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US Open 2020: Bryson DeChambeau in his first Champion Interview

MODERATOR: We’re pleased to welcome champion of the 120th U.S. Open, Bryson DeChambeau. How does that sound?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Surreal. It sounds amazing, but surreal. It’s been a lot of hard work, and I got to say thanks to my whole team again, all my sponsors as well — Brett, Tim, my caddie works his butt off every single day for me. Connor works his butt off for me every single day. Chris Como works really, really hard for me and helps me think through a lot of amazing things. Even Mike Schy, I still talk to Mike, and we still talk about how to get better. I would be remiss if I didn’t say his name either.

It’s one of those things that doesn’t really hit you — it’s not going to hit me until tonight, but I will say that my parents have given so much up for me. I mean, there were times that I went to school without any lunch money, and we had to make bologna sandwiches and didn’t have anything to eat. We had some very, very difficult times, but every single day, they always wanted the best for me, and they always gave me the opportunity to go golf, go practice, and go get better.

This one’s for my parents. It’s for Mike Schy, it’s for Chris, it’s for my whole team. All the work, all the blood, sweat, and tears we put into it, it just means the world to me.

Q. It’s going to be hard to reflect on right now, but that moment when you putted in on 18 and you put your hands in the air, what was going through your mind?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I did it. I did it. As difficult as this golf course was presented, I played it beautifully. Even through the rough, I was still able to manage my game and hit it to correct sides of the greens, except on 14 today, and kept plugging away. My putting was immaculate today. My speed control, incredible. That’s why we worked so hard on my speed control. You see me out there on the greens with the device trying to control my speed.

It’s just something that allows me and gives me comfort to know that on this green, or these speeds of greens, you know, it’s going to be repeatable. It’s going to be this. It’s going to be that. It’s going to be comfort in knowing how far I can take it back and go through.

So many times I relied on science, and it worked every single time.

Q. Your fans and backers are very passionate in their support of you. What do you have to say to them right now?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I can’t say thank you enough for supporting me and staying with me through thick and thin. There’s always going to be people that say things. There’s always going to be people that do things. But no matter what, my focus and my message to everybody out there is each and every day that you’re living life try and make this day better than the previous day. Let today’s garbage be better than yesterday.

The fans that have always been there, the supporters that have always been there, I can’t thank you enough for everything that you have meant for me. You’ve kept me pushing the needle, moving the needle, and you’re going to keep inspiring me too. So I really thank you for everything. I couldn’t do it without you guys.

Q. Bryson, you said the T4 at the PGA felt like you were moving in the right direction, but with all of the chatter and all of the doubters, what is he doing, does this absolutely put you over the edge in terms of validating what you’ve done?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Absolutely. And I’m not going to stop. Next week I’m going to be trying a 48-inch driver. We’re going to be messing with some head designs and do some amazing with things with Cobra to make it feasible to hit these drives maybe 360, 370, maybe even farther. I don’t know.

Q. Given the way you’ve adopted this approach, do you feel like you’re potentially changing the game, or at least changing the way that people think about playing in the game?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I think I’m definitely changing the way people think about the game. Now, whether you can do it, that’s a whole different situation. There’s a lot of people that are going to be hitting it far. Matthew was hitting it plenty far today. A couple of putts just didn’t go in for him today and kept the momentum on my side. So he’s definitely got the firepower and the strength to do it. You’ve got to be looking out for him in the future.

There’s a lot of young guns that are unbelievable players, and I think the next generation that’s coming up into golf hopefully will see this and go, hey, I can do that too.

Q. Bryson, you very much do things your own way. What kind of mental strength do you take from that?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: It’s a lot of validation through science, just making sure that the numbers are what they are and the result is accurate. So if I had — just an example. If I hit a 40-footer and it says 10.1 miles per hour on the device, I know that I’ve executed it correctly; and if I see the ball go two feet past that 40 foot mark, I know it’s perfect. I know I’ve done everything I can in my brain to make my perception reality.

So it’s all about trying to make my perception of what I feel, what I think, what I — you know, whatever it is, turn into proper reality. It definitely is validating that I’m able to execute time and time again and have it be good enough to win an Open. I don’t know if that answered your question.

Q. There’s so much talk about the driving and the distance and whatnot, but you did shoot the best score today by three, I believe. Do you feel like you’re proving, with a victory in a Major like this, on a golf course like this, even more so that you’re not just a one-dimensional player?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: No, I think I’ve got a lot of creativity. Phil said it to me earlier this week. He said, in 2006, I had the best short game week of my life, and that really stuck out to me for some reason because I just knew that, if I did hit it in the rough, I’m going to have to get it up and down quite a bit.

So I made sure that I needed to practice those shots coming into the week, and I did that beautifully, and I felt super comfortable out of the rough no matter the situation.

I mean, a perfect example was No. 14, uphill lie, just hit it off the top of the face, came out dead and rolled down there to ten feet, and I made it. That was huge. If I don’t make that and he makes his, you know, we’ve got a fight.

So, yeah, I think that answered your question. I don’t know. I’m just kind of rambling a little bit.

Q. It seems like the putting has really been on point.

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yes. Yes, putting has been — sorry. I love it. The putting has gradually improved over the course of my career. I was dead last when I came out on TOUR, and the SIG guys, SIG golf, they helped me understand how a ball needs to roll in order to give me the best chance to hole a putt.

Over the course of these four years, every year I’ve gotten a little bit better. I’ve gotten in the top ten now. I don’t know how much better I can get, but I’m going to keep trying every single week.

Q. Bryson, you used your own approach to the game to get here. Do you think kids watching today are now going to follow in your footsteps and look at this approach and try to replicate that?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: You know, I hope I can inspire some people. My goal in playing golf and playing this game is to try and figure it out. I’m just trying to figure out this very complex, multivariable game, and multidimensional game as well. It’s very, very difficult. It’s a fun journey for me.

I hope that inspires people to say, hey, look, maybe there is a different way to do it. Not everybody has to do it my way. I’m not saying that. I’m just saying in general that there are different ways to do things. If you can find your own way, find your passion — like Arnie said, swing your swing. That’s what I do. That’s what Matthew Wolff does. That’s what Tiger does. That’s what Phil does. That’s what everybody does, and we’re all trying to play the best golf we can.

Hopefully, my way inspires people. This is my seventh win PGA TOUR, first Major, couldn’t be more proud. I hope that it does inspire a few people.

Q. Just for the record, what is your current height and weight?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: 6’1″, 230 to 235, depending on if I’ve eaten steak or not.

Q. Do you want to be bigger when you get to Augusta?


Q. What would you say is your like — what are you shooting for?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I think I can get to 245. It’s going to be a lot of working out. I don’t think it’s possible — it may be, I don’t know. It’s just I’ve gained so much so quickly in a year. They always say, when you work out, you gain your 30 pounds or whatever it is, and then after that, each year, you half it. So you can go 15. If you keep working out every day, you keep halving it. And then eventually there comes a point where you can’t gain much more.

But I still feel like I can get up there if you work hard enough.

Q. What’s your answer to people who say it can’t be healthy for the body?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I am talking to a doctor. I got all my blood sample tests, everything back a couple weeks ago. Everything is fine so far. We’re going to keep monitoring it and making sure I’m as healthy as possible because I do want to live for a long time.

Q. Bryson, what drove you to the range in the cold and dark last night? What were you looking for, and what did you find?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: So my driver was not performing in the way I wanted it to. Thursday, Friday, I felt super comfortable with the driver. Saturday wasn’t comfortable. So I knew I needed to go to the range, figure something out, so I could play for tomorrow and be super comfortable because, if I’m comfortable with the driver, I knew I could play golf and shoot under par on this golf course.

I was able to find something out last night, and then on the 6th hole today, I figured out a little bit more, and that gave me the confidence to play for the rest of the day.

That was essentially — it’s all about the governors for me. I have a limit to kind of what I do with the swing so I don’t overrotate. You can see I missed a lot of shots left this week. My left arm wasn’t holding and being stable enough through impact. It was just rolling over. That’s why I was drawing it and hooking it a little bit.

So I worked on that yesterday, and on the 6th hole I figured out that, even though I was holding it off, my left arm was too bent. So I was still leading to where the face is way open to the target, and then I felt like I had to do that to close the face. So once I straightened that out, got the face back a little more square, I felt like I could hold it off the whole way, and gave me so much comfort for the rest of the round.

Q. I was going to ask you what’s for dinner right now?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Steak and potatoes. We’ve got to keep it going.

Q. Very simple, Bryson. What makes you the happiest right now?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I would say, first off, knowing that the team around me has worked just as hard as I have, if not harder, to get me to where I am today. And knowing that I was able to execute for 72 holes in a Major Championship under the toughest conditions and perform to the highest level.

Q. And that trophy?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah, the trophy, obviously, is really nice that comes with it.

Q. This has got to be some form of validation in your head, you know?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: 100 percent, no doubt. For me, it’s about the journey of can I execute every shot more repeatably than everybody else? I was able to do that this week. That’s why I won by six, yeah.

Q. How do you explain how during a pandemic and what a lot of people are writing off as kind of a lost year, you’ve elevated your game this much?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I felt like it was an opportunity, not a lost year at all. I felt like it was an opportunity to do something great — change my lifestyle, make it healthier, make it better — and I hope it inspires everybody else to do the same. When you have time, when you have that little free moment, don’t squander it. Look at it as an opportunity to make yourself better.

That’s what I think I did this year, and I’m going to keep trying to do that.

Q. When you were a little kid starting out with this whole thing, was the U.S. Open one you wanted to win, or was it something else?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I would say any Major was the ones I — they were all ones that I wanted to win, but I knew that my game would fit best for a U.S. Open. The reason for that is I always felt growing up, in college, I was always a super straight driver of the golf ball, super great iron player. Putting was always iffy, but I knew I could get around it on fast, quick greens. I was always really good on quick greens.

I’ve become a great putter, and my ball striking has improved consistently, and now I’ve got an advantage with this length, and that’s all she wrote.

But, yes, growing up, the U.S. Open is the one I thought I could win the most.

Q. Bryson, I don’t mean to look past this accomplishment after a half hour, but have you thought about how you might game plan for Augusta National?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Well, length is going to be a big advantage there. I know that for a fact. It’s always an advantage pretty much anywhere, but given that fact, I’m going to try and prepare by testing a couple things with the driver. I mean, by that, it’s 48 inches, and I’ll also do something with the face to account for the new speed that I’m going at.

Then I’ve got to get better with my iron play a little bit. I felt like it was great today, but definitely the driver needs to go straighter. That’s really my main focus still.

Q. Bryson, if the USGA had a debriefing meeting tomorrow morning to talk about how this U.S. Open was won at Winged Foot, what do you think they’d talk about?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: He’s hitting it forever. That’s why he won. I mean, it was a tremendous advantage this week. I kept telling everybody it’s an advantage to hit it farther. It’s an advantage. Mark Broadie was talking to Chris Como, and they were both talking about how they just made the fairways too small this week to have it be an advantage for guys hitting the fairway.

So what I mean by that — let’s take an example of you going like a yard wide. Nobody’s got the fairway. Okay, length’s going to win. You make the fairways too wide, length’s going to win. There’s like this balance between widths of fairways and where they want to play it and where they’re going to try to make you play it.

Q. If distance has been such a hot topic over the last two, three years and they’re looking into it now, do you think this will accelerate any desire to rein you guys in?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: It’s tough to rein in athleticism. We’re always going to be trying to get fitter, stronger, more athletic, and Tiger inspired this whole generation to do this, and we’re going to keep going after it. I don’t think it’s going to stop. Will they rein it back? I’m sure. I’m sure something might happen. But I don’t know what it will be. I just know that length is always going to be an advantage.

Q. How much is athleticism and how much is science, technology —

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Well, the COR was locked in back in 2000 or something like that. You could only have it come off the face so much, right? So it’s been that way ever since. The rules haven’t changed. People have just gotten a little longer with their driver. The shafts have become better for sustaining higher swing speeds, and we’re constantly trying to just hit it as hard as we possibly can.

Kyle Berkshire, Justin James, a bunch of those guys, Josh, they all inspired me to try and go harder at it. They are the ones breaking the barriers. I can see what is possible.

So that inspires me to keep pushing the limits. I don’t think that science is that — is as big of a role in the market today. I would say it’s more of athleticism playing probably a bigger role for that for sure.

I was hitting it — on just a normal average TOUR player a year ago, and then I all of a sudden got a lot stronger, worked out every day, been working out every day, and all of a sudden — not because of clubs, but because of me, I was able to gain 20, 25 yards.

MODERATOR: Bryson, our 120th U.S. Open champion, congratulations again.

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Thank you all.

Team Ireland

US Open 2020 – Rory McIlroy: “I’m feeling pretty good that I’ve got a good chance tomorrow.”

Q. Rory, 2-under 68; how are you feeling about your round today?

RORY McILROY: Yeah, really good. Geez, I think anything under par on this golf course today is a really good score. I saw Alex go out there and shoot 3-under earlier. You know, I’m not saying it’s out there; he got a good one, I did, and there’s maybe a couple other guys that are under par. Yeah, and the wind is not quite as strong as it was yesterday. You know, it maybe played a touch less difficult I’ll say. Not easier, but it was a little less difficult.

But some of the hole locations are still pretty tricky and got to leave yourself on the right side. But yeah, overall 68 out there is a really good score. I don’t know where that’s going to leave me at the end of the day, but I’m feeling pretty good that I’ve got a good chance going into tomorrow.

Q. When you’re in a little bit of a chasing position as you are right now, what kind of conditions are you kind of hoping for or half hoping for tomorrow?

RORY McILROY: It’s sort of a double-edged sword, right, because you would think that you’d want tougher conditions because it’ll make it more difficult for the guys in front of you, but also makes it more difficult for yourself. I think looking at the forecast, the conditions are going to be pretty similar to today, which is fine. If I go out there tomorrow and shoot another 68, I won’t be too far away.

Q. Kind of along those lines, depending on how the next few hours work out, is there a number in your head based on how difficult this golf course is that you feel like legitimately I could come back from?

RORY McILROY: I mean, around here, anything. Not necessarily anything, but I said over there, if Matt pars his way in and is 5-under par, I still don’t think that’s out of it by any stretch of the imagination. You know, it doesn’t take much around here for — someone gets off to a decent start, maybe 1- or 2-under through 5 and then the leader goes the other way, 1- or 2-over through 5, and all of a sudden you’re right in the thick of things.

But yeah, we’ll see what happens. No matter where I am at the end of the day, I feel like I’ve got a pretty good shot.

Q. Is yesterday’s round a little harder to swallow after today?

RORY McILROY: No, not really. I mean, I felt like I finished the round well yesterday. I was sort of hemorrhaging after like 12 or 13 holes, and then to just par my way in, right, so 14 through 18, so five in a row, just to get it in the clubhouse, sort of regroup, and then I sort of started the same way today. I parred the first five, first six holes, made a birdie on 7, made another birdie on 9, so played a really nice stretch of holes there from the 14th last night to the 9th today. I played those holes in 2-under par and didn’t make a bogey in that stretch.

You’re going to have stretches in U.S. Opens where you’re going to make bogeys and you’re going to make mistakes, but if you can back it up with stretches of golf like I showed there, that’s what you have to do. It’s not going to be all plain sailing in this tournament.

Q. Given how hard you had to work to get 68, how surprising is it to look up at the board and see somebody with a 30 on the front?

RORY McILROY: Is that what it was, a 30?

Q. Yeah, missed probably about an eight-footer for 29.

RORY McILROY: Wow. I mean, that’s just — you can’t say anything but that’s just awesome golf. Yeah, I mean, everyone knows how talented Matt is and he played great at Harding Park in the last major. You know, he’s explosive like that. He can get on runs like that. So yeah, I’m not saying it’s out there. I certainly didn’t see shooting 30 on any nine today, but we’ll see what happens over the back nine.

Q. If Matt is leading tomorrow, do you think it helps him to not have to try to win a major with a massive crowd around him in the same way that Morikawa didn’t have to face the crowd at Harding Park?

RORY McILROY: Yeah, of course. Of course, yeah. It’s one variable that you just don’t have to deal with, where — is that a loss of an advantage to you who’s accustomed to being in that environment.

RORY McILROY: Yeah, I think it could be, a little bit. Maybe not a loss of an advantage to me, but just more of a — just makes it a touch easier for the guys at the top. Even today, look, you’ve got Bryson and P-Reed out in the final group, and any other U.S. Open final grouping you’ve got those two guys, things are going to be said and tempers are going to flare. Even if those guys don’t have to deal with that today, it just makes it a little different and maybe a touch easier if you’re in those final few groups.

Q. Do you have a simple explanation for why it hasn’t been the massacre that many expected going into this week?

RORY McILROY: I mean, I guess what’s a massacre? Yeah, okay, 5-over is not going to win like last time and 7-over when Hale Irwin won. I’d say the golf course is playing just as difficult.

You know, you’ve got to think 14 years on the game has changed a lot, guys hit it further, equipment. There’s a lot of different things that — scoring averages have went down a little bit, on average. The game has just moved on a little bit and everyone has collectively, I think, just got a little bit better.

Q. You mentioned just earlier the first three or four holes and how difficult they are and just hoping to kind of get through those unscathed. Can you talk more about what that’s going to mean for you tomorrow and just getting off to a good start?

RORY McILROY: Yeah, fairways and greens. It’s literally just bringing it back to the basics. From that first tee shot, just try and make a good swing and hit the fairway, hit it on the middle of the green, take two putts, especially on that green because it’s probably one of the craziest greens on the course and in golf. And then it’s the same thing on 2, hit the fairway, hit the green. You get yourself out of position those first few holes, it just makes it really difficult.

And when you do get yourself out of position, making bogey is fine. That’s the thing, you look at some of the guys that went off earlier today those first few holes there was some big numbers made, and when you’re in trouble, get it out, play for a 5, and if you’re not going to putt for a 4, that’s a bonus.

Q. The course is playing about a shot easier today. Do you attribute that more to the gentler winds or the hole locations were more gettable?

RORY McILROY: No, the wind more than anything else. The hole locations today I thought were pretty tricky. It was hard to leave a putt dead. Even if you’ve got a putt that’s uphill, once it gets past the hole it starts to go downhill again. It was very hard to leave putts within top-in range. I felt like every time I hit a good putt that didn’t go in, I was marking it and resetting and it was at least three or four feet.

Source: ASAP Sport


US Open 2020 – Alex Noren about his brilliant Moving Day: “Just view it as a normal tournament.”

Q. Alex Noren, 3-under 67. Alex, heck of a round. Talk a little bit about the conditions and what you were able to execute.

ALEX NOREN: The first five holes, it was so windy, first six, seven holes. My goal was to kind of try to get up to the pins, but otherwise leave it short of the hole, and I was able to make birdies on those and then make two good birdies on 6, 7, and then on the back, my putter was the best it’s ever been.

So I saved myself a lot of times, and then a couple of birdies as well.

Q. You have a pretty new relationship with your caddie, Austin. What was it like working with him on that kind of round?

ALEX NOREN: Yeah, it’s good. He doesn’t read my putts. I can’t give him any credit for that, but, no, he’s good. We get along well. He’s giving me the stuff I need. He was good. He wanted me to maybe play a few other shots than I tried to. It would have been good to listen to him there.

Overall, yeah, it worked well today.

Q. How does 67 compare — the 67 today, among the best rounds you’ve played? I suspect that will be the lowest round of the day, maybe by multiple shots.

ALEX NOREN: Yeah, so starting out, it felt like it was going to be the toughest day ever on a golf course, with pretty strong winds on the first like six, seven holes. Then it got a little bit easier, but the pins are still tricked up. I putted my life out.

And you hit some shots out here, you think it’s like a decent shot, and then you just make it into the rough, and all of a sudden, the hole feels impossible. Normally, you hit decent drives or decent shots off the tee or into the greens and you get away with them. Here you don’t get away with anything.

Yesterday I was very like angry man on the golf course, and my goal today was to putt better and be more — be in a little happier place. I just tried to be that way.

Q. How important is patience out here with the way the setup is and knowing how few the birdie opportunities are going to be?

ALEX NOREN: Yeah, that’s maybe the key to the whole thing. Just view it as a normal tournament because, when you look at the putts, you look at the shots, and you stand on the tee boxes, there’s a lot more pressure on yourself. If you don’t hit the fairway, you’re going to struggle, and if you don’t hit the greens, you’re going to struggle.

Normally, there is still opportunities to do well even from the rough or from a bunker, but here it’s just like try to just do your routine and hit the shot, and whatever happens, you’ve got to keep the energy because you’ll need it down the round. Yesterday I was furious over that I didn’t hit the shots that I wanted, and then it kind of affects your game.

Q. How close do you think you’ll be in the lead at the end of the day?

ALEX NOREN: If the weather stays like it is now, you’re going to see better rounds in the afternoon maybe but maybe — we’ll see. It’s hard to predict.

Q. Despite your score, there were some higher scores today. Talk about the course setup, and was it the hardest course setup of the week is the question.

ALEX NOREN: Yeah, probably yesterday and today was maybe similar. Yeah, the hardest course I’ve ever played. Three days — and yesterday was some wind and this morning was some wind, but without the wind, it’s still so demanding. It’s a good test.

Q. One follow-up to the question earlier. How did you and Austin meet, and when did you start working with him?

ALEX NOREN: So we started right before Corona hit us at Arnold Palmer, and we met through Erik van Rooyen’s caddie, that’s Austin’s brother, Alex, and we met through him.

Q. Did you have anything in mind when you teed off today?

ALEX NOREN: These tournaments, all you try to do when you tee off is just to hit a good shot off the 1st and then take it from there. The older I get, the more so is how everybody does it, kind of. You don’t really think about winning until you have the chance to win. I’m just trying to hit good shots and trying to warm up and do everything I can to just be in the best possible shape I can be golf-wise, yeah.

Q. It’s been a tough couple of years since the Ryder Cup. What’s changed now, and what’s led to that difficult period?

ALEX NOREN: I had — I was better, I think, in the fall last year, played a little bit better, but had so much — put a lot of pressure on myself because I used to, in the three years prior, had a lot of good finishes, a few wins here and there.

You accept the bad rounds easier because you’ve got the confidence, you have the results in the back, and when you don’t get in for a while, you start pressing. All of a sudden, you start focusing on is my technique wrong, is this wrong, is that wrong, instead of, if that would have happened, that bad play for a couple weeks when you’re having those good weeks, you don’t think about them.

So I think maybe it’s a mix of not playing and technique is not up to point, but mostly kind of the pressure and stress you put on yourself. I changed kind of the last two, three months, I changed how I practice. I practiced on the golf course a little bit at home, trying to not be on the driving range, trying to work on maybe situations more than a specific look of the swing. So a lot more on the course.

Then is kind of frees up my game. I don’t look at my swing on a video camera, don’t analyze. Just if the shots are good enough, I’m happy. If they’re not, I go out and work on them, you know.

Q. You never look at your swing in the mirror anymore?

ALEX NOREN: Not much. I try to ask my coach if he can — if it’s good enough, and if he says good enough, or if he says you’d better get it a little more this way or that way and we work on it, but I try not to look at it.

Q. Are you still doing the —

ALEX NOREN: I do whatever makes me better, and if it’s that way or any other — I do whatever I can do to get a good feel over the ball.


Top Tours

US Open 2020: Bryson DeChambeau with the best round of the day

Q. 2-under 68. Hard to come by red numbers today. What was working well for you?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I felt like a lot of things were working well for me. I was driving it well. My iron play was impeccable. When I got into trouble, wasn’t able to get out of it as well today as yesterday, but when I was in the fairway I was able to attack and take advantage, and finished really well today. I hit a great drive on 6, great drive on 8, great shot on 7, and a great drive on 9 that just set me up to be able to attack that flag today, and that was a fun way to finish off at a U.S. Open so far. It’s great.

Q. You said yesterday the key was missing the drivers in the right spots. Can you give me an example today of missing one in the right spot, missing one in the wrong spot?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Missed one in the wrong spot on 2, so I hit it to the right and just — you’ve got nothing. I tried to get over the tree, was too far back. Kind of spun one up in the air and really didn’t have a chance. I tried to go for it, didn’t come out, got lucky, it bounced back in the first cut, got it out.

And then another one, let’s see, 16. Hitting driver all the way up into the right rough past that dogleg, I still had pitching wedge to the front edge and it was just a pretty easy shot, and I left it short of the green but I was still able to play up to the flag, and I fortunately made that putt for birdie. So that was kind of where I felt like I missed it in the right spot.

Q. You followed up three bogeys with birdies today; how important do you think that bounce-back stat is here?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: It’s important. It keeps your momentum going, I’ll tell you that. I don’t really have too much more to say on that other than the fact that you need momentum to keep playing well in a U.S. Open, and that’s what I was able to do today.

Q. One of the volunteers on the range today said you shut the place down last night. What was working for you today?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: So my wedges yesterday weren’t that good. I was flying them too far and I wanted to know what the problem was and we figured out what the problem was. It just was going farther than I thought it was. We didn’t practice them as well as I should have leading up to this tournament, but we made that adjustment, and it worked out beautifully for me today.

Q. What was the adjustment?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Well, it was just saying on the devices that I was hitting it shorter than what it was actually going. So for example, like we calibrated — okay, this is — I’m trying to make it as easy as possible. So for me, my 47-degree flies normally 145. Well, last night I was hitting shots and it was flying 155. That’s what we were on the normalizing mode with that wind. And we just didn’t calibrate correctly. So I was flying everything 10 yards long consequently with my wedges. And we recalibrated all of them today, and I felt like they worked out really well today.

Q. What did you hit on 9 for your second?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Pitching wedge.

Q. Only two rounds under par so far today. How does that play into your confidence for this weekend?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I feel great. Confidence is at an all-time high right now, driving it well, iron play is fantastic, wedging is getting better each and every day, and I’m putting it like I know I can. So very happy.

Q. What part of your game do you get more confidence from, your driving, iron play or putting?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Iron play. If my iron play is great, I feel like I can play from anywhere. I know my driver is going to be going far; sometimes straight, sometimes a little crooked. But if I can hit my irons really well, then I feel like I’ll be good for the rest of the day.

Q. Bryson, you were the one guy before the tournament who said you were just going to hit it as far as you could at every opportunity —

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: And straight. I still want to hit it straight.

Q. But the fact that you have that in your arsenal, do you think your round today just shows you get more — you create more birdie opportunities —


Q. — than anybody else out here?


Q. When you look at the conditions, what kind of an advantage does that give you?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah, I want it to play as hard as possible. I feel like there’s so many holes out here that I can take advantage of that some people can’t. Now, that doesn’t mean that I’m going to win or anything. You’ve still got to execute, you’ve still got to hit the driver straight. If I’m hitting the driver far but all over the place, you can’t make birdies from the rough. It’s very difficult to. So I still have to work on hitting it straight while hitting it far. And that’s a unique combo that I’m going to strive for for the rest of my life.

Q. As far as scrambling, that seems like the other crucial component to have around here, so do you take as much from those times when you save par as —

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Absolutely. Phil gave me some great advice. He said when he almost won back in 2006, he said he had the best short game week of his life, so that’s just a testament to showing that you have to have a great wedge game out here.

I feel like my irons are great, the wedges are better, and short game needs to be worked on just a little bit. But I would say it’s been good so far, and that’s what I’m going to hopefully do this weekend.

Q. Wondering how hard it is to stay focused when you’re making a series of birdies and bogeys as opposed to steady pars.

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah, it’s definitely ebbs and flows, but I’ve been working hard on that recently and trying to keep myself level-headed no matter what, and I feel like I did a great job of that today. Even on 5, made a dumb bogey, just didn’t play the right distance and consequently hurt myself there. And then on 6 I just focused up and I was able to stay patient and execute a great drive and make two great putts there.

Q. You mentioned in that TV interview that you want to be more and more patient. That’s something you can’t calibrate, to use your word. What does that process look like? How do you teach yourself that?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: For me it’s been a lot of breathing. Been working hard with Neuropeak on that for a long time. I know I’ve talked about it before, but just keep breathing and try and let the advantages play themselves out, what I have, and if they don’t, so be it.

But as of right now, they’ve been doing well so far, and just know that I’m going to have a lot of opportunities if I keep driving it well.

Q. Do you see a noticeable difference if you get something like what you might term an unlucky bounce or something like that?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: It’s going to happen out here. I say it sometimes, like man, that was unlucky, but that’s just golf. It’s not me being other than just honest. It happens sometimes. I realize that and I’m okay with it. Everybody is subject to a bad break, and sometimes I wear the emotions on the sleeve a little bit, but I focus it right back up.

Q. The test yesterday, the test today, which one do you enjoy more and why?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: When I play well in these conditions, it’s a lot more enjoyable. But it is comforting yesterday when you feel like I can go after it and wind isn’t affecting it that much, I’m hitting it well.

I would personally say if I had to truly look back on it, I would say that this today is a more enjoyable test after I’m done because it shows who executed the shots the best for sure.

Q. So many people love to see carnage at a U.S. Open; why do you think that is, and were you one of them?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: It’s relatable. I think it’s relatable to a lot of players out there. They struggle with their game and they don’t hit the greatest shots, and they like seeing carnage.

I’m going to look this afternoon and do the same thing, be seeing, like wow, that’s really difficult, because I experienced it and I appreciate it.

Q. Will you laugh or sympathize?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Sympathize. No, I’m not laughing at them. I won’t go there.

Q. Given the force that you play with, is it possible to impose your will on a U.S. Open?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: That’s a great question. That’s a question for the gods. That’s a question for God. I don’t know if you can — I mean, Tiger has been able to do something like that many times before, so I think there is something, but human scientific research does not say that there’s anything about that.

Q. Are there times you are trying to do that?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Oh, yeah, yeah. It’s just got to go here, it’s just got to go here, and I think it’s more of a positive mindset that allows your brain to be in a better state so you can problem solve in your brain to know what you need to do to hit a shot. I think that’s kind of willing it.

Q. You mentioned breathing, right?


Q. I think a lot of people struggle with that, who don’t play golf even, but how does it work for you?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: A lot of deep, long breaths. So it’s sitting back, realizing the state you’re in and being able to take an eight-second breath in and then eight-second breath out. That’s just as simple as it gets for me.

Q. Count to eight?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: It’s somewhere around there. I don’t do it perfectly on eight, but it’s definitely just to calm myself down.

Top Tours

US Open 2020 Tiger Woods: “I don’t see any reason why it won’t get harder and get more difficult.”

Tiger Woods talked to the media after his not so satisfying first round of 73 at the US Open 2020 at Winged Foot. He expects the course to become even tougher over the next few days.

Q. Tiger, talk about the round a bit.

TIGER WOODS: Well, it was a bit of ebb and flow to the round today. I did not finish off the round like I needed to. I made a bunch of putts in the middle part of the round. It seemed like most of my drives on the front nine landed in the fairway and ended up in bad spots, and I tried to stay as patient as possible, and unfortunately just did not finish off my round the way I needed to.

Q. Do you take any positives that you made five birdies, made a bunch of putts?

TIGER WOODS: No, but I needed to finish off the round better, and I didn’t. As I said, I made a few putts the middle part of the round. Seemed like I wasn’t getting anything out of my round early on, and it flipped, and unfortunately I just didn’t finish off the way I needed to.

Q. What did you think of the conditions of the golf course, and was it how you expected or a little bit different in any way?

TIGER WOODS: I thought the golf course was set up fantastic. I thought that what they did with the hole locations were very fair today. It gave us an opportunity to make some birdies, and you look at most of the scores, and the guys took advantage of it.

Q. Do you expect it to keep getting firmer as the week goes on?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I don’t see any reason why it won’t get harder and get more difficult. I just think that the golf course is there to be had. They gave us a lot of opportunities with the hole locations. Obviously they could have made it a lot more difficult if they wanted to, but I thought it was very fair.

Q. Is there any solace knowing it’s going to be such a grind this week that shooting a sub-par first round isn’t anything near —

TIGER WOODS: Well, we have a long way to go. This is a long marathon of a tournament. There’s a lot of different things that can go on. I just wish I would have finished off my round better.

Q. Given how little you’ve played this year, when you strung those birdies together in the middle of the round to kind of reel it back in and preserve it, isn’t that a pretty positive sign for you going forward?

TIGER WOODS: Well, the middle part of my round, a lot of things went my way. Beginning part of the round it seemed like things weren’t going my way. Good tee shots were ended up in the rough in bad spots, and I had a nice little hot run there in the middle part of my round, hit a really good putt at 12, thought it was going to go in and then I lipped it out, and then made two bogeys after that. Didn’t finish off my round the way I needed to.