Bryson DeChambeau nearly had to give up golf. Now he’s a U.S. Open winner (again)

bryson dechambeau looks on at the us open

Bryson DeChambeau said he wasn't sure he'd be able to play golf again in 2022. Two years later, he has his second U.S. Open title.

Alex Slitz/Getty Images

The Bryson DeChambeau who won the U.S. Open Sunday at Pinehurst was nowhere near the same Bryson DeChambeau who won the 2020 U.S. Open at Winged Foot.

For starters, this DeChambeau is some 25-30 pounds lighter, but it’s much deeper than that.

After his first U.S. Open title in 2020, his first major, DeChambeau was on a high. But so often after our highest highs come our lowest lows, and DeChambeau was no exception.

Two years later, DeChambeau wasn’t even sure he’d be able to play golf again. But two years after that, he’s a U.S. Open winner once again.

On Sunday after his triumph at Pinehurst No. 2, he looked back on his recent low point and the journey that’s brought him back to be one of the game’s best players — and most electrifying personalities.

“I was knocked pretty hard down in 2022 for numerous reason, numerous scenarios, numerous things,” he said. “I had some great friends and great people around me tell me, Keep going, keep pushing.”

After his U.S. Open win, which technically came in the 2021 season, DeChambeau continued his strong play, winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational by brute force and taking Patrick Cantlay to a six-hole playoff after a shootout at the 2021 BMW Championship.

The came a painful hairline fracture of the hamate bone in his left hand and a tear of the labrum in his left hip.

He missed much of the start of the 2022 season before the end of March and came back to miss the cut in four of his last five PGA Tour starts before joining LIV, including the Masters, withdrawing at the PGA Championship and finishing T56 at the U.S. Open.

The hand injury, he said, is what caused him to hit rock bottom.

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“I had to go to have surgery. I didn’t know if I was ever going to play golf [again],” DeChambeau said Sunday night. “I thought there was a chance I would play high, competitive golf again, not knowing how it would affect my game and my speed and everything. Certainly going into surgery was probably the lowest, then waiting eight weeks, not knowing if I was going to be able to grip a club with the same effort and feel the same and all that, and then struggling with my game.

“That whole four- or five-month period was pretty rough. There were some definite low moments. Made me rethink a lot of things in life.”

In that time, after he had healed, he left the PGA Tour for a reported seven-figure deal with the then-upstart LIV Golf. The results still weren’t where they were just mere months before.

He posted a quiet T8 finish at the Open Championship that year, but in LIV’s first year, against fields that had only a fraction of the talent they have today, he never did better than two 10th-place finishes in his first six events.

His game was faltering, but then, personal tragedy struck. His father succumbed to numerous health issues in November 2022 at just 63. On Tuesday of this week, he said his father’s passing gave him a “great perspective on life.”

“What I will say is I have changed, definitely, in different ways,” he said at his pre-tournament press conference. “I still feel like I’m that same kid that came out here right at the start, but I feel like as a person I’m just different to interact with.”

But how did he pull himself out of his low point? He leaned on those closest to him. He mentioned people like his LIV Golf teammates, Paul Casey, Anirban Lahiri and Charles Howell III. He called out his agent, Brett Falkoff, his manager, Connor Olson, his other friends and more.

“People said continuously, ‘Dude, you’re good. Don’t worry about it. You got a lot of great life to live. There’s a lot more to life than golf,'” he said. So how I’ve grown, I’ve realized that there’s a lot more to life than just golf. Treating others, yourself first and foremost, respecting yourself, is super important to being able to treat others with respect, as well.

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“That’s one of the big things that I’ve learned. I’m not perfect. I’m human. Everyone’s human. Certainly those low moments have helped establish a new mind frame of who I am, what’s expected, what I can do and what I want to do in my life.”

The golf came with it. At LIV Golf’s Greenbrier event, he switched to a new driver and shaft build, and he credited it to help him shoot 61-58 on the weekend for his first LIV Golf win.

That was when he said he “turned the corner.”

“I’m like, ‘Okay, Bryson’s here again. How do I turn this into major championship golf now?'” he said. “I focused a lot of my energy on how to get another major title.”

Another LIV Golf title followed before the close of 2023, but he wouldn’t get his next major shot until the Masters at Augusta.

You probably know the story by now. He grabbed the opening-round lead before finishing T6. At the PGA Championship, he got a little closer, finishing one shot shy of Xander Schauffele.

And this week at Pinehurst? Well, you know why you’re reading about him now.

Jack Hirsh welcomes your thoughts at

Jack Hirsh Editor

Jack Hirsh is an assistant editor at GOLF. A Pennsylvania native, Jack is a 2020 graduate of Penn State University, earning degrees in broadcast journalism and political science. He was captain of his high school golf team and recently returned to the program to serve as head coach. Jack also still *tries* to remain competitive in local amateurs. Before joining GOLF, Jack spent two years working at a TV station in Bend, Oregon, primarily as a Multimedia Journalist/reporter, but also producing, anchoring and even presenting the weather. He can be reached at



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