Bryson DeChambeau returns after being COVID positive with no regrets not having been vaccinated
MEMPHIS, Tennessee – A positive COVID-19 test prevented Bryson DeChambeau from participating in the men’s Olympic golf tournament and still keeps him trying to recharge his batteries while attending this week’s WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
But DeChambeau, 27, said he doesn’t regret his decision not to get the coronavirus vaccine.
“The vaccine doesn’t necessarily stop it from happening,” DeChambeau told some reporters after his nine-hole pro-am round at TPC Southwind on Wednesday. “I’m young enough, I prefer to give it (the vaccine) to people who need it. I do not need him. I am a healthy young person who will continue to work on my health.
“I don’t think it’s a good thing to take the vaccine away from someone who needs it. My father is a perfect example. He got it (the vaccine) early because he’s diabetic. People like that have to get it. Mom did. I don’t want to take that ability away.
“Now, over time, if it (the vaccine) is mainstream, really, really mainstream, then yes.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported this week that more than 90 percent of COVID-19 cases – and more than 95 percent of hospital admissions and deaths – are among unvaccinated people.
DeChambeau was required to perform three COVID-19 tests every 24 hours on consecutive days and return negative results as part of the Olympic protocols before being allowed to fly to Tokyo for the tournament.
He said he tested positive on July 23rd and said another test was also done just in case the first was false positive.
“They didn’t think it was a false positive, they just wanted to be sure,” he said. “I didn’t feel anything for two days. All of a sudden I got tired. Two or three days ago I felt completely better. Most of the time it’s funny that you stay at home and are in quarantine for so long, you just feel tired. You do nothing. “
DeChambeau said he tested negative before traveling to The Open in England, upon arrival at the tournament, and again before departure. He said this was the first time he had tested positive through numerous tests at tournaments and as a requirement for travel in more than a year.
“It had to happen,” he said. “Unfortunately it happened this week. Chances are that you will be tested enough, you will travel around, it will happen. July) tested positive. I tested positive a few times (in the following period). There is nothing you can do about it. “
DeChambeau said he regretted missing the Olympics and hoped to qualify for another opportunity in 2024, but felt aloof for not participating in the competitions.
“After I tested positive, my brain just changed,” DeChambeau said. “I love it (the Olympics), thought it was great. I would love to be there in three years.”
DeChambeau is best known for his fitness regimen in which he gained about 40 pounds while deliberately trying to gain weight and muscle mass. he leads the PGA Tour in driving distance.
But he said he had lost “8 to 10 pounds” in the past two weeks and felt like his club head speed has decreased. Because of this, he doesn’t care as much about results.
Although he couldn’t practice much, DeChambeau said he didn’t touch a club for an extended period of time last year during the three-month tournament shutdown due to the pandemic. He could swing on a simulator.
“I don’t really expect much,” he said. “I just go out there and try to get through a whole week and get comfortable, and then do it again and get my golf swing in a place where I’m comfortable. So maybe a little lower expectations this week.”
DeChambeau plays the first two rounds with Dustin Johnson and Cameron Smith.