Bryson DeChambeau talks about US Amateurs and how he hasn’t heard from Zach Johnson about the Ryder Cup

CHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. – Only three players have ever won a US Amateur, NCAA individual championship and US Open: Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Bryson DeChambeau.

DeChambeau won the NCAA title at SMU in 2015. A few months later, he went to Olympia Fields outside Chicago and captured the American Amateur in his fifth appearance. Then in 2020 he won his first major title at Winged Foot in New York.

But in 2012, DeChambeau took it up at Cherry Hills Country Club, site of this week’s U.S. Amateur, in his second appearance in the championship.

DeChambeau was back on the property Thursday afternoon taking in some of the action from Round of 16 games. He signed autographs, took pictures and followed around a few groups. He even hit a few shots with a persimmon driver off the Arnold Palmer tee on the first hole where Palmer famously drove the green in the final round en route to winning the 1960 US Open.

American amateur: Pictures from Cherry Hills

After watching Ben James beat David Ford on the 19th hole, he took time to chat Golf week on the American Amateur, the Ryder Cup and more.

Golf Week: What do you remember about the course?

2015 US Amateur and 2020 US Open Champion Bryson DeChambeau, left, shares a moment with Ben James after James won his match in a playoff on hole 19 during the 16th round of the 2023 US Amateur at Cherry Hills CC in Cherry Hills Village, Colo.  Thursday, August 17, 2023. (Kathryn Riley/USGA)

2015 US Amateur and 2020 US Open Champion Bryson DeChambeau, left, shares a moment with Ben James after James won his match in a playoff on hole 19 during the 16th round of the 2023 US Amateur at Cherry Hills CC in Cherry Hills Village, Colo. Thursday, August 17, 2023. (Kathryn Riley/USGA)

Bryson DeChambeau: “You have to hit it straight and you have to hit your irons really well. And the greens were diabolical. And I remember that it was a very strategic golf course. It was a special place. It’s been a while, but I always remember how beautiful it was.”

GW: What does it mean to see your picture with the trophy around the property?

Bryson DeChambeau makes par on No. 7 to go 5 up during the final of the 2015 US Amateur at Olympia Fields (Ill.) Country Club.  Photo by Tracy Wilcox/Golfweek

Bryson DeChambeau makes par on No. 7 to go 5 up during the final of the 2015 US Amateur at Olympia Fields (Ill.) Country Club. Photo by Tracy Wilcox/Golfweek

BD: “It’s great to be part of history. Like I think that’s why a lot of us play the sport, not just for the potential opportunities when you’re a pro, but also the history and how much the game of golf has meant to relationships and what it does to relationships, that goes forward. I think it’s more than money, it’s more than fame. It is also very much about relationships. And I think that’s what the American Amateur and the USGA do a great job of is highlighting that. The amateur aspect of it, it’s great. It’s great to be a part of.”

Why is it important to you to come back?

2015 US Amateur and 2020 US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau signs golf balls for fans attending the round of 16 of the 2023 US Amateur at Cherry Hills CC in Cherry Hills Village, Colo.  Thursday, August 17, 2023. (Kathryn Riley/USGA )

2015 US Amateur and 2020 US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau signs golf balls for fans attending the round of 16 of the 2023 US Amateur at Cherry Hills CC in Cherry Hills Village, Colo. Thursday, August 17, 2023. (Kathryn Riley/USGA )

BD: “It’s fun to know where you’ve been, where you’ve come from, and what feelings I had then, how nervous I was. I have empathy for these guys. I’ve lost four times and I won the American Amateur once, so I understand defeat, the power of defeat and the grace of victory. It’s a cool thing. When you lose, I felt empowered. ‘I had it, I can do it, I can keep going.’ And then when I won, it was so humbling just to feel that and to be a part of the Masters and really what gave me this passion.”

What do you remember from your victory at Olympia Fields?

2015 US Amateur Championship

Bryson DeChambeau holds the Theodore A. Havemeyer Trophy after beating Derek Bard 7&6 in the final match of the 2015 US Amateur Championship at Olympia Fields Country Club on August 23, 2015 in Olympia Fields, Illinois. Photo by Jeff Haynes/Getty Images

BD: “I remember how dominant my thinking was. I hit it well, I played well. Obviously won the NCAAs earlier that year, but I had gear that worked really well for me and I just felt like I was in this bubble going forward. It was this train that could not be stopped.”

You have recently changed the driver. Have you considered other options?

2023 LIV Golf Greenbrier

Bryson DeChambeau on the 2nd tee during the final round of the LIV Golf event at The Old White Course. (Photo: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)

“I request the fifth to do so.”

Saw a post that you hadn’t talked to Zach Johnson recently. Is it true?

Ryder Cup 2021

Bryson DeChambeau of Team United States celebrates on the first green during Sunday singles matches of the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits on September 26, 2021 in Haven, Wisconsin. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

BD: “It’s true. I talked to him a little bit at the PGA (Championship). He said, ‘Good luck, play well man. Roots for you.’ Then nothing.

“But I don’t expect anything. I will root for them if I am not there. And if I do it for the opportunity to play, I’m there for Team USA and I’m going to give it my all.

“The problem is, I understand the attitude that they don’t see us play enough, so it’s kind of hard to make a decision, I understand that. But at the end of the day, it is what it is, and I’m going to root for Team USA no matter what.”

The story originally appeared on GolfWeek

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