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Jon DeChambeau, father of Bryson, passes away after lengthy bout with diabetes


Jon DeChambeau, the father of Bryson DeChambeau, has died at age 63.

Bryson DeChambeau announced the heartbreaking news on Saturday afternoon via social media, saying, “Love you, Dad. I’m sad to see you go, but you've been through way too much pain in this life. I'm so happy you are at peace. Now you get to be with me and watch me at every event I play. Thank you for being an amazing Dad and I'll see you in the next life.”

A cause of death is unknown, though Jon DeChambeau battled diabetes for years after being diagnosed in the early 1990s. The disease caused both of his kidneys to fail by 2014, but through Bryson’s victory at the 2015 U.S. Amateur, he was reconnected with a high-school golf teammate, who ultimately donated a kidney to Jon in March 2017.

A year prior to the donation from Ron Bankofier, who hadn’t talked to Jon in 27 years before a two-hour phone conversation in the Summer of 2015 eventually led to the gift of life, Jon’s health was failing. He said in 2016 that he put on 35 pounds of toxin and fluid weight as the peritoneal dialysis he was on stopped working.

“That was a tough time,” Bryson said in 2018.

Yet, Jon managed to attend his son’s Masters debut in April 2016, undergoing rounds of hemodialysis between his son’s rounds at Augusta National. As Jon, who had just undergone foot surgery, rode around in a motorized wheelchair, Bryson captured low-amateur honors and a week later turned pro.

“He hasn’t seen a golf tournament since the U.S. Amateur, and he was flown out for that only for a day to watch the [championship] match,” Bryson said that week in Augusta. “Before that, he hasn’t been able to see me play, quite honestly, at all, through college or nothing. But for him to be here for this moment, it’s special. And it chokes me up.”

Still, Jon remained on the list for a new kidney for nearly a year longer.

Fate & Friendship: Jon DeChambeau and Ron Bankofier

Fate & Friendship: Jon DeChambeau and Ron Bankofier

“The whole kidney process, you’re scared,” Jon told Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis in 2018. Lewis then asked, “Scared of what?” To which Jon replied, “Dying, that I wouldn’t be around to…”

He then got too emotional to finish his thoughts.

But on March 8, 2017, after three-and-a-half years since starting dialysis, Jon received his kidney from Bankofier while Bryson was competing in the Valspar Championship.

“The ability for somebody to give part of their body to keep somebody else alive is amazing, and Ron did that,” Bryson said. “I can’t ever pay him back for keeping my dad alive.”

Added Jon: “I would sit back and start thinking, Wow, I’m going to live again and I’m going to get to follow Bryson when he’s playing on the Tour. Things that I thought were going away from me and never going to be a part of me again became alive again.”

A few months after Jon’s transplant, Bryson won the John Deere Classic for his first of eight PGA Tour victories. He won a U.S. Open in 2020, reached as high as fourth in the world rankings and now plays for LIV Golf as he’s become one of the most notable players in the sport.

Though Jon had to have his left leg amputated in recent years and continued to fight the debilitating disease, he was able to witness, whether in person or on television, many of his son’s best moments in this game, which as a father – and former pro golfer himself – who taught his son the game, meant everything to him.

The feeling has been reciprocal.

A couple of years ago, Bryson shared this Father’s Day message: “Happy Father’s Day to my dad who has always pushed me further than I thought I could go and believed in me to see it through.”