DeChambeau’s post-round gestures show why he’s a fan favorite | Rogers Report

Bryson DeChambeau greets a fan at the U.S. Open.

Bryson DeChambeau greets a fan at the U.S. Open.

Claire Roges

Hello, friends, and welcome to Saturday’s edition of the Rogers Report! I am here to fill you in on a few of my favorite things from moving day at the U.S. Open, particularly what I saw from 54-hole header Bryson DeChambeau after his round. But first, let’s take it from the top.

Some things to note from the media center: We had Chick-fil-A for dinner as well as massive cups of homemade lemonade for a mid-afternoon snack, which was much appreciated on yet another 90-plus degree day at Pinehurst No. 2.

I’m officially running low on sunscreen, but hopefully I can make it out of North Carolina without a sunburn. OK, on to the good stuff.

A grounds crew member’s greatest honor

Kate Phillips, an intern at the Ohio State turf program, is on the grounds crew at Pinehurst this week (how cool is that?). It was very clear that the fans wanted carnage on moving day Saturday, because she shared that she got booed by fans in the grandstands while watering the greens ahead of Round 3 this morning.

Honestly, getting booed on that big of a stage for simply doing your job is kind of an honor. She worked her whole life for that moment! Shout out to Phillips for being a great sport about it. Also, the trade-off sounds worth it to me: getting booed for a few minutes in exchange for the memory of a lifetime.

You can learn more about Phillips’ journey in the video below from International Women’s Day.

Childhood pals in contention

There’s nothing I love more than a good throwback photo, especially when it’s from childhood. We’ve seen the famous picture of Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas hanging out at a junior golf tournament time and time again, but this one of Tony Finau and Rory McIlroy as kids is definitely a little less known.

It’s just as good, though.

I rediscovered an old video of Finau and McIlroy from when they were little kids talking about their friendship, and it is so, so sweet.

McIlroy stayed with Finau’s family one summer way back when, and getting to tee it up in a major together must’ve felt like a full-circle moment. So parents, take some photos of your kids with their friend just in case they ever end up in contention at a major together. The odds are slim, but they’re definitely not zero.

Bryson DeChambeau’s telling post-round hang

Before I even get into Bryson being Bryson after his round, I want you all to take a moment and subscribe to him on Snapchat. Oh, you deleted the app the second you graduated high school? You don’t use it anymore because you’re not using it to stay in touch with your junior year prom date? Too bad. Log back in and add Bryson, because you’re missing out on some spectacular content if you don’t.

DeChambeau takes his Snapchat followers through his everyday life on the app. Whether it’s a gym session, traveling to a tournament, or in this week’s case, entire-round recaps, his Snapchat is a content gold mine. Here’s a screen shot of one his stories from Friday at Pinehurst.

OK, back to Round 3. I followed DeChambeau’s last few holes, and he was in lovely spirits heading to media.

After that, he went to the range, where it was just him and Patrick Cantlay grinding it out before the final round.

Cantlay left and signed some autographs on his way out, which is where I was when I heard a whistle. I looked back over to the range, and DeChambeau was alerting the 40 or so kids waiting for him to meet him at the other side of the range so he could sign from them. Suddenly, I was in the middle of a stampede of a dozen elementary school-aged kids hurrying over to find DeChambeau, where he was in complete “cool teacher” mode, giving kids directions on where to go so that he could sign for everyone.

It was nearing 9, and DeChambeau was as generous with his time as could be. He posed for photo after photo, thanked folks for coming and reacted with genuine excitement when fans shared personal anecdotes with him. He remembered certain kids’ names and even signed his own hat before giving it to a little kid, who you’d think had won the lottery and a day at Disney World had you seen his reaction.

DeChambeau was so patient with fans that he had no problem taking a second round of photos when a few gals who didn’t like how they looked in their original photos with DeChambeau. Men, there’s a lesson to be learned here! I don’t care who you are — you have enough time to help the women in your life get the shot they’re hoping for. If DeChambeau has time to take a second photo before sleeping on the lead the night before the final round of a major championship, you can suck it up and let the women in your life take a few extra photos on Easter Sunday.

My favorite part of DeChambeau’s post-round hangout with fans came just before he finished signing. A little boy and his parents lit up, and you can tell it’s a moment they’ll remember forever.

At about 9:10 p.m., after signing dozens of shirts, flags and hats, DeChambeau headed back inside. At this point, it was just him and a few security guards. I walked a few yards ahead of them and could overhear DeChambeau making small talk with the guys. “Thanks so much for staying late, you guys. It’s gonna be a big day tomorrow! I really appreciate you being here.”

There’s a reason DeChambeau has become such a fan favorite over the past year or so, and it was very apparent on Saturday night at Pinehurst.

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