As Bryson DeChambeau has rocketed onto the golfing scene in the past four years winning the NCAA individual championship and U.S. Amateur in 2015, the DAP Championship on the Web.com Tour in 2016, the John Deere Classic in 2017 and the Memorial Tournament and The Northern Trust in 2018, one thing has become abundantly clear about the SMU product: he doesn’t do anything conventionally.
This isn’t a new phenomenon, however; not that that should come as a surprise. During his pre-tournament press conference on Wednesday at the Dell Technologies Championship at TPC Boston, DeChambeau relayed a story about how he used to practice ping-pong growing up against a robot.
“I played a lot of sports (growing up): basketball, volleyball, soccer, I was a goalie at soccer, hand-eye coordination stuff,” he explained. “Volleyball I loved. Ping-pong, I loved ping-pong. But I used to practice at lunchtime with a couple of buddies of mine against this little robot. We bought a robot — not kidding — and we got a robot where this thing would shoot out the ball, different velocities, and different spin rates.
“This is what professionals practice with. We practiced every lunch period for a couple of years. And I got pretty good, needless to say.”
The robot question and answer comes at 13:30 in the clip below.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 29, 2018
Notoriously, ping-pong is a huge team bonding element at Ryder Cups and other team competitions. Although DeChambeau didn’t make the team on points, given his win at last week’s The Northern Trust and his hovering around the top-8 all season, it’s safe to say that he will be one of those receiving a pick on Tuesday from U.S. captain Jim Furyk.
With the undisputed U.S. ping-pong champion Matt Kuchar looking less and less likely to earn a spot, DeChambeau is shaping up to the man to beat on the table tennis court in the team room in Paris.