Bryson DeChambeau delivers touching gesture after U.S. Open win

bryson dechambeau points to the sky after winning the 2024 u.s. open

After securing his second U.S. Open title, Bryson DeChambeau gave a touching tribute to the late Payne Stewart.

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Bryson DeChambeau calls Payne Stewart his hero.

Growing up, he wore the ivy cap as a tribute to the late Stewart (and Ben Hogan). DeChambeau followed in his idol’s footsteps as he attended SMU, thanks in large part to Stewart’s influence. And this week, as he walked the fairways of Pinehurst No. 2 — the site of Stewart’s second U.S. Open title — the ’99 champ was never far from DeChambeau’s mind as he dangled a white ivy cap on his bag.

“It’s with me and makes me think of him every time I’m walking on these grounds,” DeChambeau said. “He’s meant a lot to me in the game.”

The parallels between DeChambeau and Stewart multiplied as the week progressed at the 124th U.S. Open.

Most remember Stewart fondly for his contributions to the game. He’s known as one of the greatest stewards golf has ever seen. Heck, there’s even an annual award in his honor for the player that honors and upholds the traditions of the game. But what gets lost in that fond remembrance is that it wasn’t always that way for Stewart. For much of his early career, he was known as a brash, arrogant presence on Tour.

Over the final few years of his life, Stewart worked to change that reputation — and change he did. And by the time he won his final U.S. Open in 1999, he’d become one of the most popular figures on Tour.

DeChambeau’s career has followed a similar arc. Before he defected to the LIV Tour, DeChambeau did not have one of golf’s highest approval ratings. There were many instances in which he rubbed people the wrong way (intentional or not) and his immaturity got him in hot water more than a few times. He became a punching bag for fans and social media pundits alike, and there were some that celebrated his departure from the PGA Tour.

Watching his reception this week, you’d never know this was the same DeChambeau. Gone were the “Brooksy!” jeers and other heckles from the gallery. Instead, they were replaced by chants of DeChambeau’s name. For the first time in his career, he had the full support of the fans behind him.

“It’s meant a lot to me,” DeChambeau said of the fan support. “Just thinking back three years ago, the landscape was a lot different. I tried to show everybody who I was. I didn’t do it the right way and could have done a lot of things better.”

The Stewart-DeChambeau parallels didn’t stop there. The ways in which the two captured their second U.S. Open titles mirrored each other, too.

In ’99, Stewart stood in the middle of the 16th fairway one shot off the lead. On this hot and dusty Sunday at Pinehurst, DeChambeau did, too. Stewart was the beneficiary of a missed par putt from Phil Mickelson on the 16th green, while DeChambeau pulled tied when Rory McIlroy missed a par putt of his own.

Each man needed just par to secure the title on the 18th, and each missed the fairway, catching lies that made hitting the green impossible. Stewart managed to get up-and-down from the fairway to secure a par save for the ages. DeChambeau followed in his idol’s footsteps, securing his second U.S. Open title.

“That’s Payne right there, baby,” DeChambeau said as he walked off the green.

As he received the trophy on the 18th green, DeChambeau had one final tribute in store in Stewart’s honor. He took off his baseball cap and placed it on the table. Then, he grabbed an ivy cap and placed it on his head.

A fitting nod to the man who’d walked in his shoes before.

Zephyr Melton Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with the Texas Golf Association, Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf. He can be reached at

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