Bryson DeChambeau came close to stepping away from golf, but a Marvel movie star talked him off the ledge

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  • Bryson DeChambeau
    Bryson DeChambeau
    American professional golfer

“There was a point in time, I’m not kidding, where I just felt like I wanted to leave the game,” Bryson DeChambeau told The New York Post during his pro-am round Wednesday before this week’s Hero World Challenge. “I just felt like, ‘I don’t need any of this. Why? Why put myself through all this torture?’ ”

It’s no secret DeChambeau is different than most. He’s built his game around science, has built his swing based on a one-plane, robotic-like motion. Which, to this point, has worked perfectly fine for him. Since putting on significant weight in an effort to add distance, DeChambeau has won the U.S. Open, the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and represented the United States at the Ryder Cup.

That’s a decent year.

But, over that same span, he’s found himself drenched in controversy. His rivalry with Brooks Koepka reached its peak, as DeChambeau was bestowed with a new nickname, ‘Brooksie.’ It got to the point where PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan announced that if you were caught yelling ‘Brooksie’ toward the Winged Foot champion you’d be removed from the event.

At the Open, DeChambeau wasn’t shy about his feelings toward his equipment.

That same equipment he gets paid millions of dollars to use. Not a great look.

After testing positive for COVID-19, DeChambeau was forced to withdraw from the Olympics.

In August, he was asked about not getting vaccinated. “I’m young enough, I’d rather give it [the vaccine] to people who need it,” he said. “I don’t need it. I’m a healthy, young individual that will continue to work on my health.”

“No vaccine shortages have been reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the New York Times reported that about one million doses have gone to waste since the United States began offering it in December.” New York Post

And after the St. Jude Invitational, DeChambeau stopped talking to the media altogether. And props to him, this decision was more than likely the only way to get his foot out of his mouth.

“I got hit pretty hard,” he said. “That’s why I kind of walked away, because people were damaging [my] character. It was all the stuff that was going on in social media,” he told the Post. “I was like, ‘I really don’t need this. I can walk away and be totally fine the rest of my life, be happy and go and hit the long ball and call it a day.’ ”

It’s tough to feel bad DeChambeau. Again, much of this criticism and “damaging of character” were provoked.

But, he decided to put all that behind him.

“I couldn’t let down the people that were around me, the people that truly believed in me,” he said. “So, I said, ‘No Bryson, you can do this for a long time.’ I had great people around me, and things changed for me. I got back to a place where I felt like I could continue.”

Chris Pratt, the Marvel movie star, was one of those people in DeChambeau’s corner.

Chris Pratt hits a ball at the driving range prior to the start of the Celebrity Cup on February 10, 2020 in Pacific Palisades, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)

“Chris Pratt told me, ‘Look, when I’m doing a movie and people are saying the movie’s terrible and I’m not a good actor, that doesn’t define me,’ ” DeChambeau said.

“I respect him, respect his opinion. He’s got a lot of great life advice from things he’s been through — some troubling times.

“He told me when I’m out on the golf course, people are going to define you and relate you to the golf. What really defines you is the person you are outside the game of golf. You’ve got to look at it as an opportunity to show people who you truly are.”

It’ll be interesting to see if DeChambeau is able to fix his relationship with the media, and maybe more importantly, the fans.

It should be noted: He refused to talk with print media on Friday at the Hero World Challenge as the 36-hole leader. Off to a good start.