The Dream Team: Bryson DeChambeau Enjoys New Heights With Caddie Greg Bodine on the Bag

DeChambeau called Bodine out of 'retirement' last year, and the duo continues to click, capped by last weekend's U.S. Open at Pinehurst.
DeChambeau and caddie Greg Bodine embraced moments after the final putt.
DeChambeau and caddie Greg Bodine embraced moments after the final putt. / USA Today

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PINEHURST, N.C. – Greg Bodine was enjoying one of the spoils of success for a caddie, the pin flag from the 18th green, which in this case honored Payne Stewart, who 25 years ago did something dramatic—just as Bryson DeChambeau did on Sunday at Pinehurst No. 2.

Bodine was holding the flagstick and posing for photos in the aftermath of DeChambeau’s triumph, where not long before, the golfer had won his second U.S. Open by making an improbable par from a bunker in front of the green.

It is probably safe to say that the DeChambeau-Bodine pairing was also unlikely.

Bodine had “retired’’ from caddying in 2020, leaving the bag of Tony Finau and starting a business in his home state of Washington. But DeChambeau called him last May, even though they didn’t know he other well.

“It was worth a try just to see,’’ Bodine said. “We weren’t buddies or anytying but he wondered what I was up to. I had gotten this start-up off the ground. I have a couple of kids at home, the schedule made sense. I had been done in 2021.’’

Bodine’s business is Evergreen Golf Club, an indoor golf facility in Redmond, Washington, with another facility in the works. But the allure of caddying was strong. And DeChambeau has been quick to give Bodine credit.

They started working together last year at the LIV Golf event in Oklahoma City, which was the week prior to the PGA Championship, where DeChambeau finished fourth. Later that summer, he came from behind to win the LIV Greenbrier event—shooting a final-round 68—as well as one in Chicago before leading his LIV team to the overall title.

Then it’s been strong runs at the major championships this year: a tie for sixth at the Masters, followed by his runner-up finish to Xander Schauffele at the PGA Championship and then Sunday’s victory.

“What he says over and over again is I keep him calm,’’ Bodine said. “I caddied for Tony Finau and I’m very much that way. It’s hard for me to get worked up about things. I think he senses that out there but I also say a lot of that stuff. Try to give him perspective. We are opposites. I think he’s come to understand. He’s played a lot of great golf with different types of caddies. But I hope to help him here and there with a club or a round or save as shot a round or a tournament. That’s our job.  My role being a caddie is to be good company for five or six hours.’’

Bodine cited the same equipment gains that DeChambeau has noted several times, including the Krank driver he put in play just before the Greenbrier event and irons he’s been experimenting with that have more of a curved face.

“His driver face is very curved,’’ Bodine said. “When he was hitting it fractionally off the toe or the heel his errors were dramatically worse. He thought through some things and saw in the Krank driver that if it has a lot of curve. There’s just not a lot of people with his speed and he still needs to make a great golf swing. But it’s great for him to know that he can hit it a little off the toe and that it won’t go so far off line. And now he’s doing that with the irons.’’

As is DeChambeau’s nature, he was on the driving range until it got dark Saturday night, although Bodine says the marathon range sense are more a thing of the past. The switch to a different driver head just before the final round? Routine stuff. The main thing is the two seem to have a bond that has worked well for DeChambeau over the past year.

“I was struggling,’’ DeChambeau. “I didn't know where my game was. I had no idea what was going on. Greg was in a place where he was starting a business, Evergreen. He was in a place where he didn't know what was going to go on. Some family stuff happened. It was just a weird moment for him and for me.

“I guess it was fate. The two lives that were in some despair got brought together to make each other better. I feel like that's what's happened. He gave me a chance. I said, “I don't know what I'm going to give you. I don't know what game I have. You may hate what I have, and I might not like the way you caddie.’

“He's very mellow, somebody that I've never -- I've had a lot of A-type personalities. They've worked great; I've done very well. But he's been a special human being for me in my life, getting me to realize what life is about. It's not just all about golf. He works hard. He's a diligent worker. Brings the best out of me.’’

A perfect example occurred during the heat of that 18th hole, when DeChambeau found that menacing bunker and faced the 55-yard shot that stood between him and glory.

“One of the worst places I could have been,’’ he said. “But G-Bo just said, “Bryson, just get it up and down. That’s all you’ve got to do. You’ve done this plenty of times before.’ I said, “You’re right; I need a 55-degree (wedge), let’s do it.’’


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Bob Harig

BOB HARIG

Bob Harig is a senior writer covering golf for Sports Illustrated. He has more than 25 years experience on the beat, including 15 at ESPN. Harig is a regular guest on Sirius XM PGA Tour Radio and has written two books, "DRIVE: The Lasting Legacy of Tiger Woods" and "Tiger and Phil: Golf's Most Fascinating Rivalry." He graduated from Indiana University where he earned an Evans Scholarship, named in honor of the great amateur golfer Charles (Chick) Evans Jr. Harig, a former president of the Golf Writers Association of America, lives in Clearwater, Fla.