by it, we just care a lot about the game.

"For that to damage our brand like that, that's not cool in the way we act because if you actually meet me in person, I'm not too bad of a dude, I don't think.

"So that's the thing, I hope we can get to the point where everybody understands that we just care a lot about the game, we want to do well, we're passionate about what we do and we want everybody to enjoy the entertainment. We don't want negative stuff coming down."

From there, it was mostly positive for DeChambeau, who righted the ship and carded a second consecutive 5-under 67 to get within three shots of the lead entering Sunday's final round. He's looking for his seventh straight top-10 finish, but mostly wants that first PGA Tour victory since he won four times in 2018.

Twitter: @tonypaul1984