It Sure Sounds Like Bryson DeChambeau's Relationship With Cobra Is Over; Rep Calls Out 'Asinine' Statement
Bryson DeChambeau turned up to last week's Saudi International with a TaylorMade Stealth 2+ in his bag—that raised some eyebrows given he'd been signed to Cobra since he turned pro in 2016. A Cobra rep later confirmed to me that Bryson's deal had expired at the end of 2022 and that, as of that moment, he was not on staff. The rep did, however, say that the company and the 2020 U.S. Open champion were "in discussions about 2023 and the future."
It's starting to look like those discussions won't go anywhere.
Adam Schupak of Golfweek chatted with Ben Schomin, a Cobra tour rep whose name might ring a bell. He's who caddied for Bryson after he and his caddie, Tim Tucker, split up suddenly the night before the 2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic. He's also the one who issued a scathing retort when Bryson said "the driver sucks" during the 2021 Open Championship.
“Everybody is bending over backwards," Schomin said after the "sucks" comment. "We’ve got multiple guys in R&D who are CAD’ing (computer-aided design) this and CAD-ing that, trying to get this and that into the pipeline faster. (Bryson) knows it,” Schomin said. “It’s just really, really painful when he says something that stupid.
“He has never really been happy, ever. Like, it’s very rare where he’s happy. Now he’s in a place where he’s swinging a 5-degree driver with 200 mph of ball speed. Everybody is looking for a magic bullet. Well, the magic bullet becomes harder and harder to find the faster you swing and the lower your loft gets.”
Schomin was back at it again on Thursday, confirming to Golfweek that DeChambeau has recently taken a trip to Ping's headquarters for testing….and firing off some daggers in the process.
“I wish him all the best, but it’s going to be a struggle just because of what he wants to do," Schomin told Golfweek. He then took issue with DeChambeau's recent comments suggesting he wants a driver he can hit anywhere on the face and still have it fly straight.
"“It was such an asinine statement, especially for a guy who is perceived to be all-knowing when it comes to science and physics, that he said he needs a driver that can be hit anywhere and everywhere across the face and find the fairway. With increased speed, demands increase precision. It’s just like a race car. You’ve got to be a better driver when you’re running at 200 miles per hour than you do at 75 (mph) going down I-95. He doesn’t believe that. He thinks there is a magic bullet out there. He’s looking for a unicorn.”
It certainly seems like DeChambeau's relationship with Cobra is over. It's a marriage that's had its ups and downs—DeChambeau made a big splash when he signed with them after turning pro in 2016, shortly after he won both the U.S. Amateur and the NCAA individual title in the same year. He helped design and popularize single-length irons, and he became a genuine phenomenon with his distance gain in the summer of 2020, culminating in a devastating display of power to win the 2020 U.S. Open at Winged Foot.
His career has stalled somewhat since as he's struggled with injuries and, by his own admission, poor nutritional habits that stemmed from his sudden bodily transformation.
DeChambeau made the jump to LIV Golf in June of last year for a deal worth more than $100 million. He's the captain of the Crushers franchise and can be seen here doing a little air guitar.
Dechambeau did not finish better than 10th in six LIV starts last year but did finish T-8 at last year's Open Championship. Still, given LIV's lack of world ranking points and his recent inactivity, he has dropped outside the top 100. Additionally, with all the money he received from LIV, the financial incentives of signing a club deal aren't as enticing. And DeChambeau has been candid about his shifting priorities—he's actively building his YouTube Channel, he's competed at the highest level of long-drive events, and he plans to use some of his LIV money to develop a multi-sport complex near his home in Dallas.
He did, however, say at last week's Saudi International that he felt rejuvenated after an extended break from competition.
"My energy level is so much better," he said. "My clarity of thought is way better. I don’t know if you can tell, but my speech is a lot more fluent and I’m not stopping as much or pitching as much like I used to last year and before.
"I tried being healthier, eating healthier, working out more, brain training and all that. None of it helped until I found out that my nose doesn’t have the proper airflow going through it. Now, I’m eating healthier than ever and I’ve got my airflow back in my nose. LIV has allowed me to do all this. Being just completely transparent and upfront, I couldn’t really do it before."
He missed the cut in the Asian Tour by seven shots after rounds of 72 and 75. LIV Golf begins its 14-event season on Feb. 24-26 at the Mayakoba resort in Mexico.