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January 14, 2020

Bryson DeChambeau

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

BRIONY CARLYON: Delighted to welcome back Bryson DeChambeau to the. Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship Presented by EGA.

Bryson, you're back in Abu Dhabi. You've been here a couple of times. Give us a sense of what you've been up to over the Christmas break because you've obviously taken a little bit of time after the Presidents Cup.

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah, I've taken quite a bit of time off. That's mainly to get healthier for the most part and get stronger I think. Those are my goals. I made some comments after Shriners that I wanted to be a different person coming back. I feel like I am and I certainly am swinging faster and doing things in a better way I feel like.

This year is set up to be a great year. It's always fun to start back here in the UAE. They have always been awesome to me and the people have been incredible, and I enjoy coming back here because of that. They make it special for me and they make me feel special, and that certainly warrants me coming back for three years to come I feel like, and it's much appreciated.

This golf course is an incredible layout. It's a very good test of golf. The fairways are tight, and the greens are pure. So they just do a great job here personally and I love coming back to golf courses that are maintained really well, and they are fun to play.

BRIONY CARLYON: So obviously a Rolex Series Event this week with a world-class field. Lots of the top players. What are your expectations that you set for yourself for the year? Do you have goals or how are you looking ahead?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Well, I'm looking -- well, every tournament I'm going to, to pretty much win, right. You're not going to a tournament to go, oh, I'm preparing for this win.

For me, having be a Rolex Series Event and having it be this important, it's fantastic. But every tournament I play in, I still go in with the mind-set that I'm going to win and do my absolute best to win.

For me, it's a great preparation for the rest of the year. It's going to tell me what's going right and what's going wrong, and I'm going to try to bring my A Game to every single event that I play.

Q. You spent a lot of time on the range in the Bahamas working hard on your game. Did you find what you were looking for that week after the Presidents Cup, etc.?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I actually found it on Sunday -- yeah, it was Sunday of the Presidents Cup. Found something nice and played pretty well there. Unfortunately didn't get the full point, but was able to do nicely there.

I came back with the mind-set of, okay, I've got to solidify what worked for me in 2018 and what was going right there so I can bring it into 2020. I felt like 2019 was a growing year for me. A lot happened, a lot of good things.

And moving into 2020, I feel like I know twice as much as what I knew in 2018. For me, that's certainly a positive benefit that will only help me for the rest of my career.

But considering what the question was, in the Bahamas, I'm always still trying to work hard no matter what. You're always going to see me on the range working hard, trying to figure stuff out, trying to get better. That's usually only when things are kind of not going 100 per cent the way I want it to. It doesn't mean I'm playing bad. It means it's not where I want it to be, not my A+ game. I didn't feel like any point in 2019 I was playing my A+ game. And trying to get it ready for this year and I feel like I'm very close to that right now, very, very close.

Q. This week is the introduction of the new regulations on The European Tour, the four-point plan to tackle slow play.
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Considering how far I'm hitting, I don't think that will be an issue anymore.

Q. Do you welcome something like that?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I love it. I love it. I told you guys, even back at -- on the PGA TOUR, when stuff was happening, I told you guys, I welcome it. I was playing under the rules and there was no rhyme or reason to be called out, other than the fact that it looked like it was a really, really long time that it took, and it was, absolutely. I'm not saying it wasn't.

But I was playing under the rules at that point in time, and there's no reason or why I should have been given so much heat, considering other things that had occurred that day and previous days of other people that I played with and other things that occurred. It's just .01 per cent of the time that that happens on Tour, which it happens literally with everybody out there. They just caught it on camera at that specific moment in time.

You know there, was no time assessed, there was nothing that occurred and I played under the rules. To be called out like that was kind of weird, but it is what it is and I take it and I understand it.

All I'm doing is my absolute best to be better, and that's what I look forward to this year is, again, like I said, a new me, a new person, and a way that's going to represent all tours, all golf in general in a positive way to help grow the game.

That's what I've always been about is trying to shine a light on the game of golf and not push people away, with developing the one-length irons, having a new way of swinging the golf club and doing all these different things that look weird, but have been a massive benefit to the game, that's what I'm about. So when considering change like that, I welcome it.

Q. There's been a revision now from the original plan, two bad times in a tournament and a one-shot penalty. Is that a good thing, as well?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Absolutely. Look, I don't want to be out there for six hours, nor does anybody, right. And there's numerous times out there, more than not, I'm waiting -- our group is waiting for people to go, and so I certainly don't want to be waiting on players. It's going to hurt my momentum. Every time it happens, I feel like I get cold.

So yeah, absolutely. I don't want that to happen to people behind me or in front of me. There's a lot of things that happen during the course of a golf round. People don't just hit in the middle of the fairway or on the green all the time. You have situations that occur.

Taking that into account, which I think they have done beautifully, it is a good thing. Having the, hey, can I get 40 more seconds because this is a weird shot, the wind came up, or something happened, I think that's great. I think what they did there is awesome.

Q. You've been playing all over the world, and not many Americans come to Europe or to the UAE. What is your motivation to actually come and play in those countries, and different continents? Is it part of your goal to make golf more --

Q. Global? And then also, it's been really nice to see you engage on Instagram and on Twitter because of all, I would say, the bad words about slow play involving you and defending yourself. How much impact did this have on you as a player, but also on your willingness to become a global player worldwide and be a likable player?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Well, I want people to know who I truly am and I don't to be a guy behind closed doors and he's protected and everything. There's points in time where you need, that obviously, but I want people to realise who I am as a person.

So playing globally, being a part of global golf, is definitely on my list. I want to be able to say that I can win worldwide, which I've done. Now I won last year in Dubai. I want to win multiple times, and I also want to grow the game globally.

We need to show how positive of an impact the game of golf is on communities, on people's lives. Every week, someone's life is affected in a positive way because of the game of golf. What we're doing here, what Abu Dhabi is doing, is incredible. We're literally trying to grow the game and that's what I want to be a part of.

Just like building the one-length clubs like I said before. I keep going back to it, but I made it at age 18. It wasn't in college or some scheme or anything like that. It was literally to help grow the game. Obviously benefit me, but help grow the game in general. I thought it would be a great way for people to play the game. As you talk about the game globally, that's absolutely one of my top priorities.

And the second thing, engaging with fans, again, I want people to know who I truly am. I don't want people to think who I am. I don't want anyone else to write my own legacy. I want to control that and let everybody know who I truly am.

Q. Can you tell us a little bit more about your physical transformation, where you started weight-wise? A few years ago, people were saying it was crazy to get big.
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah, so I started out right after Shriners at 208, and as I sit right here right now, I'm 225 pounds. Last year, I was 195 pounds at the end of the Hero World Challenge.

So 2018 [sic] Hero World Challenge, and I felt brittle. I felt like a gust of wind could push me over if I wasn't careful. I'm not super light at 195, right, but I still didn't feel like I was solid.

I just made it a goal of mine this year after I figured out my -- some of the stuff in my golf swing that wasn't going right at Shriners, after I figured that out, I said, okay, now I feel like I have good control of my game and I feel like I can add mass and size and strength and speed to those principles, and so it was kind of a test for me. It wasn't that I was bored or anything. It was just I wanted to see if I could do it, and quite honestly, it's been a massive benefit.

And it's made me excited for the game again because I get to go back out and play a game that is completely different than what I knew it to be. I mean, I went out yesterday and hit shots and hit drives. I'm like, I'm hitting -- two years ago, I was hitting driver, 5-iron -- driver almost 4-iron into 16 yesterday, or, well, two years ago. But yesterday, I hit driver -- I could have hit 9-iron into it but I hit a chip 8-iron into that hole and it was the same into the wind, 10, 15 miles an hour, I flew a driver 315 yards into a 15-mile-an-hour wind. I've never been able to do that before.

So it's really a new game for me. It's going to be interesting to see how it plays out. The direction hasn't really changed that much. I just feel like I've got more control and more stable.

So this transformation, I've literally been working out twice a day. At least after Shriners, I pretty much worked out twice a day for a good month and a half, month, somewhere around there. I just kept going to the gym, and luckily I have a gym at home, so I just go in there probably for 30 minutes and then I go back out and then I go back in for another 30 minutes and accumulated like about 3 1/2 hours of working out a day. It was a lot. It was ridiculous. But I said I'm going to do it. I'm going to do it right.

It was funny, when I got to Australia to The Presidents Cup, I ate about 6,000 calories. It was a ridiculous amount of food, just because I felt like I needed it to sustain that amount of weight and with travel, I didn't really have the food I wanted on the plane. Just needed to eat, eat, eat, eat, and just kind of maintained that since.

But it's been a long, tough process. I have a lot of days where I'm lying, I just don't want even to get up out of bed and then I go work out and swing it really fast and then go work out.

The thing is, people normally say, well, you're going to get injured doing this; you're going to get hurt doing this. And yeah, there are going to be some things that pop up. But I'm luckily to know a guy like Greg Roskopf, MAT, and any time that something has occurred, I've been able to get fixed immediately. I hurt myself doing a back extension there probably two, three weeks before the Hero, and within the next three, four days, I was swinging it 185 ball speed, and that was after pretty much throwing out my back. So what he's able to is incredible.

So I'm able to fix myself when things go bad in the gym, if they do. I go to the gym with a mindset to fix myself, never to break myself down.

Q. Are you the sort of person that sets yourself New Year's resolutions, goals?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I used to. Not anymore, though. It's all about progress for me. So I look at every day is going to be better than the last day. So let today's garbage be better than yesterday's.

Q. On the back of that question, in a jam-packed sort of golfing season, with the Olympics, Ryder Cup and four majors, is there one particular thing, and in this second week of January, that you really look forward to this in new year and this new decade?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Well, this new decade --

Q. Is there one thing in one year, we're going to have a jam-packed golfing year that you're really looking forward to?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I feel like -- and this is related to golf, but it's an overall macroscopic view of it. I think my health is the No. 1 thing I'm looking at; looking at getting stronger and bigger than ever before. Hoping to go to places that no golfer has ever gone to in a way that's going to hopefully show people that with a lot of hard work and dedication, you can change yourself.

I came here two years ago, nowhere near the body mass, size that I am today. It just shows progress and growth. I used to feel like I could hurt myself and injure myself every time going on the golf course. Now I feel like I could withstand a lot more than just golf.

BRIONY CARLYON: Thank you, Bryson, for your time. All the best this week.

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