August 5, 2021
Bryson DeChambeau spoke publicly for the first time since a Covid-19 diagnosis kept him from the Olympics about his symptoms, vaccine status, and feelings while attending this week’s FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
DeChambeau spoke to a small group of reporters that included Ryan Lavner of Golf Channel and Bob Harig of ESPN after a nine-hole round of practice in Memphis. He described the symptoms he experienced in the days following his positive test, including fatigue and “flare-ups” of coughs. He restricted the practice and went to bed at home after the diagnosis, he said.
How to watch the 2021 WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational: start times, TV schedule, streaming
This week he’s back on the court, but he’s not feeling 100 percent. DeChambeau said he lost about 10 pounds and decreased his speed after days of inactivity. DeChambeau also said he had not been vaccinated and explained his reasoning.
“The vaccine doesn’t necessarily stop it from happening,” he said, according to ESPN.com. “I’m young enough, I prefer to give it to people who need it. I do not need it. I am a healthy, young person who will continue to work on my health. “
DeChambeau added that his father, a diabetic, received the vaccine early. His mother has it too.
“I don’t think it’s good to take the vaccine away from someone who needs it.”
Vaccine shortages made it difficult to roll out in early 2021, but the CDC has not reported any shortcomings lately as more Americans were vaccinated while others, like DeChambeau, were hesitant.
DeChambeau added that at some point in the future he would be open to getting the vaccine.
“Over time, if it’s mainstream – like really, really mainstream – and it’s all checked, yeah,” he said, “I have no problem [getting vaccinated]. “
His comments attracted particular attention given the current state of Covid-19 in the United States. The delta variant has taken over the country, which has seen a dramatic increase in positive tests, especially among those who have not been vaccinated.
The PGA Tour told ESPN that over 70 percent of their players and over 90 percent of their caddies are vaccinated, causing the tour to suspend weekly on-site testing. But the tour re-implemented their indoor masking policy for all people.
DeChambeau tees off Thursday at 10:48 a.m. with Cameron Smith and Dustin Johnson.
Dylan Dethier is Senior Writer for GOLF Magazine / GOLF.com. A native of Williamstown, Mass. joined GOLF in 2017 after fiddling around on the mini tours for two years. A graduate of Williams College in 2014 where he majored in English, Dethier is the author of 18 in America describing the year he lived off his car when he was 18 and in each state played a round of golf.