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June 3, 2018
MARK WILLIAMS: Let's get under way. We would like to welcome two guests, Mr. Bryson DeChambeau, the 2018 the Memorial tournament champion. Congratulations, Bryson. We would also like to introduce you to, obviously, tournament host and founder and two time winner, Mr. Jack Nicklaus.
Let's start with you, Mr. Nicklaus. We had an exciting finish out here with a playoff that went two holes. The champion next to you, and you said some wonderful things out there about Bryson and how you met him two or three years ago and gave him an invite into this tournament.
JACK NICKLAUS: Well, Bryson, as I said, I met him at Augusta. I said, you know, this is young man that I think we're going to hear a lot from. He's played some awful good golf. He's won at the John Deere last year. Of course, he was the National Amateur champion when I met him, that's how he got to Augusta. He played today, he was leading the tournament going into the last round, didn't have his A game going out, and but stayed with it and finished up with an A win.
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Grinded it out.
JACK NICKLAUS: That's right, you grind it out and sometimes that's what you got to do. But you know, if your driver's not working, your putter better be working. And if your putter's not working, everything else must be working. But he had the right club working today and that was his flat club. Nice going.
MARK WILLIAMS: With the victory, that's your second win on the PGA TOUR after winning the John Deere a couple years ago, and then you move to No. 4 in the FedExCup, which is a big jump from 22. You mentioned out there that you moved up a little, you weren't quite sure where.
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: I didn't know.
MARK WILLIAMS: That's a big move. Just talk us through the playoff. That shot that you hit on the last hole into the green there to leave yourself 10, 12 feet --
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: 11 feet two inches.
MARK WILLIAMS: I noticed a little high kick and a club twirl and I don't think I've ever seen you do that before. Comment on that shot particularly.
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: I finally got it right the third time. It took me a little bit. First off, I want to say thank you, again, for hosting an incredible event. You always do it, a couple, well three years ago, was it when I -- no, two years ago, 2016, when I was able to get a sponsor's exemption here, hosted a great event as well. Food's amazing, love it here, it's a great atmosphere. So, thank you, appreciate that.
JACK NICKLAUS: Welcome.
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Coming down the last hole in regulation, I saw that Kyle hit it, obviously, to the left -- well, hit off a tree and came back across the fairway and that was kind of interesting. Knew he kind of had a bad lie and so that was fortunate on my part. But I hit it right in the middle, had an easy 9-iron, what I thought was an easy 9-iron, and saw the wind was coming off the right and hit a, what I thought was a good 9-iron, straight up in the air and tried to draw it a little bit, but it just didn't draw. For whatever reason off that slope, it didn't draw. So got myself in a tough situation, had to make tough 2-putt, didn't do it, came back around the first playoff hole, tried to do the same thing, hit a great 3-wood, a tee shot that's not easy, by the way, on 18.
JACK NICKLAUS: Good.
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Good. Yeah.
So it's tough task but was able to get in the fairway all three times after not hitting it well particularly all day. Second time, didn't get it right. Then the third time was able to kind of aim a little bit more left and draw it in there and make sure that it got to that back section. And then I knew I had a little bit of a back stop and was able to spin it back off that and then it was just a couple inches outside the right edge and hit it halfway and it went in.
MARK WILLIAMS: Great description. We'll take some questions.
Q. You said your ball striking really wasn't on, at least off the tee. This rough is supposed to be so penal that you can't do anything with it and you didn't hit fairways and did something with it. What, how did you do that, and what really was working for you?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Well, my caddie, Tim, and I did a lot of rough work before. We knew it was going to be a difficult golf course if you didn't hit the fairway. So we tried to prepare on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. And so we used flight scope and to see how far the ball was actually going out of those types of lies. We were just testing the different lies in the rough and oh, that's a 20-yard jumper, okay, that's what that looks like. It's deep down in the rough, it feels thick so it's not going to come out. So just being able to judge those lies and leave myself in the proper place on the green was key this week.
Q. After you missed the putt for par on 18 the first time, what did you do to mentally collect yourself in preparation for this playoff?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Well, I had to say to myself I still have a chance. It's not easy going into a playoff and I was fortunate to go second off. And seeing Ben hit it a little right into the rough up there, it kind of gave me confidence to say, hey, if you hit the fairway you've got a huge advantage here. So that's what I did for those two times.
Q. Almost obligatory to ask you, but what is it about Columbus you like, because we know you qualified in three U.S. Opens from here?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Yeah, I played really well here. I love the grass. It's super familiar. Back home in Fresno, California we have the same type of grass, relatively speaking. You go over to Monterey, it's kind of the same as well. So I've played a lot of golf over there, I'm just comfortable with these types of, this type of grass. For whatever reason it seems to be that, out of this grass relative to Bermuda, it's just way easier to kind of control the ball out of those types of lies, because in Bermuda you can sometimes get these massive jumpers, like incredibly massive, 30-yard jumpers. And out of this type of rough you only get about 15- to 20-yard jumpers. So in that regard I'm more comfortable and was just able to conquer it this week.
Q. How satisfying was it to get this win this week, doing it mostly with your putter?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Yeah, I've struggled with my putting my whole life. And it's without enough thanks to the guys at Sik Golf for being able to figure out what the proper launch is on the putter, for me, to realize what it needs to be on the system called Quintic. And just being able to verify that every week has allowed me to be more comfortable with how the ball's coming off the face. And then, obviously, seeing golf -- or seeing putts go in is huge. It's very, very big for somebody's morale. And I was able to do it early this week and just kept the trend going.
Q. Do you think -- you've had some big wins -- do you think you've ever celebrated like that before?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: No, that was a big celebration there.
John Deere was pretty big, but this was a little bigger, for sure. Just being able to make that 11-footer going, yes, I can do this, I can come in, clutch, when I'm not playing well, to be able to finish the job off.
Q. A quick follow-up. I think you mentioned this yesterday about how winning this is kind of validation. Do you think a little bit different? Do you feel that way still?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: It is. People always kind of scrutinize me saying I'm too technical and whatnot. It's all just to aid my feel. I am a guy that goes off of feel still, I mean to everybody's surprise probably. But it's just an aid and it helps me be more comfortable in more difficult situations. The tougher the situation gets, the more I can rely on the numbers to be able to bring myself back down and be comfortable. Because, again, at the end of the day, if you can calculate every variable, which you can't, but if you can at least try and bring it back to some sort of understanding of what's going to happen or predictability, that's what can allow you to have a little more confidence out there consistently.
Q. Two things. How many variables did you have going on that putt on 18 in regulation?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Oh, don't hit it there. In that first putt, don't hit it over there. The second putt, I mean, look, it was a 7-footer, two and a half percent slope, and I just said, all right, I've done this plenty of times. It's three and a half inches up the straight putt and for me that's about 2 inches out on the right. And I hit it and I thought I hit a great putt. Unfortunately just wasn't enough speed and it broke off a little more than I thought. And just a misread, unfortunately, but was able to make that 11-footer on the second playoff hole.
Q. And then secondly, when -- the decisive moments are always going to be on 18, but I'm curious how big 15 played into you getting to that point?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: That tee shot is not easy. I know Tiger hit it a couple times left and then right in the first round. It's just not easy for anybody. You're hitting up to this top tier and if you hit a little right, a little left, in that rough, it's a tough lay up shot, so it's just a difficult hole. I actually hit the fairway a couple times, second and third rounds, but the first round was right and then the last round I was a little left. I got a little quick and rotated the club face too much and fortunately got it up over into that second little tier, over the second little fairway or area in the rough. But it made it a little easier than hitting a 5-iron, 6-iron from back there. And it was actually not an easy shot either, and I hit it and just the wind kind of took it a little left and was fortunate enough to have a good lie over in that left rough. And it actually wasn't too difficult of a shot. I just had to get it up there and let it trickle down and was able to do that and make a 5-footer.
Q. Would you have thought when you got your ball that you would still be leading by one going to the 16th tee?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Not particularly, no. But I wasn't thinking about that at the time. All I was thinking about was getting the job done, just hitting it back in the fairway and trying to get it on the green and make a putt somehow to even make birdie. But plans didn't go out that way, I was able to still get the job done though.
Q. What does it mean to get a second win on TOUR and what does it mean to do it here at this course and this tournament with the host with the most here?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: To be able to win on Jack's course is pretty special. I know coming here a couple years ago I wanted to do it then -- my game wasn't near good enough to win -- so it's taken a couple years for me to get to that caliber and I was fortunate enough to be able to come out victorious here at Jack's course, which, again, I'll say it time and time again, this is probably the most important win I think of my entire career, because of the fact that it happened here at Jack's course and also because it's kind of validity to me being out here on TOUR as well, me being able to get the job done. I know I can do it consistently.
Q. This is actually for Jack, if I could ask you a question.
JACK NICKLAUS: Sure.
Q. Not to say at all that you weren't analytical as a player but you certainly didn't have the same technology that's available today. I'm just wondering what your reaction and impression is of a guy like Bryson and just kind of all of the, just listening to him speak about the intricacies and the things that go into everything he does.
JACK NICKLAUS: Well, you know, we didn't have that back when we played. And had we had it, maybe we would have used it. I was actually the first guy on TOUR to walk off a golf course to get yardages. Prior to coming on TOUR there wasn't one single player that didn't play by eye. So that was the start of technology, you might say, so I guess I was the start of that.
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Thank you.
JACK NICKLAUS: And yeah, I was always, from designing golf courses, you sort of, you look at the land, you look -- in other words, I read a green from not looking at the green, but I read a green from looking more of the surrounds and where water was going to go in a general bit and then where it was going to go off the green and then all that. The guys today have books for that. Maybe so, but I suppose I made my own book in my head. Was I, in my own way was I technical? Yes. But today it's a lot different things that they can do and get. So if that's what winds your watch and that's what gets you to think about what you do and gets you to the ability to be able to play your shot, by gosh, use it, if you have it available to you.
Q. I could have done the math wrong but I think this win moves you to 8th in the Ryder Cup standings. How much is that on your mind right now and secondly, what would it mean to have the chance to be able to do some of those fist pumps in Paris?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Well, I've been on three United States teams, the World Amateur, Palmer Cup and the Walker Cup. And every single time it was the coolest experience to be able to go represent your country and be at the forefront of that. So to make the Ryder Cup is obviously No. 1 on my priority, if I don't do anything else this year. This is obviously pretty solid too, but I will say that to be able to represent your country would be a tremendous honor, one that I'm highly looking forward to, if I do get that opportunity.
Q. What did it kind of feel when you were getting fit this week? Did you feel any kind of --
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Yeah, a little motivation, absolutely. Going in there and seeing all the clothes on you going, man, this could happen, let's go get it done.
Q. Have you ever gotten frustrated or offended at some of the scrutiny that you faced for your analytical ways?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Yeah, I would say disappointed, because whenever you look at somebody, don't judge them by the cover, right? You got to judge them by the results and the work ethic and the dedication and the perseverance that the person has. So whenever you look at somebody and say, oh, man, that dude's weird, why is he doing that? He's got these dumb one-length clubs that don't work. Yeah, they do. I mean, I won last year and they work pretty well for me, I'm confident with it, we kind of came up with it back in 2011, so I know what's going on with it.
Could it be better? Absolutely. And we're always going to get it better. This is just a process that comes about with living life, you're always trying to get better every single day. So I think that's a testament to itself of saying, look, don't judge anybody by what it looks like on the cover, be able to look at them and say, all right, what is he actually doing, why is he doing this, could this actually be beneficial to me. And just take positives from the uniqueness of my game.
Q. You alluded to during the winner's ceremony outside that you had to overcome some hardships as a rookie. What exactly did you have to endure?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Oh, well, learning how to consistently make cuts on TOUR. I mean, last year I missed 14 cuts in a row. My last one being at the U.S. Open last year. And that was tough, that was a tough pill to swallow. Because I felt like I didn't belong out here for a little bit. But I was able to go back home that weekend and look myself hard in the face and mirror and say, look, you have to figure out something if you want to stay out here. And so I went back to the drawing board, kind of figured something out, and ultimately wound up winning the John Deere four weeks later because of that hard talk to myself.
Then moving forward, after I won the John Deere, missed the cut at the British Open but I think a dozen shots. A lot. And, yes, the emotions were high and it was a big swinging change after winning the John Deere, but at the same point in time I had to be able to perform, that was my goal, to be able to perform every single week and I didn't.
So after that and then after the FedExCup finish when I didn't make the finals, the TOUR Championship, excuse me, I went back to the drawing board again. So I went back to the drawing board twice in one year to be able to come out with something that has allowed me to be more consistent on TOUR, have less error in where I'm hitting it and be more confident in unique situations.
So it's just taken time to be able to get through this learning phase of knowing how to be on TOUR consistently.
Q. Before you even teed off I believe Tiger had a birdie and as the 54-hole leader. Was there a part of you that was really hoping he would make a charge so you would have a chance to hold off?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: No.
He's Tiger Woods.
No, I mean, look, any time you get to compete against the best players in the world -- and I think Jack you alluded to this is the best field you've had.
JACK NICKLAUS: It's a good one.
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: It's a very, very good one.
To be able to have this type of caliber all chasing is kind of special. I knew I had to go out there and play well, I couldn't make many mistakes, even though I wasn't hitting it good and I knew I just had to make a lot of putts.
Q. Just wanted to ask you, I saw a great feature during the Masters about your father and the health struggles he's going through and I just wondered if you could just kind of fill us in on your emotions after you won this about the type of inspiration your father is to you dealing with his health problems and how he handles it and stuff like that.
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Yeah, you know, we have had our tough times in the past, just like any father/son relationship. He is a rock and foundation when it comes to grit. He's always told me, just grind it out, keep grinding it out. One little saying that we have always had is just keep swimming. Whenever the time gets tough, just keep swimming, just keep going. It's from Nemo, I mean, it's the dumbest little thing, but it's true. I mean, honestly, you just got to keep going. When the times get tough, just keep going. And that's been his motto through all of his medical issues. I mean, he's had dozens of surgeries, mishaps, taking out the wrong rib when he was in his younger years, to diabetes, his eyes having seven eye surgeries, having back fusion, having bypass, heart or triple bypass with his heart. It's insane what he's gone through. To be on dialysis to go through kidney transplant to have Ron Bankofier be able to give him his kidney is something that I will never be able to repay Ron because of that and it's truly an inspiration to see how my father has kept going through all of his tough times. And it's made me a better person because of it.
And then my mom has been a rock through all of the tough times. She stuck by him every single moment, no matter what's happened to him. So it's just great to see that sort of relationship keep going in regards to all of the tough times that have come about with my family. But it's great and it's an inspiration.
Q. Couple questions. First of all what's your favorite Jack Nicklaus memory on television, I presume.
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Oh, 17 at Augusta. Masters 19 -- I wasn't even born then.
JACK NICKLAUS: No, you weren't even born then.
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: '86? Was it, 1986.
JACK NICKLAUS: It was a long time before you were thought off.
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: "Yes, sir," that was the coolest thing ever. I mean, I'll always remember that. That's deeply rooted in my memory banks.
Q. Secondly, when we talk about these theories that you seem like you thoroughly enjoy this process, when you get out here, is there any other player that you can have conversations with about this?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: I try and keep most of the stuff to myself because, honestly, there's no need, I don't want to give my secrets away or any of this stuff that I've developed away.
Q. Do you think they would understand it?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Oh, yeah, absolutely. Look, look, people think that all the stuff that I do is insane, it's crazy, there's a lot of variables that go along and, yeah, but all we're trying to do is take the complex, which is this golf environment, and make it simple. Quantify it down to where I can say, all right, it's just a 155 shot. That's it.
JACK NICKLAUS: You wait and see, Doug, he wins a few more tournaments, you find out how many people have sets with clubs the same length. Just guarantee it. Right?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Oh, yeah, well, I mean --
JACK NICKLAUS: That's okay.
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: I don't know if most of the people will do it on TOUR or anybody will do it on TOUR because they have grown up playing that way. But I think a lot of the amateurs will realize, hey, this is a beneficial way to play the game with your irons.
Q. I may be completely wrong and please check me if I am, but I remember when you first came out there was a lot of talk, it might not have come from you but there was a talk about revolutionizing golf. And when you won the John Deere, I kind of remember a comment saying, saying, look, there's lots of ways to play this game, this is just one of them.
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Yeah, absolutely. And hopefully it's a way that can potentially help out anybody that wants to try it and make their game a little bit better. Why not? Just go try it and see if it's better for your game. If it's not, then okay, it's all right. And that's really all I have to say about it.
MARK WILLIAMS: All right. Thank you for your time, gentlemen. Congratulations again, Bryson. Mr. Nicklaus, thank you again for hosting us the 43rd and we look forward to the 44th next year.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports