Some modern pros, including Woods, have caught flak for working out too hard and wearing down their bodies. For DeChambeau, the philosophy is the exact opposite: His gym inspiration is to stave off a nagging back injury. That injury — which DeChambeau says stems from a childhood trampoline accident plus the wear of hitting nearly infinite range balls — left him in major pain last season. “Sleeping hurt, everything hurt,” he said. “But it’s pretty cool what you can do to the body by working out. Most people say, ‘okay, I just have to sit down and rest, I’ve gotta take time off,’ but I’ve tried that route and I’ve realized that actually makes you worse.”
DeChambeau made his PGA Tour debut as an amateur in June 2015 at the FedEx St. Jude Classic near Memphis, Tennessee, and finished in 45th place. He played in his first major championship at the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, but missed the cut by four strokes. DeChambeau was unable to defend his NCAA title in 2016 after the SMU athletic department was handed a postseason ban by the NCAA. He decided to forgo his senior season to play in a number of events before turning professional. At the 2015 Australian Masters in November, DeChambeau was runner-up with John Senden and Andrew Evans, two shots behind the winner Peter Senior. He was the low amateur at the Masters in 2016 and tied for 21st place.
Born in Modesto, California, to John Howard Aldrich DeChambeau and Janet Louise Druffel, DeChambeau moved to Clovis, east of Fresno, at age seven. He attended Clovis East High School and won the California State Junior Championship at age 16 in 2010. DeChambeau graduated in 2012 and accepted a scholarship to Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, majoring in physics.