He has long been a lightning rod in the game of golf but Bryson DeChambeau is walking a fine line between being the pantomime villain and a guy who fans simply do not like.
He had a remarkable week at the FedEx St Jude Invitational at TPC Southwind as the ongoing discussion around his decision not to shout “Fore!” when he hits a wayward shot which is heading to the gallery reared its head again.
The crowd have turned against him for what is seen as poor golfing etiquette and it seems many of his colleagues have had enough too.
Several players lined up on social media to criticise DeChambeau, with Richard Bland and Edoardo Molinari both making their feelings known. Bernd Wiesberger went a step further, labelling his behaviour horrendous and calling for fines to be implemented if it continues.
I’d love to know what the man himself thinks of the fact he is permanently in the firing line, if you will pardon the pun, because he refuses to call out – but he chose not to speak to the assembled media last week.
I know he denied the accusation he doesn’t shout out when questioned about the subject at the Open last month, but it is clear everyone, whether it be the media, spectators or the other professionals, are actively listening out for it now.
It shouldn’t be difficult to understand that you should ALWAYS shout “fore” when you hit a shot into the crowds… @b_dechambeau
When is someone going to do something about this? Hopefully before a spectator gets seriously hurt! pic.twitter.com/kSXnEe70XW
— Edoardo Molinari (@DodoMolinari) August 6, 2021
The crowd is clearly getting to him and it is detrimental to his game. I don’t for a second expect him to be seeking my advice, but if he did ask me I’d urge him to find a little more humility.
Show a little respect for the game that has given you a global profile. If you can do that then the respect your ability deserves will be shown.
It’s one thing to be the panto villain as Patrick Reed has been and Colin Montgomerie was in the United States for many years, but it’s another matter entirely to be the guy in the firing line with everyone.
That, unfortunately, is where we are at.
Where I do have sympathy for DeChambeau, however, is his stance on the Covid vaccine. He said before the WGC event that as he was young and healthy he did not want to take a dose of the vaccine away from others who might need it.
That’s his call to make and he is entitled to take or leave the vaccine as it is an individual choice. It makes your life a whole lot easier in my view, but the choice is his to make.
When it comes to shouting fore, however, that’s just basic common sense.
Forrest showed he is learning quickly after maiden European Tour win
I said last month I hoped Grant Forrest would learn from his disappointing final hole at the Irish Open and he showed he certainly has after romping to victory on home soil at the Hero Open on Sunday.
With 17 Scots in the field, I was optimistic about the chances of a home win at Fairmont St Andrews, but to see Grant win it and Calum Hill and David Law finish tied for fourth was fantastic.
David’s scores have been incredibly consistent for a while and Calum has had a fine season so far. They are probably the three form Scots at the moment, so well done to the Tartan trio for flying the flag brilliantly.
There are so many factors which go into winning a tournament. Form, course knowledge, luck of the draw and home advantage all contribute to putting a player in a positive mindset.
Last week was the first time we had a sense of normality during the Covid era and, even though the weather was tough for the first couple of rounds, it was great to play in what felt like a normal week for the first time in more than a year.
We take another step towards normality this week at London Golf Club in Kent, venue for the Cazoo Classic.
My wife Helen is with me for the whole week and it’s been a couple of years since I’ve been able to say that at a tournament. Testing is still rigorous, but there is mask mandate on site for the first time.
I’ve played here a few times and it much like the Dukes at St Andrews. It has been very wet here, but the course has stood up well to the elements and the forecast is for good weather for the rest of the week.
It will play long and the rough is up due to the summer we’ve had in this country, so clearly a tough test lies ahead – but one I’m looking forward to.