In 2020, Bryson DeChambeau sought out to transform golf by transforming his body, packing on 50 pounds in an attempt to outmuscle the competition. For a while, he was literally too big to fail, winning the 2020 US Open and rising up to 4th in the World Golf Rankings. Since then, though, he's been waylaid by various injuries and a loss of form, plummeting to 214th and joining LIV Golf, the controversial Saudi Arabia-backed breakaway tour. But after shooting a 4-under 66 first round at the PGA Championship on Thursday, a noticeably svelte DeChambeau found himself at a once-familiar and now-strange place: first place.
Over the last year, DeChambeau has taken up a body-transforming diet, forgoing corn, wheat, gluten and dairy products (i.e. most of the good foods) and dropping his daily intake from 5,000 calories to 2,900. After beginning the diet last August, DeChambeau said that he dropped 18 pounds in the first 24 days. As a result, he now weighs 210-215 pounds, down from 240 pounds at his heaviest.
“It was crazy,” Bryson DeChambeau said after finishing his round. “It wasn't fat. It was all water weight. You know how I looked before. I was not skinny.”
Despite his drastic weight loss, DeChambeau still has serious power; he averaged 313.3 yards off the tee in the first round, the sixth-highest mark in the PGA Championship field. Although this is down from the 323.7 yards he averaged throughout the 2020-2021 season, he's swapped power for accuracy—on Thursday, he hit nine of 14 fairways, a huge uptick from last year when he hit just 50.7 percent of fairways.