Golf Hulk is no more! Bryson DeChambeau, hailed for the last few years as golf's beefy basher, is showing up at LIV events looking flat-out skinny. The change is shocking for a guy who spent the better part of three years trying to pound golf balls into orbit.
If you haven't seen a LIV Golf event this year — and the ratings suggest you haven't — check out what DeChambeau looks like these days:
That's quite the change from 2020, when DeChambeau won the U.S. Open with a frame that looked like he could tear a car door off its hinges:
DeChambeau added 20 pounds in the months before the pandemic, then spent the initial months of lockdown swelling to superhero size. He made headlines that year, and in the months afterward, for all kinds of bizarre reasons, from claiming to drink seven protein shakes a day to announcing his desire to live to 130 or 140. He feuded with everyone from rules officials to Brooks Koepka, becoming one of golf's much-needed love-him-or-hate-him characters.
All his mad-scientist tinkering resulted in triumph: DeChambeau captured the 2020 U.S. Open at Winged Foot with a magnificent performance, finishing at 6-under when no other player even broke par. He appeared on his way to backing up all his big talk ... and then he ran headlong into Augusta National, and nothing was ever quite the same again.
Heading into the 2020 Masters, DeChambeau claimed that he would be able to cut Augusta National down to a par 67 ... and then he couldn't back up his big words, finishing T34 and well off the pace. Save for a T8 at last year's Open Championship, he's been largely invisible since then, finishing no higher than 26th at any major.
There were still moments, though, like his iconic blast over water at the 2021 Arnold Palmer Invitational, that reminded fans of just how much fun DeChambeau could be at his very best. That drive resulted in what was, until now, the iconic DeChambeau pose:
Last June, DeChambeau announced he'd be joining the group of golf notables headed to LIV. He briefly joined in a lawsuit against the PGA Tour, but has since removed himself from that action. LIV's lack of distribution has effectively muted DeChambeau's brand, turning one of golf's signature characters into a (very wealthy) name on a leaderboard.
He also conceded recently that gaining 50 pounds might not have been the wisest move. He lost 20 pounds in a month due to dietary changes, and hopes his newly slim form will help him avoid the injuries that hampered his post-Winged Foot career.
DeChambeau may look more fit and trim, but his game isn't exactly keeping pace. At this year's 48-man, no-cut LIV events, he's finished in ties for 23, 44, 16, 26 and 19. He missed the cut at this year's Masters, but is eligible to play in the rest of 2023's majors thanks to that U.S. Open win. If he can recapture some of his old performance and swagger, he'd have an audience ready to cheer him at any size.