Bryson DeChambeau is not the 'People's Champion', he's selfish as ever

Sure, Bryson DeChambeau is a 'champion of the people' because it serves himself.
Bryson DeChambeau - 2024 U.S. Open
Bryson DeChambeau - 2024 U.S. Open / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

"The People's Champ" is a phrase that has been bandied about in the wake of Bryson DeChambeau's victory at the 2024 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2. Sure, Bryson DeChambeau has many fans, but he is by no means a "People's Champ" as so many claim he is.

No, Bryson DeChambeau is not the 'People's Champion'

One cannot deny that things have changed with DeChambeau over the course of the last few years. Fans seem to be more supportive of him and on a surface level, he seems to have more humility and understand that he was immature and foolish in how he conducted himself in the past.

The odd thing is how quickly this reversal seems to have come. He was a laughingstock for so long, but then suddenly at the PGA Championship, the narrative shifted to him being some sort of beloved golf version of Paul Bunyan.

Sure, his YouTube channel has introduced him to new fans. Sure, he says the right things about his past. But if you have watched DeChambeau for his entire career, he has not changed at all.

There has always been an incredibly fake and phony element to DeChambeau. The self-seriousness, leaning into the "mad scientist" label. The arrogance and petulance of the past were in keeping with this personality of a guy so obsessed with himself that you could not help but laugh at him.

It made total sense why someone so self-important would have jumped ship to LIV. He does not care about the game of golf at large or the world at large. Who can forget his infamous "nobody's perfect" remark when asked about Saudi Arabia's involvement in 9/11?

DeChambeau loves to tinker with his golf game and equipment. He loves using stats, 3D modeling, and every available tool or metric to try and improve his game. In the same way, he has attempted to rehabilitate his public image using algorithms and the tools of the internet.

In a way, it is sad. A guy who so clearly, desperately needs to be liked yet does not have the natural likability or charisma to do so has manufactured a public image the same way he manufactured his 3D-printed clubs that were somehow approved for play by the USGA on Monday of Masters week and which have coincided with his high major finishes.

The sadder part may be that so many have fallen for it. Maya Angelou has that famous quote, "When people show you who they are, believe them the first time." This is not to discount the ability of people to grow and change. However, Bryson DeChambeau showed us that he is selfish and needs to be the center of attention for years.

Now that he is the center of attention again, he finally has what he wanted. But when the spotlight goes away or things do not go his way, it would not be at all surprising to see him revert back to his petulant ways.