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A day after Bryson DeChambeau ignited a controversy by saying that his driver “sucks,” the 2020 U.S. Open champion shot an even-par 70 and made the cut on the number at the 2021 British Open at Royal St. George’s.
After hitting four of 14 fairways in the first round, DeChambeau criticized his equipment and said, “If I can hit it down the middle of the fairway, that’s great, but with the driver right now, the driver sucks. It’s not a good face for me, and we’re still trying to figure out how to make it good on the mis-hits. I’m living on the razor’s edge, like I’ve told people for a long time.”
DeChambeau’s driver is made by Cobra, and the company’s tour operations manager, Ben Schomin, who caddied for DeChambeau two weeks ago at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, said, “Everybody is bending over backwards. We’ve got multiple guys in R&D who are CAD’ing (computer-aided design) this and CAD-ing that, trying to get this and that into the pipeline faster. (Bryson) knows it. It’s just really, really painful when he says something that stupid.”
After Friday afternoon’s round, DeChambeau declined a formal press conference but did speak to a small group of writers and reporters, including The Guardian’s Ewen Murrey who reported DeChambeau apologized again for his remarks.
“I made a mistake and as time goes on I’ll look back on this as a growing moment for me personally,” DeChambeau said. “Hopefully I can make the right things go on from here on out. I didn’t mean it, it was in a heated situation and I feel really bad about it.”
DeChambeau went on to again explain that he let his frustration get the better of him.
“It’s one of those things in the moment. We have been working for a long time, for four years, on the driver and still haven’t had the exact one that has it work for me at 195 mph ball speed. We are still working on it and I know we will get there, it’s just going to take some time. Yesterday I wasn’t driving it particularly well and it got the best of me unfortunately.”
DeChambeau said that the incident was definitely a distraction for him after his round on Thursday and on Friday. Combined with his ongoing feud with Brooks Koepka, who shot 66 on Friday and afterward made of point of saying, “I love my driver,” DeChambeau has been in the spotlight recently for awkward reasons. It is not something he relishes.
“There are three or four things going on right now that everybody latches on to and says out there on the golf course and it is what it is. I am 27, I am human, I make mistakes. Yesterday was one of those. I continue to keep making mistakes unfortunately.”
DeChambeau will be in the second group to go out Saturday morning for Round 3 and will play with Talor Gooch. They will start the day 12 shots behind the tournament leader Louis Oosthuizen.