Bryson DeChambeau has a message for the International team at the Presidents Cup – and it’s especially blunt.
Asked at a media teleconference today how fired up he expected the International rookies such as Cameron Smith to be at Royal Melbourne in December, DeChambeau, who also is on debut for the United States in the teams competition, said: “I don't know what they're going to bring. I'm not in their heads. But I could certainly say from my point of view, from my standpoint, no matter how much they're going to want it, we're going to want it more. I know that.”
DeChambeau, 26, is not new to Royal Melbourne, having played the Master of the Amateurs there in 2015, where he finished tied third.
“I think the keys around that track are going to be iron play,’’ he said. “Certainly it's a position golf course. The ball can run out quite a bit, and playing into the right part of the green from the right angle is very key. You know, so you have to have great ball-striking capabilities to be able to work it both ways and control your ball and control the spin around the greens, as well. So that's personally what I think you need to do well in order to succeed out there, at least from my memories back when I played in the Australian Master of the Amateurs.
“For example, I believe 18, at least when we played it — it might not be the same 18 when we play it this upcoming year — but it was a dogleg right, and you had to hit a cut shot. If you hit a draw on that last tee shot, at least from what I remember, it was very, very difficult to keep it in the fairway.
“Another one, I believe it's (number) seven … one of the par-threes up the hill, heavily guarded by bunkers — and you had to be super precise with your iron play, at least on that hole, especially on that hole.
“So for me, as I remember it, the great memories I had, and I am a pretty good ball striker and iron player, that's what you had to do well to succeed out there. That's quite honestly I think why I played really well when I went down there.”
DeChambeau resumed playing last weekend but missed the cut at the Greenbrier tournament. He is enjoying somewhat of a break after a hectic period in which his world ranking climbed as high as No. 5. It’s currently at No. 11.
“I haven't had much of a break this whole entire couple years,” he said. “I feel like getting some good rest would actually be warranted and necessary for me to play my best. That's one thing. So I am taking a bit of a break. But I will be playing the Hero World Challenge and maybe a couple other PGA Tour events leading into that.
“I wish there was a match play event that we could play. That would be incredible. That would help us tremendously.”
DeChambeau has represented America at a professional level previously; he was a member of the Ryder Cup team in France in 2018, losing all three of his matches as Europe pulled off a stunning triumph.
He believes he will be a more valuable team member this time as a more mature person. “Well, I think that voicing my opinions a little bit more, being included into the team just a little bit more will be helpful,” he said. “I'm more comfortable now I would say in regards to team events. It (France) is my first time. I didn't know what to say or do or whatever, but as I look back on it and people told me, ‘you should have spoke up, man, if you had some beliefs and thoughts. That's why you're on the team’.
“So hopefully as I get down there and see the golf course and see people's games, see how we can best fit the team together, I can hopefully help be a part of that. I obviously don't have the same experience, but I've been on the losing side of teams every single time internationally when it comes to match play events: Ryder Cup, Walker Cup, Arnold Palmer Cup.
“And I've seen every single time the reason why we don't succeed is because either two things: one, we aren't comfortable with the golf course and the way it plays, or two, we just don't match up games together very well or golf games, so how a player plays compared to someone else and how they like to hit certain shots, and for alternate-shot it's an incredibly important format you've got to do well in. You've just got to fit games together really well.”