DeChambeau Has Battle on Skis With Tiger Woods

For years, not much buzz surrounded any kind of men’s golf rivalry. The only real one, maybe, was between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson — and those two men may have both retired. It’s…

DeChambeau Has Battle on Skis With Tiger Woods

For years, not much buzz surrounded any kind of men’s golf rivalry. The only real one, maybe, was between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson — and those two men may have both retired. It’s hard to imagine Woods’ last competitive match-up came out any time in the past decade, but it did, at the PGA Championship in 2004. DeChambeau, on the other hand, has maybe been anointed a great player more by those around him than by anyone else.

Before finishing second to Koepka by just one shot at the Tournament of Champions on Sunday, the 22-year-old and his mentor Bryson DeChambeau were everywhere on the golf circuit and in the press this year. Along with his buddy, DeChambeau has been training so hard that he has something of a reputation as the world’s most gifted player. Although the fascination is because of how he does it, there is also the question of whether his work ethic has helped him raise his game to a level where he could beat world number one Koepka. And, it just so happens, they are both current Northern California natives and play out of nearby Tiburon. The fact that they are friends off the course, while some in the press wanted to put the focus on their rivalry, is no coincidence.

“We knew going into this we’d be together,” Koepka said. “We’re incredibly compatible in that we have the same vision for the game of golf. We enjoy each other’s company. There is certainly a friendship there but it is certainly focused on the golf course and to make sure that we understand where we are going to be on the golf course and what we need to do to try to win a golf tournament.”

DeChambeau agrees. “If you don’t have a good golf game you’re probably not going to succeed on the golf course because it involves so many different variables,” DeChambeau said. “Just because you can practice, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to be able to play at a high level and that’s the biggest thing. But yeah, it’s not just us. Everyone on tour has that ability to put the work in and be the best they can be.”

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