Bryson DeChambeau spoke on Wednesday for the first time since he had to withdraw from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics because of a positive COVID-19 test, and he had a lot to say. This is not unusual for DeChambeau, of course, who loves to opine about UFOs and myriad scientific theories, but his comments this week at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational were nonetheless intriguing.
DeChambeau said he was not vaccinated when he contracted COVID-19 and that the virus created some fatigue and congestion as he quarantined at home. He also lost 8-10 pounds and 5 mph on his ball speed. Nevertheless, he said he does not regret being unvaccinated prior to the event in Tokyo.
"The vaccine doesn't necessarily prevent it from happening," DeChambeau told ESPN on Wednesday. "I'm young enough, I'd rather give [the vaccine] to people who need it. I don't need it. I'm a healthy, young individual that will continue to work on my health.
"I don't think taking the vaccine away from someone who needs it is a good thing. … Now as time goes on, if it [the vaccine] is mainstream, really, really mainstream, then yeah."
DeChambeau is playing in his first event since the Open Championship where he finished T33. He has just one top-10 finish since placing T3 at the Players Championship in March and has not had the summer he likely envisioned, especially after having to withdraw from the Olympics. Patrick Reed took his place on the United States team.
"It was bound to happen," DeChambeau added about his positive test. "Unfortunately, it happened that week. The odds are you get tested enough, you travel around, it's going to happen. I tried to take all the necessary precautions to not contract it, and unfortunately on [July 23] I tested positive. I tested positive a few times [in the aftermath]. You can't do anything about it."
DeChambeau will tee it up this week at TPC Southwind in Memphis and then again in the FedEx Cup Playoffs here in a few weeks. He has plenty of time to salvage a poor second half of the season and potentially still be the PGA Tour Player of the Year, though he did say that expectations are low right now because of his illness. DeChambeau also has his second Ryder Cup to look forward to in the fall at Whistling Straits.