Terminal pomposity

Bryson DeChambeau is our No. 1 content muse of the 2019 PGA Tour—who else could it have been?


The 2019 Fried Egg newsletter road ends here, folks. We’ve learned how to stiff a caddy with Matt Kuchar, how to screw up a practice swing with Zach Johnson, how to disrobe for a magazine shoot with Brooks Koepka, and how not to use a finger with Bio Kim. But there’s one player we’ve talked about more than any of those—one player who was destined for the No. 1 spot in our top five PGA Tour content gods of 2019: Mr. Bryson DeChambeau.

The Year in Bryson

It’s impossible to fit every noteworthy Bryson item from 2019 into one newsletter. Seemingly every time the guy showed his face, he made a headline for some peculiar reason. But we’ll do our best… 

While we’re young

The anti-slow-play movement has gathered steam recently, and there’s no better bogeyman than Bryson DeChambeau. We all knew he was a slow player before 2019, but awareness reached a new level this year. 

The third-year pro’s pace made headlines back in January when the European Tour bafflingly highlighted a long pre-shot conversation between Bryson and his caddie Tim Tucker. Facing a fairly routine wedge shot, they talked air density and roll-out for more than 90 seconds before DeChambeau hit a benign shot to the middle of the green. The video was widely mocked and criticized, putting Bryson under a microscope early in the year.

Helped along by J.B. Holmes’s slow-motion victory at Riviera, the discussion about pace of play kept building. Since the PGA Tour refused to release data on the topic, our own Andy Johnson collected some himself. At the U.S. Open, Andy walked nine holes with DeChambeau, Justin Thomas, and Kevin Kisner. He timed every shot hit by all three players, even noting the order of play. DeChambeau averaged more than 63 seconds per shot and 93 seconds when he was first to play. Compare those numbers to Kisner’s 32/42 and Thomas’s 42/56. In other words, our man took twice as long as Kisner to play his shots.

Haters be damned, Bryson claimed in an interview with the New York Post that he walked faster than other players, so it was okay for him to take more time over the ball. A couple of months later, he singled out caddies as particularly slow walkers. (Maybe that has to do with the huge staff bags they have strapped to their shoulders?) 

The climactic scene in 2019’s slow-play drama took place at the Northern Trust in August. Bryson was caught taking more than three minutes to hit a wedge shot and more than two minutes to hit an eight-foot puttin the same round. A media frenzy ensued, during which everyone’s favorite alpha Brooks Koepka put Bryson on blast. Bryson responded by approaching Koepka’s caddie on the Liberty National practice green and going all, “Hey man, if your buddy has a problem with me, he should say it to my face, man.” An undoubtedly bemused Brooks obliged.

When all was said and done, Bryson changed nothing. Never once did he even admit that he was slow, at one point alluding to secret PGA Tour data that supposedly vindicated him. Ultimately, it comes down to this: no one—not J.B. Holmes, not Jason Day, and certainly not Bryson DeChambeau—will have any reason to pick up the pace unless the Tour gets serious about enforcing some kind of policy.


Bryson’s 2019 culminated in a bizarre appearance at the Presidents Cup.

For weeks leading up to the team event, Bryson made noise about his intentions to get yoked during the winter. He put out awkward gym videos, said he had gained 15 to 20 pounds of muscle in less than a month, and emerged at the Hero World Challenge looking like Bryson DeChambeau ate Bryson DeChambeau. Like “a guy named Vinnie who works security at MetLife and won’t shut up about his mom’s ziti.” Like Stewie Griffin in that one episode. To complete the impression, DeChambeau wore shirts for that had probably fit him a few months prior but no longer did the job. So yeah, he was bigger—though the amount of muscle gain is up for debate. 

As for the golf? Well, Bryson’s play at the Presidents Cup was limited. He and Tony Finau lost their opening match on Thursday, and Bryson rode the bench for the next three sessions. That wasn’t going to keep him out of the spotlight, though. On Saturday, for reasons unknown and perhaps never to be known, DeChambeau jumped into the (totally legitimate) crowd in the grandstands by the first tee, faked his way through some John Denver lyrics, and provided golf-nerd meme material for the next century at least. 

Oh, and he tied his Sunday singles match, boosting his U.S. team event record to 0-4-1. 

So things were pretty awkward for Bryson in Australia, but what do you expect from a guy dealing with poor Fortnite stream quality?

Assorted oddities from Bryson’s year

The Latest

Shotgun Start: The 2019 Year in Review: Part V

The year-in-review rolls on but not before Brendan and Andy discuss the closing of bitterly disappointing seasons for the Bears and Browns, who did not give Freddie Crockpot the time to make his meal. Then they move to the news of a relatively weak field at Kapalua and Bryson DeChambeau’s pick if given one choice to build a golf course. This leads to some brainstorming on what might be some of Bryson’s golf course architecture preferences should he go into the business. Then the arduous Year-in-Review march continues, hitting on Brooksy’s sleepy week in Hartford, “Area 313” in Detroit, and Bryson’s mind being blown by sticky-note science in Minnesota. What was supposed to be the final part to this Year-in-Review exercise is cut short, however, as Brendan, who is parenting solo, has to tend to constantly interrupting children. Listen on iTunes, Spotify, and Stitcher.

The Must-Sees of Public Golf Architecture in America

For an introduction to this ongoing list, visit its home on our website.

The Aiken Golf Club (Aiken, South Carolina)


DIY golf course architecture doesn’t always turn out well. Rarely do amateur designers have the skill to execute their ideas, even if they have the creativity to think them up. So when Jim McNair decided in the 1990s to do an in-house renovation of his family’s course, The Aiken Golf Club, he was taking a big risk. But one look at today’s 1st hole (pictured), with its natural, swooping fairway and its perched double green, should tell you that McNair had the right stuff. In fact, his lack of experience may have been an advantage, as he clearly wasn’t hung up on convention. The bunkering is highly original, contrasting structured pots with large, wild waste areas. The greens have simple yet eccentric contours. And while the course measures just under 5,800 yards, it feels longer because there are several half-par holes that push strong players out of their comfort zones. So yes, The Aiken Golf Club is homemade, but it’s not at all flimsy.

Insider tip: As we found out at our Thoroughbred event in October, Aiken GC is a great evening hang. The Highland Park Grille, the bar and restaurant above the pro shop, is first-rate, as is the all-grass putting course behind the 18th green. -Garrett Morrison

Check out the full profile of Aiken by Andy Johnson and our podcast with Jim McNair.

Photo credit: Garrett Morrison

Pro Shop

Believe it or not, a new year is right around the corner. You’ll have to pretend to be excited for work, and you’ll have to look decent doing it. B. Draddy makes the second part a little easier by providing timeless designs for on or off the golf course. Grab a Fried Egg Vin Polo, Tommy Polo, or Russel Quarter Zip and bring some style to the office.