July 11, 2018
THE MODERATOR: Go ahead and get started. We would like to welcome defending champion, Bryson DeChambeau to the interview room here at the John Deere Classic.
Bryson, thanks for joining us for a few minutes.
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Yeah, thank you.
THE MODERATOR: We'll talk about your current season in just a minute, but just a few comments on being back here where you obviously had a pretty incredible week last year.
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Yeah, look, this place a super special to me, Moline/Silvis area, the Quad Cities area is fantastic.
TPC course is in great shape from what I've heard, and going out there to play today and looking forward to a great time. It's going to be a great week, I know it.
Last year was super comfortable on the golf course, and this year game is in even a better spot. So looking forward to an even better week.
THE MODERATOR: The victory obviously propelled you on to greater things. You're in the middle of a an incredible year, season. Coming into the week tanked sixth in the FedExCup standings; got your second tour win not long ago at the Memorial.
You've got to feel good not only mentally, but physically as far as your game goes coming in.
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Yeah, absolutely. It's been a long year. I've played a lot of tournament and my body is definitely feeling it; at the same point in time, it's home stretch and kind of ready to get after it.
There has been a lot of things that have happened over the past couple years, growing a lot definitely, and just learning how to make better decisions for my body, my health, my game, and figuring out ways to execute shots better and more on demand.
THE MODERATOR: Okay, perfect. With that, we'll take questions.
Q. When did you come to the conclusion you needed to focus more on stuff like that?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Yeah, well, when I won here and went over the British and missed the cut by I think seven or eight, that was a big wake-up call. I wanted to play good in any situation. Whether I was super tired, didn't have my game, whatever it was, I wanted to be able to perform on demand no matter the week, no matter the situation.
So I said, I got to figure out a way to execute shots on a more consistent level so that it's not just one week of the year I play well. I want to be able to play well every single week and contend every single week, be in the top 10 trying to close it out.
I've been able to do to this year, which is great.
Q. What adjustments were you focusing on?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Biomechanics. Trying to figure out a way to have better proprioception. Back to my brain and trying to figure out a way to consistently repeat motion. That's really it. That's all I can tell you. I'm not going to go too deep into that.
I will say the more you spend time figuring out what you're doing and spending the right time on the right things, it obviously helps.
Q. Can you explain the whole compass thing, what you were doing with it and why they don't what you to use it?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Yeah, look, I'll say one thing on that. I will say it's unfortunate. It's just a reference is tool. I talked to John Bodenhamer about it quite a bit, couple hours, and we had a great conversation. The USGA has been really responsive. We've had fantastic talks. I'm honestly look forward to working with them on helping make the rules better, more clear.
That was never my intention, to skirt by the rules or anything like that. It was just a device I thought had been used for a long time in different fields. It shouldn't be an issue. It's not a distance measuring device. It's just a referencing tool.
So they only didn't think it was legal, and that's fine. At the same point in time, there is a lot of different ways to go about referencing things. You know, like I could use my finger or things like that. So they're working on that to clarify the rules in that regard as well.
So other than that, I don't want to take away from the fact that defending champion, it's the John Deere Classic, and looking forward to an amazing week. This is a great place. A lot of great players come here to actually get ready for the Open. So I'm looking forward to kind of prepping my game for the Open as well.
On the compass issue, we're working on, and hopefully we'll come to a better resolution in the end.
Q. They can't outlaw fingers.
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Yeah, that's what I was talking to Mr. Bodenhamer about, so we're working hard on that.
Q. Is it going to deter you from your creativity?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: No, no. I think -- look, I'm not trying to push the game in any direction. I'm trying to utilize every tool in my brain to be able to reference information and get information in a way that I can utilize it to the best my ability.
So whether it's referencing a pin location, getting more precise pin locations or knowing what the wind is a little more precisely, that's what we're talk about.
What information can we gather and what's the resolution on that information. So it's not going to deter me; it's going to help make what we can do more precise under the rules, right? I don't ever want to be doing anything outside of the rules obviously.
We want to see what's allowable, and what type of information can we gather, and how much resolution can we have under that type of information.
Q. Is your relationship better with them now?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Absolutely. 100%. I think it was a big step for me to be able to talk with them one-on-one. Not necessarily going to the TOUR or anything like that, albeit it's a great way as well. It's nothing against the TOUR.
But just being able to talk to them directly is very, very nice, so that we can have a personal relationship first off and be mutually beneficial.
Q. How are you going to handle the obligations of being a defending champion and still get your work in?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Yeah, well, I think I'm a little different now in regards to me being able to execute shots on a higher level. For me, I don't have to go work as hard to get that same level, so I can rest a little bit better out here.
So like I didn't come out here Monday; Tuesday didn't play. I just practiced and got all my numbers done and everything that I needed to do. Today I'm going to go play the course, see how it plays and make any adjustments if necessary.
Playing the course last year and being able to have a victory here, does help the prep.
Q. Obligations aren't getting in the way of the things you have to do?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Uh-uh, no.
Q. Does it felt any different?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: I don't know. I mean, that's something I'm still feeling out. This is only my second day here since I've been back. I think as the tournament gets started it'll be the same.
As of right now, it's kind of hyped up a little bit I guess if you want to say. A lot people say, Oh, you're the defending champ. Look, it's a tournament I want to go out and play well in, and that's all I have to think about. Not going to think, Oh, I have to defend my title or anything like that.
I am just going to go and execute every shot to the best of my ability.
THE MODERATOR: You almost wreck your car when you saw that billboard?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: I may have sneaked a picture in. (Laughter.)
Q. (Regarding stretching.)
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Depends on the person. So I've been fortunate enough to not have too many injuries out here. I'm only 24, so shouldn't have too many. But when I have had some injuries I have gone there and it's been helpful.
But, again, I'm 24. I don't need to go out there too much. I do my own prep work in the hotels and houses I'm staying at.
Q. How important is that stretching ask paying attention to your body?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Well, it's the most important aspect of the game I think personally. If you don't prepare well, if your body isn't ready to go out on the golf course, then you're not going to perform well.
And so you need whatever it is. I would call it maintenance on your body to be able to perform at high level.
Q. You referenced the fact that your game is in a better place than a year ago. What did you learn about yourself after winning for the first time?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Yeah, well, I learned that I could execute shots under high pressure situations. That was a big thing.
The next week going to the British and missing the cut there, that was even more eye opening. Saying that, look, if I want to be even better and even more consistent, I got to figure out a new way to swing or execute shots that is going to allow me to repeat motion on a more consistent level.
I think from winning that, it allowed me to understand that I need to be even more repeatable.
Q. How about personally?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Personally, I mean, from an emotional level, I guess you could say, it gave me an incredible amount of confidence.
It's ultimately what allowed me to play super consistent throughout the year and know that in any stressful situation, whether I'm not executing exactly the way I want to, Hey, I can still do it. I can still shoot 30 on the back nine and win a tournament.
I can still do that. Arnold Palmer I thought I was going to do that. Really thought I had a great chance to win there, but Rory kind of thwarted that unfortunately. Played pretty well as well.
Going to Memorial I didn't have my game as all. Driving was everywhere; iron play was okay. That was the only thing that was okay. Then my putting was great, so complete kind of opposite turn of events.
Being able to win there is actually -- the reason why I won the Memorial was of winning here at the John Deere, knowing that I could get it done. Even though I didn't have it to the front nine here at the John Deere, I was still able to get it done on the back nine.
So bringing that back kind of helped.
Q. You said last year's win obviously special for you being No. 1.
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Right.
Q. Was there a different feel personally after winning No. 2 at Memorial, or was it just as exciting?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Oh, it was definitely just as exciting, but I could say that your first win is always going to be the most special one I think for anybody out there winning tournaments. It just is. It's just going to be your baby, right, in a sense?
Just a very special place to be able to win with Payne Stewart winning here his first time. It meant a lot to me. It was just a perfect fit and I couldn't have asked for anything more.
Q. After that win you mentioned Mr. Peterson and your appreciation of him. What you are thoughts of Clair Peterson, what he's done for this tournament?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: He's what's made this event what it is today. He's raised a lot of money for the Quad Cities; he's done an incredible job. John Deere has been an incredible sponsor for a long time. Mr. Peterson is honestly the reason why I'm here. He gave me that exemption a few years back after I won NCAAs, and because of that sponsor's exemption I was able to win last year.
So it's to him I have to say thank you really. It's truly the reason why I was able to come here and accomplish what I wanted to accomplish.
Q. You guys have a lot to play for. Looking ahead to this year, are you looking at the Ryder Cup team? What is on your radar?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: FedExCup Playoffs is obviously huge; going to be my first time playing the TOUR Championship, which will be great.
But that Ryder Cup looks pretty nice. That would be pretty fun to be a part of. I think I could help the team out quite a bit just with the way -- the uniqueness that I bring to the table. I can maybe help people think in a different way that allows them to be more confident in whatever they do.
If anything, people will think, Oh, he's too technical and everything like that. That's really not me on a personal level. On a personal level I can be relatable and positive and help people become more confident with what they're doing through my technical aspects.
You know, I can tell people, Oh, this is why you do this good. You know what I mean? Just in ways that can be very, very beneficial and positive to the team as a whole. That's what I look forward to hopefully providing considering I make the team this year. That would be a great feat, and something that would be a tremendous honor to be a part of.
Q. How much of a nugget is that knowing there is that Ryder Cup out there?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Yeah, I think that it's a -- look, I play my game. I execute every shot the best I can and hopefully let it speak for itself.
I'm not going to put more into it and be like, Man, this shot, if I hit this well I am going to potentially make the Ryder -- you know what I mean? I don't want to do that. I don't ever want to think like that.
I want to be over the shot saying, I need to execute this shot because I want to get as close to the hole as possible and make birdie.
If I do that and consistently do that, that's really going to matter to me. I don't try and put any more emphasis on it that than.
Q. (Regarding finishing hole.)
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Really?
Q. Can you tell me why?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Well, if I miss it right you're blocked by trees and got to chip it out, and you've got to be precise because there is water you can hit it into if you chip it out too far.
If you miss it left you're in the bunker, or left of that you're in the rough over water.
It's not easy at all. Even if you hot the fairway, you got water that runs up the left side of the green. The bailout to the right is not very easy. It's very difficult to get up and down from over there.
Considering all these factors, I think that's really why it was one of the most difficult finishing holes on tour.
You have to hit a perfect drive and perfect second shot. That's really why it makes it difficult.
THE MODERATOR: Okay, Bryson, best of luck this week. We appreciate your time.
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Thank you.
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