Two days after Bryson DeChambeau made critical comments about the U.S. Golf Association, he admits he spoke in the heat of the moment.
The 23-year-old has been in a kerfuffle with the USGA in recent months over his use of side-saddle putting. While the stroke itself is compliant, a fact the USGA has reiterated, the governing body has come down on DeChambeau for the model of putter he was using for the stroke.
The day before last month’s CareerBuilder Challenge began, a PGA Tour official notified DeChambeau that his putter had been deemed nonconforming by the USGA. That forced DeChambeau into using a different model, something he was none too pleased about.
It all came to a head this week. DeChambeau actually ditched his side-saddle stroke at last week’s Genesis Open, but his change back to a conventional putting style gained attention at the Honda Classic. Earlier in the week, he declined to talk about the alteration, but he opened up about it Friday and vented some frustration at the USGA.
DeChambeau essentially blamed the organization for his ditching the unorthodox stroke, claiming the USGA didn’t like him using side-saddle. He offered pointed criticism, saying the USGA is “not a good organization” and that “it’s very frustrating to see them stunt the growth of the game.”
But he backtracked on Sunday, offering a public apology for his remarks and noting that he said them when his emotions were running high.
Regardless, DeChambeau is struggling on the links. His play on the greens has been a disaster, as he’s ranked 194th in strokes gained: putting on the PGA Tour this season. His results have followed suit, as DeChambeau has missed four of his last five cuts, with the other result being a WD after 28 holes.
DeChambeau will return to action in two weeks at the Valspar Championship. He’ll do so with plenty of scrutiny still on him. But at the very least, he’s (for now) calmed what appeared to be an escalating battle between himself and the USGA.