Hank Kuehne was a mainstay on the PGA Tour for several years. Colt Knost is one of the game’s emerging stars, and Kelly Kraft is becoming a regular at pro events.
Could Bryson DeChambeau be the next great golfer to come out of SMU?
Like the other three, DeChambeau won a U.S. Amateur title. But during his junior season in 2015, he went one better by earning the school’s first individual national championship.
Since withdrawing from school last year, the eccentric California native has made quite a splash, and he doesn’t even have a Tour card yet.
DeChambeau, 22, was in contention into the weekend at the Masters in April. The following week, he tied for fourth place at the Heritage in South Carolina while playing on a sponsor’s exemption.
“I was trying to prepare myself to be ready, to be patient out there and have a good schedule set, but nothing can prepare me for this,” DeChambeau said. “It’s definitely different being out here and being a professional and people wanting your time. I’ve become comfortable over time being in that situation.”
As impressive as DeChambeau’s scores have been, he’s also gained a following for his cerebral, scientific approach to golf. For example, the former physics major plays with a set of irons that are all the same length.
“It works for him, and what he does makes sense to me for the most part with his golf swing,” Knost said. “If he makes it like we all think he can, he could make some changes in this game for sure, and you might see more guys doing what he’s doing.”
DeChambeau just missed the cut in front of his local fans at the Byron Nelson Championship in May, where he used to be part of the gallery and has played some practice rounds with members.
He’ll likely have plenty more chances to put his name alongside golf greats such as Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Tiger Woods on the roster of Nelson champions. But before that, he’s planning to make his home in Dallas.
“I’ve been renting an apartment the past couple of years and then I’m moving out this year. We’re in the intermediate stages of trying to get to another place and stay with a couple friends of mine,” he said.
“A couple of years ago, I knew I could get out there, but now, to see myself actually out there playing with these guys, it’s a sweet feeling.”