Bryson DeChambeau 'Should Have Rephrased' Augusta Par 67 Comments

Bryson DeChambeau welcomes the fan banter at Augusta and says a more careful approach can give him a chance of winning the Masters

Bryson DeChambeau at the 2023 Masters
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Bryson DeChambeau says that he’s had a great reception from the Augusta National patrons on his return to the Masters as a LIV stalwart, but added that if players can’t take some stick from the crowds they “don't deserve to be out here”.

The 2020 US Open champion has long had to deal with what some would call “banter” from the fans when playing on the PGA Tour, with everything from his feud with Brooks Koepka to his body building and big hitting making him a polarizing figure.

Many were expecting a frosty reception for the returning LIV Golf stars as they mix it up with their PGA Tour rivals again, but up to now everything has been rather cordial around Augusta National.

Players have shaken hands, even hugged, the Green Jackets have been welcoming and the patrons have been respectful, as they likely will throughout the tournament – but even if there’s still a few chirps, DeChambeau says top pros should be able to handle it.

“The reception is great,” said DeChambeau at Augusta. “The fans are awesome. Still saying the same stuff that they would if I was on the other side. It's fans.

“The normal stuff that everybody says, but I love it. I think it's fun banter and interaction. You know what, if you can't handle it, then you don't deserve to be out here.”

DeChambeau says the reception from defending champion Scottie Scheffler and the rest of the players has been “unbelievable” adding: “Scottie and - I gave him a hug. Haven't seen him in a long time. Everybody has been fantastic. I've had no issues.”

The American was asked again about his infamous comments ahead of the 2020 Masters when he claimed Augusta was “a par 67 for me” only to struggle and finish down in 46th in that tournament.

“Do I regret it? Everybody has a perspective on it. I don't think I regret anything,” DeChambeau said. “What I do understand is that I have a lot of respect for the course. Like people don't think that I ever - because of that statement they think I don't have respect for the course. Are you kidding me?

“This is one of the greatest golf courses in the entire world, and if anybody thinks I don't have respect for the course, they'd better go check out who I actually am because it's not accurate one bit.

“Hypothetically, theoretically, look, if you make 18 birdies it's going to be 54, right? It's a perfect score, right? Unattainable, 67 every day, unattainable. It can happen, but is it likely to happen? Probably not.

“With the distance I'm hitting it and was hitting it, I thought there was a possibility, but that's only with your "A" game, and I should have rephrased that; if you have your "A" game, there's a good chance of being able to do that.

“Long story short, I don't want anybody to take it out of context. I just want it to be known for the fact that I have great respect for this course, and clearly I shot, what was it - what did I shoot last year and missed the cut? A lot? I shot like 10 over, so what's that, five shots more, something like that? So 10 more shots?

“So I shot like 22-over par. I can make a joke about it. Do I regret it? I learn from all my mistakes.”

Bryson DeChambeau playing at the 2022 LIV Golf Team Championship in Florida

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The 29-year-old says he has taken his foot off the gas slightly in terms of his swing speed, but still feels he can give himself a chance of a Green Jacket.

“I mean, it's not max speed. Look, I swung it really hard and got it to 96 on 5, hit it right over the bunkers. But again, it can go off line pretty far if it's not hit perfectly. I'm probably 90 percent where I was with a little bit more control.

“So you know, that's kind of where I'm staying at right now, and I feel comfortable with the misses. That's the main part. If I can miss it well around this golf course, I'll give myself a chance.”

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.