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May 17, 2016

Bryson DeChambeau

Irving, Texas

JOHN BUSH: We'd like to welcome Bryson DeChambeau into the Interview Room here at the AT&T Byron Nelson. Bryson, just a tremendous professional debut this year at the Heritage. Couple missed cuts since then. But just talk a little bit about that experience and about the state of your game coming into the week.

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Yeah, it's a learning experience. I mean look, I mean I don't even have my card yet, I'm still trying to make it. Every single start is a new experience for me. These past couple of weeks, tournaments -- even this week has still been different for me trying to get used to all the people that are pulling me each and every way and it's unique, something that most guys starting out don't really get and something that I'm acclimating to and learning to enjoy.

JOHN BUSH: Just talk a little bit about your experience here at SMU as well and this sort of being a little bit of a home town advantage.

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: It is. It is sort of. My residency will be here in Dallas. Moving on and going to SMU was quite a treat, quite an interesting and small school that I loved, certainly love and will forever love. They've done a great job for me and been super-supportive of whatever I've done, whether it be withdrawing from school or being supportive and trusting me that I could be a part of their program and play some good golf. It was special time in my life that I will never forget and I will also say thank you to SMU for that. Being in Dallas now I got to play this golf course a couple times and know it a little bit and hopefully will do well out here.

Q. Jordan has quite the following year for obvious reasons. Do you expect some of the same type of galleries around you this week?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Oh, man, I have no idea. This is my first time playing here, right. It would be nice. Jordan is obviously Jordan and obviously I'm just Bryson. I'm nothing that special. I hope to not be classified in a different league or anything like that. I just want to be a person playing some good golf out there, having some fun. If I get a crowd, great. If I don't, let's go play some good golf and not too worried about it.

Q. Have you already bought a place here or that's been your --
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Yes. So I've been renting an apartment the past couple of years and then I'm moving out this year and going -- we're trying to go into town. There's a lot of -- we're in the intermediate stages of trying to get to another place and stay with a couple friends of mine and went to SMU and figuring all that out. I know I'll be in Dallas at least.

Q. Why?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: It's great to travel out of and also tax reasons kind of nice. Better than California.

Q. What do you feel like has been the biggest challenge for you in the last couple of months as you've adjusted to pro life?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: I was trying to prepare myself to be ready, to be patient out there and have a good schedule set but nothing can prepare me for this. It is different, it's definitely different being out here and being a professional and people wanting your time and you getting thrown off by a couple things because you don't really necessary know what some of the PGA TOUR rules are, what they have set before me. Just -- it's another level and at every single level I've learned to adapt to it. I've become comfortable over time being in that situation and I think it will be the same thing out here. It will take a little bit, just like it has for pretty much everybody else in their lives and I hope it will be a quick transition. But, again, that six month period definitely helped me out. But I still am learning and it requires a lot of patience because people are pulling you each and every way and I certainly didn't expect that, especially just being a guy that doesn't even have his card yet, you know. But, at the same time, I understand and I'm willing to take on that challenge and it's making me a better person, I think. It's difficult, though, but it's fun.

Q. Bryson, as a physics major, how have you incorporated physics in your golf swing specifically and the rest of your golf game as well?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: I don't know if we have enough time for this conversation (laughter).

Q. Give me the Top-5.
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Top-5. I don't know if you have time for that, either. No. I mean I think that a lot of the mechanics -- quantum mechanics don't really correlate. I mean it does on a really, really minute scale but doesn't affect how you're striking a golf ball. It's more in your other mechanics. When you think about it from those terms and understand that look, you've got to still be able to play out there. You can't just be this technician, you know, you can have this art perspective from it to be able to play, hit shots and tinker and have some fun, that's definitely an avenue that you have to understand and be able to play and utilize it to your advantage. Going to the physics side of it, it's been more of an interesting journey than I have ever expected especially with working with manufacturers and a couple of different companies that are really looking to help me out in regards to building a couple devices that will help me, like we may be creating something that helps me sense pressure in the grip. We're changing how people can register their grip pressure through impact through an app and if we can do something like that, create a putting model that allows me to understand on any type of given surface what the trajectory of the putt can be. There's so many things out there we haven't necessarily done yet but we've initiated the conversation. And then in regards to the golf clubs, there's stuff that we still don't truly understand. I mean we're out there today testing a couple shafts that should slow my swing speed down and should make the ball go lower off the flight and it was going higher and my swing speed increased. There's things we don't necessarily know because robots cannot perfectly test nor understand what a human is doing through a 3-dimensional stroke pattern for a golfer like myself. A machine can't do that. It can't register how it's being produced, how -- the response is to your body through the neural input from the shaft to me and me back to the shaft. So, we don't necessarily know everything yet and that's the fun thing about it, I love going to the extremes and that's what something we did today and pretty interesting to see and performed really well and probably play with the shaft this week. There's so many things that I could talk about that I really can't answer in one small answer, you know.

Q. So can you clarify, I've read a couple different things, how many sponsor's exemptions do you have left?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: I don't know how many I have left. I don't think about that. That's something --

Q. That was my follow-up --
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: I don't think about it anymore. I know I had 9 starts, 10, I think that I could have potentially with 3 invitations and 7 sponsors exemptions. Now every tournament that I get is an honor and opportunity to do my best and the last -- the last couple events, it's golf. I'm still young, still learning, still figuring out how to get this thing going, you know, and look, not everybody plays their best every single week. I feel like those last couple weeks that I had where I missed the cut by one or two could have easily been taken care of had I just stayed a little bit more in the moment and not let myself get ahead of myself and get frustrated or mad or something like that. If I just really stayed in the moment, focused on, "Hey, this is just another golf shot, you got to perform to your absolute best and not let the previous shot affect me", I think I would have definitely made the cut and helped my chances a little bit more but it is what it is. You learn from those mistakes.

Q. Obviously you had the big high coming out with the Top-10 at Hilton Head. Did you think maybe either yourself or maybe others got caught up and this is going to be a lot easier than I thought and I'm going to take it by the cuff and shake it? Did that give you false expectations that this might be easier for you than it's become in the last month or so?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: I don't know if it's -- I don't know if it's about it being easy at all. It's a task. It's an opportunity and that opportunity has presented itself in a normal manner, you know, it's presented itself to everybody that's gotten out here and had these chances and opportunities. So, when you say is it harder or is it easier, that's more a factor of you putting stress or pressure on yourself. I don't try and look at it that way. I try to take it for what it's worth and do my absolute best. It's still tough for me because I'm an emotional kind of guy and I try and take the emotions out of it. I said that in past times a couple times before. I'm not perfect. Nobody is perfect. I think once I understand that and say, "Hey, look, it's okay to mess up a little bit, it's okay to fail" and be okay with that then you're fine about it, you don't worry about things as much like I have been in the past, these past couple weeks. But as I go into this week, I think that it's just another tournament and I can't focus on it being, "Oh, it's one of my sponsor exemptions" or anything like that. I don't think that it put expectations on me from that Top-10 finish. I just thought that I could play better and maybe that is an expectation. But every week, you know, you're only as good as your last week, right? The last week or the last tournament I played in I missed the cut. So, obviously I'm not where I want to be and I got to get better.

Q. Not a physics question, but you mentioned the manufacturers showing interest in helping you develop things, figure things out. Since it's come to light what you do and people become interested, are you surprised at the interest you get from people about what you're doing and what kind reaction have you gotten from guys you've been around with just on Tour just this short time?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Well, I think the way I go through things and how I process information and how I deliver information to club manufacturers is kind of different than anybody has ever seen before. It's unique. I talk kind of their language and I'm able to give them feedback that helps them understand what I'm sensing right off the bat rather than somebody going, "Oh, I kind of feel it's not going high enough or low enough." I can say "The dynamic loft isn't enough." It's easier for them to understand and be more specific with them in those regards. But I think what they're doing for me is incredibly nice. We've never been able to test shafts or different heads. We've always been able to use what we have available to us at that present moment in time. Mike Schy and myself were talking about that and we kept saying to ourselves, "Look, we've never had this opportunity to try all these new things, things that could potentially help our game tremendously" like what we had today is driver shaft. I mean shoot, it could help me hit three, four more fairways a round. I don't know. I have no idea. But these manufacturers have been really nice and been -- Cobra and Puma has been really nice and a couple shaft companies have been really nice in helping me figure out what's going to be best for me.

Q. I think everybody assumes that you take this scientific approach to golf a hundred percent of the time. I'm wondering if there are ever any times when you just kind of thrown the numbers out and just played by feel or is that something that's just kind of mixed in?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Well, the science and the technology aspect of it more of an additive rather than a substitute. So, most people think of it as a substitute, oh, you're either technical or feel-oriented. If you're thinking along those lines you're really limiting yourself especially in today's world. You look at the top guys in the world, they're thinking about percentages and where they're hitting it and also what clubs they're hitting based on their shaft, how it's performing. They're thinking about some of those things and also strategy. That's another aspect to it. That's technical in a sense, right, technical? They know they can't go at every single flag. We know that. So there is a bit of techniques, technical sides so it, excuse me, as well as being an artist. Sometimes you're going to hit into trouble and you'll have to shape yourself around that golf course. You're going to have to get up and down from there. It's part of golf. If you can find those days where hitting every fairway and green just seems like it's easy, that's the goal and if you can achieve that, that's what we're all trying to achieve is more consistency and it can't just come about -- some days feel players will have that but it will go away from them because it's all based on the day and how they feel, right? If you have baseline, something you can always go back to like some of the top players in the world do -- I know that for a fact, all the guys up there have things they rely on. I know I rely on a lot of things that is comfortable to me. It's about a comfortability factor. If I'm able to go back to being comfortable in each and every shot, I'm going to perform at a better level. All right. It's when you get these doubts in your mind and allows you to be uncomfortable, you start feeling and worrying. That's when you have bad shots. As simple as that. If you have these baselines to help you out, it's only an additive, not a substitute.

Q. I just wondered, another member of the SMU, U.S. Amateur, Colt Knost had a great week last week. I wondered if Colt or somebody else has kind of buddied to help you with this transition.
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: We're friendly, Colt. He's a good guy. I like talking to him. There's a couple other guys out there been very nice to me, Ben Crane has been awesome, played against him in ping-pong a couple times. We have an ongoing battle week-in and week-out. But, shoot, Spieth has been nice to me, Phil has been nice to me and couple of the top dogs out there have been generous enough to give me sometime to help me learn a little bit. Blayne Barber was nice enough to reach out to me and play practice rounds and Aaron Baddeley. There have been some great times giving their time up to talk to me a little bit.

Q. Talked about like the art versus the science. I would imagine most players are more of the artists. Do you think what you're doing can change the game or is this just the best way for you to become the best you can be?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: I don't know if the way of thinking can change the game. It's predicated on who the innate person is, their human nature and I'm more -- I lean more towards the technicality side just because I like numbers, I like understanding and seeing results. That gives me confidence. It's about whatever gives you confidence. If the sensation gives you confidence, then that's what they're going to rely on. But the sensations are fleeing. It's like a wind, it blows and you don't know where it goes. But if you have structure, if you have the scientific aspect of it and baseline you can always go back to, you can go back to it. I don't know if that will revolutionize or change anything. That's not what I'm trying to do. I'm trying to make it easier in regards for people playing the game of golf. It's a fact. I want it to be easier not only for myself, but people out there. I think it will be reality soon. We've got some shaft companies thinking about doing some cool stuff and Cobra Puma is really on top of it and that's really all I can say right now. Should be a very interesting journey.

Q. Having gone to SMU, choose to go live in Dallas and being basically now from this area, what does it mean to you to have gotten an exemption into a tournament with Byron Nelson's name on it?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: It's fantastic. I can't say thank you enough to the Byron Nelson and to everybody that's associated with them for allowing me a sponsor's invite. That's something that I don't take lightly and will definitely give my time back to them down the road because of this sponsor's exemption. This is how you get out here and it's difficult to get out here nowadays. For them to give me an exemption is definitely -- could be a world changer for me, you know. So this week could be the week that changes my life.

Q. When you were at SMU, did you ever come out to this tournament and did you ever play here? Is this one of the courses you played?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Yeah. I came out here one year, I don't remember which year it was. It was a couple years back at least. But I have played out here a little bit. Ben Baxter is a good friend of mine, he's on the SMU Golf Team. They're members out here. I got to play out here every once in awhile.

Q. What was it like to walk around in the gallery now that everybody is walking around watching you, what was it like for you to walk around the gallery and see some of the guys out here and everything?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Couple years ago I knew I could get out here, I knew that was definitely a possibility but now to see myself actually out here playing with these guys and practicing and being here, it's a nice feeling, sweet feeling.

Q. Do you remember who you watched when you were here?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: No, I don't have that good of a memory. It doesn't go that far back.

JOHN BUSH: Bryson, we appreciate your time. Best of luck this week.


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