Rory McIlroy feels for fellow golfer Bryson DeChambeau, who’s been the subject of a string of dramatic events this summer.
“I would say it’s pretty tough to be Bryson DeChambeau right now,” McIlroy said Wednesday, while at the Tour Championship. “I don’t know if anyone else on Tour has spoken up for him, but I definitely feel for him a little bit.”
Last week at the BMW Championship, DeChambeau endured constant heckling from spectators, then made headlines following a playoff loss to Patrick Cantlay by getting into a public altercation with a fan who yelled “Brooksy!” at him.
The PGA Tour stepped in Tuesday to say it would ban fans who taunt DeChambeau with the chants about his rival.
“I certainly feel some sympathy for him because I don’t think that you should be ostracized or criticized for being different, and I think we have all known from the start that Bryson is different and he is not going to conform to the way people want him to be,” McIlroy explained, adding that DeChambeau “is his own person. He thinks his own thoughts, and everyone has a right to do that.
“There are certainly things that he has done in the past that have brought some of this stuff on himself. I’m not saying that he’s completely blameless in this. But at the same time, I think he has been getting a pretty rough go of it of late and it’s actually pretty sad to see because he, deep down, I think, is a nice person and all he wants to do is try to be the best golfer he can be. And it just seems like every week something else happens… I think he’s trying to become better and he’s trying to learn from his mistakes, and I think everyone should give him a chance to try to do that.”
Collin Morikawa, a five-time PGA Tour winner, said he was aware of the “inappropriate” trolling by fans aimed at DeChambeau.
“I heard some things last week — and I’m not going to say it — that were just inappropriate, and it wasn’t right,” Morikawa recalled. “So it’s an unfortunate circumstance because this is what our game is. Our game is about respect. … I get it, the world is changing, but that does not mean you can just go out and start saying anything you want.”
Cantlay, who beat DeChambeau in a six-hole sudden-death playoff at the BMW Championship last week, also weighed in on the drama.
“I think when you have people that go for attention-seeking maneuvers, you leave yourself potentially open to having the wrong type of attention, and I think maybe that’s where we’re at,” Cantlay said. “And it may be a symptom of going for too much attention… I think it’s just a very ‘live by the sword, die by the sword’ type of deal. And when you leave it to a jury, you don’t know what’s going to happen
DeChambeau hasn’t been speaking with media as the saga has unfolded.
His string of headline-making events began after he won the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March — his eighth PGA Tour win. That followed his 2020 U.S. Open win.
There was the leak of Koepka’s interview in May, which the two seemed to enjoy going tit-for-tat about. Then came DeChambeau’s untimely breakup with his caddie Tim Tucker before the Rocket Mortgage Classic in early July.
That same month, things got worse for DeChambeau at the British Open when he put on a poor performance, and blamed his Cobra driver, saying it “sucked.” The comment wasn’t well-received by the major golf brand, which sponsors him as one of its main ambassadors.
Originally published at https://nypost.com/2021/09/01/rory-mcilroy-on-bryson-dechambeaus-brooksy-drama/ on .