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Monday, July 30, 2018

DeChambeau Stuck in the Middle

Bryson DeChambeau apologizes for handshake controversy

Joel Beall writing for Golf Digest:

What really rubbed observers the wrong way, though, was DeChambeau ostensibly blowing off McEvoy after his victory, offering the briefest of handshakes before departing the green.  Many, including fellow players, deemed the move in poor sportsmanship. It appears DeChambeau agreed, apologizing to McEvoy and fans for his actions on the final green.

For various reasons, many I simply don't understand, Bryson DeChambeau is not very well respected by some folks. I don't know him beyond what I see and read. I'm not here to judge or defend the man himself. What came to mind from this event on the 18th green in Hamburg yesterday was the ongoing debate about what is good sportsmanship on tour.

Seemingly every time a player is seen being friendly with another player during the round old-school commentators jump all over them for it. "In my day we would never tell another player 'good shot' or give him a knuckle punch." Something along those lines is still too often heard from the momentary booth or on Twitter from the veterans. To their credit, these new wave players just shrug off the criticism and play the game the way they see fit.

DeChambeau let the tournament slip away in the closing holes. He was understandably frustrated and full of other emotions. If he was playing with the "killer attitude" that so many commentators seem to want, it should be fairly understandable why he wouldn't be all smiles and handshakes immediately in the moment. But, out came the critics accusing him of poor sportsmanship. So sharp was the response that DeChambeau felt compelled to address the issue directly via Instagram:

Could he have been a better sport? Sure. It doesn't take much to take off your hat, offer your hand, look your competitor in the eye, and say congratulations. Does it require a firestorm of commentary and criticism because he sort of phoned it in? No.

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