Bryson & Betting: The U.S. Open Champion’s Favorite Gambling Tales
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images. Pictured: Bryson DeChambeau
In honor of Bryson DeChambeau’s U.S. Open title, we’re bringing back two betting tales from the man himself: 1) How he bet big on himself by undergoing an unprescedented body transformation ahead of the 2019-2020 TOUR season … and 2) His favorite betting story from his teenage years.
How Bryson Bet Big on Himself
Already one of the world’s elite players, DeChambeau decided that in order for his game to improve, his body needed to improve. During the recent offseason, he added nearly 25 pounds of muscle, increasing his swing speed and driving distance with those drastic changes.
“This was a calculated risk. It was a risk to my body, a risk to my wedge game, a risk to my putting – and all of that was going through my head.
“I personally think it’s a game where you have to have an accumulative total. It’s strokes gained, you’re just trying to add to it slowly over time. I think driving is where you can gain the most strokes if you’re able to hit it straight. So for me, my thought process over the offseason was to focus on that aspect and that’s why I wanted to do this. You’re going to see me, hopefully, over the course of time, add up to where I’m beating fields by a lot.
“I think it’s because I’ve got a couple years on Tour still with winning the past few years that I’m OK with taking that risk. If it was my first time out here, I’m not taking that risk. I was lucky enough to win before with what I had. After I did that, I thought, I need to find a way to be more consistent. I went out the next year and won.
“I started to find a driver that worked, wedges that worked, a putter that worked better and I was like, OK, I feel like I’m stable here, so let’s try to improve the swing speed. It was a timed decision. Everything has been a timed decision for me.
“Every swing decision I make, every thought process that goes through my head, that is all a risk. It’s a calculated risk – as calculated as it could be for me and what I’m trying to accomplish out there.
“This was a risk, too. Hey, it may not work, but at least I know that I’ve done well in the past. Now I have to know that I’m tethered to something so I can pull myself out of a rabbit hole.”
Bryson’s Favorite Golf Betting Story: A Very Important Reese’s
When: Around 2007 or 2008
Where: Riverbend GC in Madera, Calif.
During his early teenage years, DeChambeau became very good at the game, very quickly – and he wasn’t shy about letting his buddies know just how well he was playing. His favorite bet only resulted in a post-round candy acquisition, but it’s all about the story, one which proved to him that he could someday play high-level professional golf.
“I was about 14 or 15 years old. I was a good player, obviously, and I had a friend named Blake Berry – he’s going to hate me for telling this story – I told him I was playing really well at the time.
“We were playing from the white tees, we usually played nine holes on Saturday afternoon. I pretty much said to him, ‘Dude, I’m feeling really good.’
“He was probably a 2-handicap. And he goes, ‘Alright, what do you want?’ I said, ‘I’m telling you, four shots.’ And he says, ‘Dude, you’ve got no chance.’
“I said, ‘Really? OK, well how about this: I’ll give you a shot every hole. How about that?’ Against a 2-handicap. And he goes, ‘What?! You’re crazy.’ I said, ‘Just watch.’
“So I birdie the first three holes. He pars each of them and we’re even. I eagle No. 4 and par 5, then birdie 6, birdie 7, birdie 8 and birdie 9 to shoot a 27. I had a 4-iron into the last hole and hit it to a foot. I played the best I possibly could.
He shoots 37, bogeys the last hole and I beat him by one. He had to give me a Reese’s afterward. That was the bet.
“That’s when I knew I could do it. That’s when I knew I could play out here, that I had the you-know-what that it takes to play out here.”