With the Ryder Cup fast approaching, Bryson DeChambeau is a name on many people's lips. The former US Open champion is a controversial figure, to put it mildly, but when he's not feuding with fellow professionals or arguing with spectators, he's doing everything he can to make himself the best golfer he can be.
This has included piling on the pounds to increase his driving speed and distance, and tinkering with various clubs and putting techniques to try and gain any edge possible. DeChambeau has earned the nickname 'The Scientist' for his exploits, but there are plenty who feel that his methods go against the traditions of golf, where talent and accuracy reign supreme.
DeChambeau will be present at the Ryder Cup for Team USA, and it will be interesting to see what reception he gets from the Whistling Straits crowd. His frosty relationship with spectators has been notable at a number of events, including the recent BMW Championship, where DeChambeau was pipped to the title by Patrick Cantlay. It's safe to say that he isn't the most popular player on the PGA Tour.
But at a Ryder Cup, national pride usually trumps individual presence, and you'd expect the crowd to get behind DeChambeau. He is an excellent golfer, and if Team USA are to live up to their status as favourites among those betting on the Ryder Cup, DeChambeau will have a major part to play. The only circumstance in which you could imagine fans turning on him is if he plays poorly, and if Europe make gains at his expense. In that situation it would be interesting to see how he reacts.
There is also the issue of DeChambeau's feud with Brooks Koepka. Normally, this doesn't have any effect on their tournaments as they simply keep out of each other's way, but in the team-based format of the Ryder Cup, they will have to put their differences aside for three days. It's unlikely that they will be paired to play together at any stage, but their rivalry could affect the harmony of the USA camp, and that's an area where Europe could gain the edge in the Ryder Cup betting tips.
The most important thing for the US and captain Steve Stricker is that DeChambeau produces his best form on the golf course. The only time he gets frustrated or wound up is when he is playing poorly or under immense pressure, and if he can keep his cool and play some outstanding golf, then all those concerns will be swept away. At the end of the day, crowds will always react positively to great shots, and that's exactly what DeChambeau needs to produce to ensure a stress-free weekend.
This upcoming Ryder Cup brings a chance for DeChambeau to perhaps change some of the narrative surrounding his persona. If he can prove himself to be a team player, if he gets along with the rest of the team, and most importantly if he contributes to a US victory, a lot of golf fans may view him in a different light. It'll be fascinating to see which version of DeChambeau turns up at Whistling Straits, and whatever happens, he's bound to be in the headlines one way or another.