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Bryson DeChambeau: How US golfer reinvented himself – with a little help from YouTube

By Ben Morse and Patrick Snell, CNN

(CNN) — As Bryson DeChambeau walks off the 10th green at Pinehurst during Sunday’s final round of the US Open, the golfer does what he’s been doing all week; making time to acknowledge fans lining the course.

The 30-year-old US golfer might be holding a one-shot lead atop the leaderboard at the US Open, but he gives a spectator a ball and signs his hat before high-fiving a row of on-lookers.

DeChambeau looks to be a different man from a few years ago. There was a widely-held perception that the golfer was a highly-strung, uber-competitor, whose desire to win often grated on his rivals.

Fast forward to 2024 and DeChambeau looks a lot more comfortable in his skin. That change has seemingly paid huge dividends, with the 30-year-old claiming his second major title over the weekend, winning the US Open at Pinehurst in North Carolina.

He did so in spectacular fashion as he held off Rory McIlroy’s challenge and hit a crucial bunker shot on the final hole to leave him a simple putt to clinch the title. DeChambeau called his bunker effort “possibly my best golf shot of my entire life.”

DeChambeau 2:0 is the result of a “lot of personal growth,” according to the golfer.

“2022 was a rock-bottom year for me and pushed me to be the person I am today. I’ve got a lot of people that have stuck around me from 2022 which has allowed me to be the person I’ve grown to be now and I can’t thank them enough because without them, I wouldn’t be here,” DeChambeau told CNN’s Patrick Snell.

“It’s been a long road but I’m certainly very blessed and thankful to have those individuals sticking with me and continuing to push me forward.”

That low point in his life in 2022 coincided with his controversial move to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf as well as his injury struggles.

A loss of form resulted in DeChambeau tumble down the world rankings as he struggled with his game to leave him a “pretty deep hole.”

“Golf swing wasn’t doing well. Ball striking was terrible. Putting wasn’t great,” he remembers.

But, through the help and support of the people around him and hard work on the course, DeChambeau’s 2024 has something of a annus mirabilis.

Before appearing at Pinehurst, he had engineered successful appearances at this year’s majors, finishing tied-sixth at The Masters and second at the PGA Championship.

The best was still to come though, as DeChambeau showed grit and resilience to claim his second US Open title, all the while showing his appreciation for the support he got over the four days in North Carolina.

“My mission is to continue to expand the game, grow the game globally, domestically. YouTube has really helped me accomplish some of that,” DeChambeau told reporters afterwards. “Consequently I think people have seen who I am on YouTube, which has been fantastic, ‘cause then I get to play off of it. It just feeds itself out here.

“They just say things that make me interact and engage. When is the next junior club set coming out?

“It’s direct conversations to people that truly engage with what I’m doing. It’s such an awesome, awesome platform for me to show who I truly am.”

DeChambeau’s YouTube channel currently has over 700,000 subscribers. He posts educational golf videos, while others are more humorous or involve challenges he tries to complete.

He added: “From my perspective, I’m just passionate. I really care about doing well out here and showing the fans a side of me that was locked up for so long.”

A special day

Not only did Sunday’s victory have DeChambeau back in the winner’s circle at a majora for the first time in four years, but it also came on a particularly poignant day for the US golfer.

The tournament’s final round fell on Father’s Day – his dad, Jon, passed away in 2022 and DeChambeau admitted that that memory loomed large on Sunday.

“All day,” DeChambeau told CNN’s Patrick Snell when asked whether he felt Jon’s presence with him during Sunday’s action.

“There were numerous times on 2, 3, 4, even 5 where I was just walking down the fairway thinking about him.”

And afterwards, DeChambeau dedicated his US Open victory to his dad.

“This one is for him,” he said.

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