HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – It wasn't another “Hello world,” as Tiger Woods famously said when he turned pro in 1996, but Bryson DeChambeau’s professional debut this week at the RBC Heritage is drawing plenty of attention.
Following his tie for 21st last week at the Masters, DeChambeau begins his quest to gain PGA Tour status this week. It’s the first of at least seven Tour events he will play this year on a mixture of sponsor exemptions and invitations.
“These past six months were preparing me for this week and my future,” DeChambeau said. “This transition should be fairly easy. I wouldn't say it's going to be that easy, obviously, because there's obstacles thrown in your way. But we're trying to make it as seamless and easy as possible.”
DeChambeau also announced he signed a long-term endorsement deal with Cobra Puma Golf for clubs and apparel; he will play a Bridgestone golf ball and use that company’s gloves.
The 22-year-old will play next week’s Valero Texas Open, the AT&T Byron Nelson, Colonial, Memorial, Quicken Loans National and the Travelers Championship in an attempt to earn enough FedEx Cup points to secure Tour status.
Those who have been in DeChambeau’s position in the past said the biggest challenge he will face will be limiting his own expectations.
“There’s a lot of talk when you turn pro and there’s a lot of pressure on yourself as well,” said Colt Knost, who turned pro after a similarly solid amateur career that included victories at the 2007 U.S. Amateur and U.S. Amateur Public Links. “He’s got seven starts or whatever to come out here and get a job or he’ll have to go to Q-School and spend a year on the Web.com Tour.”