Bryson DeChambeau confronts cameraman, says players’ privacy should be respected

Bryson DeChambeau

Bryson DeChambeau hits his tee shot on the 9th hole at Detroit Golf Club on Saturday.

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Bryson DeChambeau had just over 19 feet to the pin on his third shot on the par-5 7th hole at Detroit Golf Club. He blasted his ball out of the sand. It went 19 feet past the hole. 

CBS viewers saw the 38-foot journey. 

They shouldn’t need to see what was happening back at the start, DeChambeau said.

DeChambeau, according to the Golf Channel’s Will Gray, “took a Sergio slash” at the bunker during the third round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic, a reference to Sergio Garcia’s bunker blowup during the 2019 Saudi International, in which Garcia took four swipes at a bunker after hitting his ball out. On Saturday, the CBS camera showed DeChambeau’s swing and the ball’s path, then paused for a brief second while panning back to the bunker – likely when DeChambeau was showing his frustration – before continuing back to DeChambeau, who was out of the bunker by that point.

Gray photographed DeChambeau talking to the cameraman when DeChambeau was finished with the hole. DeChambeau said after his round he believed the camera captured the entire incident.

“So there was something that happened – I mean, nothing crazy, but I had a cameraman that was filming me after I hit a bad bunker shot and whiffed the sand a little bit, which I shouldn’t have done, that was dumb,” DeChambeau said. “But at the end of the day, he was literally watching me the whole entire way up after getting out of the bunker, walking up next to the green and I just was like, ‘Sir, what is the need to watch me that long?’”    

Players, DeChambeau said, should be protected by the cameras. 

“I mean, I understand that it’s his job to video me, but at the same point, I think we need to start protecting our players out here compared to showing a potential vulnerability and hurting someone’s image,” he said. “I just don’t think that’s necessarily the right thing to do. Not that I was going to do anything bad. It’s just one of those things that I hope he respects my privacy.

“As much as we’re out here performing, I think it’s necessary that we have our times of privacy as well when things aren’t going our way. I mean, we’re in the spotlight. If somebody else is in the spotlight they wouldn’t want that, either. It’s just something about respect I think that’s necessary on that end. You know, so for me I feel like it’s one of those things that we had a conversation. It was all good after that.”

DeChambeau apparently did not know that the camera had paused and that the incident was not shown. Analyst Trevor Immelman did say, “he’s running a little hot after that bunker shot. Not ideal having a medium iron into a par-5 and walk away with a five.”

DeChambeau said afterward that players could be hurt if caught “at a potentially vulnerable time.”

“We’re not necessarily – we don’t mean anything by it, we just care a lot about the game,” he said. “For that to damage our brand like that, that’s not cool in the way we act because if you actually meet me in person, I’m not too bad of a dude, I don’t think.

“So that’s the thing – I hope we can get to the point where everybody understands that we just care a lot about the game, we want to do well, we’re passionate about what we do and we want everybody to enjoy the entertainment. We don’t want negative stuff coming down.”

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Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor