Speaking publicly for the first time since a Covid-19 diagnosis kept him from the Olympic Games, Bryson DeChambeau addressed his symptoms, vaccine status and how he’s feeling entering this week’s FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
DeChambeau spoke to a small group of reporters that included Golf Channel’s Ryan Lavner and ESPN’s Bob Harig after a nine-hole practice round in Memphis. He described the symptoms he’d experienced in the days following his positive test, which included fatigue and “coughing spurts.” He limited practice and laid low at home following the diagnosis, he said.
This week, he’s back on the course but doesn’t feel like he’s 100 percent. DeChambeau said he lost roughly 10 pounds and has seen his speed decline after days of inactivity. DeChambeau also said he hadn’t been vaccinated and explained his reasoning.
“The vaccine doesn’t necessarily prevent it from happening,” he said, according to ESPN.com. “I’m young enough, I’d rather give it to people who need it. I don’t need it. I’m a healthy, young individual that will continue to work on my health.”
DeChambeau added that his father, a diabetic, got the vaccine early on. His mother got it, too.
“I don’t think taking the vaccine away from someone who needs it is a good thing.”
Vaccine shortages complicated rollout earlier in 2021, but the CDC has reported no shortages of late as more Americans have gotten vaccinated while others, like DeChambeau, have shown hesitancy.
DeChambeau added that he’d be open to getting the vaccine at some point in the future.
“As time goes on, if it’s mainstream – like, really, really mainstream – and everything is vetted out, yeah,” he said, “I don’t have an issue [getting vaccinated].”
His comments caught particular attention given the current state of Covid-19 in the United States; the Delta variant has swept the country that has resulted in a dramatic increase in positive tests, particularly among unvaccinated individuals.
The PGA Tour told ESPN that over 70 percent of its players are vaccinated and over 90 percent of its caddies, prompting the Tour to pause weekly on-site testing. But the Tour has re-implemented its indoor masking policy for all individuals.
DeChambeau tees off on Thursday at 10:48 a.m. alongside Cameron Smith and Dustin Johnson.