PETE KOWALSKI: A pleasure to welcome the 2015 U.S. Amateur Champion, Bryson DeChambeau, 7 & 6 winner over Derek Bard here in the final today at Olympia Fields Country Club.
You had a little tougher start probably than you wanted, but you got it back. I guess probably the main thing that we probably saw were the putts. Tell us about the match and what you thought were the key points?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: First of all it's an honor to be in this position. I think that the biggest part I think was that chip, starting off in the round, I got off to a hot start just like I wanted to and like I had been doing all week, and so I was in a familiar and comfortable place.
Unfortunately the rain delay kind of hurt me and lost a couple holes in that stretch. Wasn't prepared as much as I should have been. But then on 8 when I made that chip, I knew that the momentum was now going my way and I could possibly get it done.
Lucky enough that even though I struggled through the middle part of it around the 18th, 19th hole when I hit in the trees, I got it out and made bogey; he got it back down to 1-up.
From then on out, I just said, keep pressing the pedal down, put the pedal to the metal, hit shots close and let's play Bryson golf. That's what I did and I eventually went on to win on the 12th hole.
Q. The putt on 7 to halve that hole, how big was the mentally for you, and do you think you deflated him mentally at that juncture?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Absolutely. That had to hurt him a little bit. Making that 20-footer, he was thinking he's going to win the hole, I'm sure, but knocking that putt in to halve it and go onto win the next few was huge. I could just see it in him, he was kind of deflated and didn't have the same step that he had before.
Even making that putt on the hole previous, a 6-footer down the hill, he made par, it was an incredible par. And making that eight, 9-footer straight down the hill was a tough, touchy one because my missed it, could have gone three or four feet past and I had to make that to tie him. So making that one was big.
And also the to 20-footer on 7 was huge. And shoot, I even made -- the one on 8, that was a huge one, too, 15, 16 feet. I just made everything. I could see it and I was lining up my putts really well and executing my speed control very well, and that's ultimately what did it. All that practice until dark pretty much out here has paid off this week.
Q. Your best putting day ever?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: You know, I don't think it was my best because I still missed a couple putts inside eight feet (ph) but it was right up there, had to be right up there.
Q. Just talk about the feeling after 19. You're in position to win the 18th hole and then at the lunch break, you go through the caddie change and then 19. What happens after 19? Do you get determined? Are you mad at that point? The TV broadcaster was saying you look frustrated at that point. What do you tell yourself? Take us through that time frame.
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I was a little bit frustrated but I was also determined. And I knew that my game was good enough to win this championship; it had been all week. I said to myself, keep pushing the pedal to the metal. It will deflate him a little bit, and eventually I made a few more putts than he did and turned the tide my way and kept pushing down and hitting shots close. That's kind of what changed.
Q. You mentioned playing well all week, and you seem to exude kind of a -- I don't know, a composure and a confidence and so forth. Did you know coming in here that your game was pretty well in order to make the kind of run you did?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah, well, I come into every week thinking that I have a great chance to win. I prepare myself every single week to win. I don't go into a tournament thinking, ah, you know, I don't I got it this week. That's not what I am. I make sure that I'm 100 percent ready to go before I put that tee into the ground.
So coming into that week, I knew I had a great chance. It was just about executing and believing in myself.
Q. How much did that bolster you? And just secondly when you say you're going to "play Bryson golf," in your mind, when everything is going well, what exactly is that?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Well, the belief aspect, I believe, has definitely improved over the course of playing in a couple PGA Tour events, as well as winning nationals. I mean, that had to definitely help.
Coming into this week -- even last week, I was still confident about my game. I knew that I had a couple things to work on. And we got here a little bit early and were still working on the same things. But that belief, it definitely translated from the NCAAs to today.
What was your follow-up question again? I can't remember.
Q. Bryson golf. What is it?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: It's when I'm in a rhythm. Most people think that I'm so technical that I don't have a feel aspect or a rhythm aspect of it, but that's just the opposite. I need to get into my momentum and my rhythm in regards to being technical and analytical, and also being that artist.
Again, like I've told you guys all week, if I can maximize those two aspects of the game being that artist that sees shots and hits shots out of the trees on 1 today -- well, on my 19th hole today, and that's Bryson golf. Being able to do that, yet still perform and hit the stock shots in there.
Q. What did you tell yourself at lunch? How did lunch go down, and how did you regroup?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I told myself I was till 2-up. I told myself, I won one match. I would have won it on the 16th hole, and that was a key factor in me believing that I could win this championship. And going through, I matched up a little bit, hit a bad shot on 18.
But I was a little flustered and frustrated, but I threw that right out the door and I said to myself: You're still 2-up, you have a great chance to win, and let's go get this done. And that's what I did?
Q. What did you hit at 18 there in the morning?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I hit a 5-iron, and it was 177, plus four, and there was wind into us south, west, southwest, and it was into us probably playing ten miles per hour. So ten yards I thought just with that trajectory. And I blocked it and there was more wind coming right-to-left so I didn't get the full effect of keeping it short, and the thing went 195 and into the worst place possible.
Q. Your putting routine, where you hold your club out. What are you doing there?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Well, I'm shooting a gun. I'm aiming. Most people plumb-bob it or whatever and line it up. But I think it's easier for me if I just put it right over the ball, and I'm able to see it go right to the hole -- especially on 3-footers, it's like cheating almost. It goes right exactly to where I want it to be. It's absolutely fantastic and it's helped me.
It's actually something that I learned probably six, seven months ago from a guy named Bobby Schaeffer. He actually helped me see that; that that was a better way to line up a golf ball. And so I've done it ever since. Won nationals with it and won the U.S. Amateur with it.
Q. Epsom salt, tell me about that, what you do --
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I don't want to say too much because I don't want to give out all my secrets, you know (laughing). But Epsom salts, they help me float a golf ball, and I'm actually able to find the center of gravity of a golf ball. Not every golf ball is perfectly manufactured, so there's going to be an air in the machine and the center of gravity will actually be off center.
So normally when you're in a free-flowing or free water environment or whatever, it would slow down on its own, as you spun it in the Epsom salt. And it wouldn't be affected by anything else if the center of gravity was perfectly in the middle of the ball. It just keeps slowing down by friction.
But if the center of gravity is off, there's torque that's created, and what happens is it wobbles and wobbles, and it goes to the heavy side or the off-balance side. And then I find out how much it's off-balance by putting lead tape on it on the top of the ball to see how much mass it takes to flip it over. Ergo, how much -- how many inches or how many millimeters is it off from the center of the ball. And so if it's more than 16 milligrams (sic) out of balance, I won't play the ball.
And normally there's about four -- sorry, golf industry, I'm really messing with you guys right now (laughter). But if it's out of balance more than 16 milligrams, then I don't play that ball. And there's usually four out of every dozen that I won't play. Use it as practice balls actually.
Q. Do you use Titleist?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I use TaylorMade. I've tested every golf ball. TaylorMades are great. Titleist are great. There's a lot of balls that are great. It's just manufacturing error and you can't get around it. So I don't want to that effect me when I'm playing in a championship match or whatever or whenever; a yard, because a yard could mean being in the fairway or in the rough.
Q. I apologize if this has already been asked, but if you've looked at your 19th hole, thrashing the woods, trying to avoid poison ivy and seeing what could have been a 4-up lead dwindle down to 1-up, was there any sense of panic or uncertainty, and how did you kind of take control from that point?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Well, I told myself I had won five matches and I was still 1-up. I said, pedal to the metal. Let's hit every shot close and that's what I did on 2. On 3 I made it hard on him, as well, and on 4 I made a good birdie. 5, also hit it in there, hit a good shot in there. 6, made a great putt. 7, kept the momentum going by making that 20-footer. 8, made that 15-footer to get to six up -- I can't remember, but something like that, and also I made par on 9.
Q. How did you flip that switch?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Well, I told myself I was good enough. Every single shot out there, I was telling myself: I was good enough. Just keep playing your style of golf. Hit fairways, hit greens, and that's really what I did.
I went out there, hit a tee shot in the fairway on 2, after I just snap-hooked it in the trees. I'm sorry about letting go of the club. It just kind of happened, unfortunately. I feel bad for that. I'm glad I didn't hit the trophy, that would have been bad. (Laughter).
But yeah, it is what it is. I was able to gain the momentum back on the next hole.
Q. How about the caddie change, was that a surprise?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Mike did a great job all week. He's been struggling, had blisters on his feet and was really hurting.
After the round, he said, "I don't want to be detriment to you." We talked about it last night. He said, "If I can't do it after 18 holes, I want somebody else there."
I said, "Brooks helped me qualify for the U.S. Open and he's going to be here."
He said, "Perfect. That's the guy."
And so after 18 holes, he said, "Look, I'm a detriment to you right now. I can't keep up with you. I'm struggling to even stay on my own feet right now. It would be better if we changed."
And I said, "I agree with you 100 percent." Got some new, fresh legs in there, and he was positive, encouraging the whole time, and we had a great last 12 holes.
Q. You've won a championship that dates to the 1800s; the golf royalty that's on that trophy and the great names with the great perks that comes with it to start you in the majors; what means the most to you?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Having my name etched on this trophy with the great Bob Jones as well as Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, all those guys, it's incredible. I can't even imagine what I just did. It won't sink in, I'm sure, for the next couple days. But I'm honored.
Q. To sort of extend on that a little bit, yesterday we touched on this a little bit about the little club that you could join of winning the NCAA, the U.S. Amateur in the same year. You said that it would be important to do that. Now that you've done it, what's it like to be one of the five people that has accomplished that?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I'm in golf history. That's pretty incredible. I don't understand it yet. I had a little bit of an understanding of what I just did, but I haven't felt the impact of it yet. There's only five guys that have done that, and now -- is it five now or six? Five, yeah.
So it's pretty incredible. You had Tiger, Jack, Phil and Ryan Moore, right? So I'm the fifth guy. That's an honor to be in that field.
Q. In the past two months, you've reached the pinnacle of the game in college and now at the Amateur level. Do you think that the next year will be a problem for you in terms of motivation and finding new goals?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Absolutely not. Every tournament that I go to, I'll prepare my absolute best to play my best golf. And if my best golf is a Top-10, then so be it. But at least I'll learn from that experience and no matter what it is, and I'll do my best moving forward. I just happened to play the best golf of my life this year and I'm looking forward to playing even better golf moving forward and more consistent golf.
Q. Unfortunately school is starting here in a little bit.
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Tomorrow. (Laughter).
Q. Are you bringing that to class? And two, what are some of the things that you can take away from not only last April, or April and this summer, that you can bring to SMU and the team that will help not only you out, but some of the players around you grow and improve?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I hope they can see that I've worked extremely hard to get where I am today. And that's one thing that I hope motivates them to be a better player on and off the golf course, as well. And I think that coming back to SMU, again, I hope that they will learn from me what I've done and how hard I've worked. That's all I can ask for, and then the rest is history for them. If they want to choose to go practice, that's great. If not, then that's great, as well. It's college; we go there to get degrees and not usually to play sports normally, but now it's becoming more of that route.
So I think I can bring a more educated understanding of how to win, as well. That's another aspect of it. I can tell people what it's like to be under the gun, having to hit a shot and perform. I think that will be helpful going forward for this next year and NCAAs if we make it.
And bring it to class, don't know if that's going to be acceptable. I'm going to keep that baby at home.
Q. Touching off that, probably for a lot of fans around the country, this is the first time they have been exposed to your game and seen the way you've performed. What do you hope they take away from your performance this week?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: There's a bunch of different ways to play the game of golf. You don't need to play it one way. It doesn't need to be one swing that's perfect out there.
The thing that you can benefit most from me, I believe, is be yourself and play golf like you can, not like anybody else.
Q. You came into this week obviously very confident. What did you learn about yourself this week?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Well, I think it's the same story as NCAAs, the belief that I can beat anybody at any time.
And that's it. That's really it. Just more belief in myself that I've got the U.S. Amateur title to my name, the toughest championship to win in the amateur game.
Q. Just looking at the championship last week and the way the guys played there, and the way you've played this week and the fact that you've mentioned pedal to the metal quite a few times, is there a new way of playing golf? Are you younger guys more fearless?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: It's about teams. Jordan Spieth has a team, Jason Day has a team, and I've got a team. I've got a great support system that's unique to each and every individual. They have their own aspect in my life and how they help me perform my best, and I think that's what you'll see more of going down the road is teams, being able to associate yourself with that and maximize the player's potential with the guys that they set around themselves.
Q. Walker Cup Team was completed today. I assume you're up-to-date on the five names: Scott Harvey, Denny McCarthy, Mike McCoy, Jordan Niebrugge and Robby Shelton. What do you make of that and what do you make of your team going to Royal Lytham and St. Annes?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Well, it's going to be a great team. Check which I can I told captain Miller that anybody that they pick, I knew there was three or four guys that had a great shot, but any of those three or four guys would make for a deadly team and it's going to be a lot of fun out there.
Scott Harvey is a great guy. He's done a heck of a job. And Mike McCoy, I think it's his first time. So that's pretty special for him to be able to play on this special team and have this opportunity. So I congratulate him for that. That's incredible.
Jordan Niebrugge, he played awesome, was the Low Amateur over at the British Open, and I kind of expected him to be there and be that pick. And Robby Shelton has played great for the past two years. Didn't see why there was any reason why he shouldn't be picked. And then Denny McCarthy I has also played great. He was on the World Amateur Team last year and shot 63 in the final round, I think it was -- 64, final round. So he knows how to get it done and he's a great team member and a great guy, as well and we are going to have a heck of a team and a heck of a lot of fun.
Q. Have you played much golf overseas or done any of the Scotland, Ireland, England courses?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I played Walton Heath at the Palmer Cup a couple years ago or the year before this at Rich Harvest Farms.
And I've also played in the Sandbelt at Royal Melbourne which is reacts similar to links-style golf. So I get it. I'm familiar with that style of golf. It's going to be a little different. It's going to be a good test, but that's why we are getting over there a week and a half early.
Q. Have you put a great deal of thought into what you were going to wear or anything like that? Tiger wears red; was there anything like that?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I think for the final day, I needed to be something colorful and American and also something representing SMU and luckily enough, America, red, white and blue, as well as SMU, they are both red, white and blue. I thought that was the perfect fit, not only for my school but for my country. And for the first time, an American has won in a while, as well.
Q. After the chip-in on 8, you had a fist-pump there from Greg Norman. Do you get any other attention or reaction from former players, current players, things like that?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: So you asked, what reactions do I get like Greg Norman or anything? He's been awesome. Mr. Norman has been incredible this week. I talked to him for a little bit and he's been nice enough to extend some of his information on playing a little bit of golf. He's just been supportive of me. I've listened to him on the telecast talking about me, and he's been incredibly supportive of me.
Brad Faxon, talked to him a little bit. That was fun. He tried to hit a couple shots. Didn't go so well for him (laughter). But he's great. He's opened a lot of things and I think highly of him, very respected, great golfers. They are awesome people. They were really courteous and kind to me, so thank you for that.
PETE KOWALSKI: Congratulations, Amateur Champion, well played, well deserved.
Interview With 2015 U.S. Amateur Champion Bryson DeChambeau
August 23, 2015 | Olympia Fields, Ill.
PETE KOWALSKI: A pleasure to welcome the 2015 U.S. Amateur Champion, Bryson DeChambeau, 7 & 6 winner over Derek Bard here in the final today at Olympia Fields Country Club.