Bryson DeChambeau polished off his six-shot victory in the U.S. Open at Winged Foot and followed the script of winners. The trophy presentation. A series of interviews with various media. What typically follows for major champions are promotional appearances, especially being in New York.
Except this isn’t a typical year with COVID-19.
”He did ask, ‘What do we have tomorrow?”’ said Brett Falkoff of GSE Worldwide, who manages DeChambeau. ”I said, ‘If you want to be on your phone all day, that’s your option.”’
DeChambeau loves to talk about what he’s done and how. In this case, he headed to Denver to meet with trainer Greg Roskopf and get back to work.
The trophy, along with the title as major champion, is ample. What’s lacking this year are those media opportunities that raise the profile of the champions and doesn’t hurt the exposure for their sponsors.
The PGA Tour often arranges media tours in New York, even photos atop the Empire State Building if the player is willing (not all of them are).
The Tour still put together plenty of options, just none in the studio. In some cases, it helped with exposure because some shows might only be interested if the player could be in the studio. Now, everything is virtual.
Collin Morikawa stayed plenty busy the day after the 23-year-old won the PGA Championship in August.
Attention was high beyond his age and the shot he hit that set up the victory at Harding Park, a driver to 7 feet for eagle on the 16th hole. The PGA Championship was the first big event since the Daytona 500 in February with the Final Four being scrapped, the Masters moving to November and the NBA and NHL stretching into the fall.
Morikawa never had to leave home, however.
Andrew Kipper of Excel Sports Management said existing sponsors still got involved in the wake of his victory, and that would be the case even without a pandemic.
”The only thing that was different was instead of flying to New York for a media tour, he did it from his living room,” Kipper said. ”It was having the ability to still gain interest and time with media outlets from home.”
That meant seven appearances on Monday after his victory, including ”CBS This Morning,” ”Good Morning America,” the ”Today” show and CNBC’s ”Power Lunch.” He had nine more appearances the next day, two on Wednesday. That included CNN International and a few national radio hits.
Nothing really changed for Masters champion Dustin Johnson, who doesn’t have media tours at the top of his priority list, especially when the Caribbean is calling.
David Winkle, his manager at Hambric Sports, said Johnson had set aside the week after the Masters for a vacation to St. Barts, and that wasn’t going to get interrupted even without a pandemic. Johnson didn’t do much after his U.S. Open win in 2016, either, but that’s another vacation that falls around his birthday.
”He appreciated the interest but said, ‘I’ll stick to my plans,”’ Winkle said. ”I think at some point he’ll consider doing that. But I don’t ever see him doing 24 stops in two days as part of a whirlwind media tour. That’s not too much his style. I think he’d some day take advantage of a select key opportunities.”
When that happens next, the question is whether it would be in a studio or in front of a computer at home.