Golf-Comfortable in his own skin, DeChambeau reining in expectations

  • Golf
  • Friday, 14 Jan 2022

January 9, 2022; Maui, Hawaii, USA; Bryson DeChambeau acknowledges the crowd after making his putt on the first hole during the final round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions golf tournament at Kapalua Resort - The Plantation Course. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Bryson DeChambeau may be one of the most confident golfers on the PGA Tour but the long-hitting American said on Thursday he has learned to rein in the lofty expectations he often places on his broad shoulders.

DeChambeau's remarkable body transformation and go-for-broke style have brought him great success but his approach has also had its drawbacks, never more so than at the 2020 Masters where his plan to overpower Augusta National backfired.

"Yeah, definitely reined in," DeChambeau, speaking during a virtual news conference ahead of his appearance at the Feb. 3-6 Saudi International, said when asked about expectations.

"There are times when you put so much pressure on yourself. 2020 Masters, that Thanksgiving Masters, I had so much pressure on me, and it was definitely a different feeling that everyone was watching me. That definitely threw me for a loop."

DeChambeau, 28, is coming off a year where he seemed to generate controversy at every turn, whether for his feud with fellow golfer Brooks Koepka, insulting his equipment company, comments on the COVID-19 vaccine or declining to speak to the media.

The world number eight, however, does not want to be a controversial figure but rather someone that people can look up to.

"As time has gone on I've got people around me that have helped me understand who I am at a better level and continue to grow in the way that I want to grow," said DeChambeau.

"Obviously, I've had struggles in the past with different, numerous things that have gone on. But I'm continuing to learn and grow and respond in ways that help the game of golf."

The 2020 U.S. Open champion is still as hungry as ever to add to his eight PGA Tour titles.

"Do I still want to win every week? Do I want to be the best player in the world? Absolutely," said DeChambeau. "But I feel like as time is going on, I'm settling into a figure that I'm very, very comfortable with."

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Ed Osmond)

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