MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As if Bryson DeChambeau didn’t have enough going on these days.
On Friday, the eight-time PGA Tour winner was called out by two European Tour pros on Twitter for failing to yell “Fore!” after hitting an errant tee shot at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
It’s a standard practice meant to warn spectators that a ball might be coming their way and to take cover.
Richard Bland, 48, an Englishman who was the 36-hole leader at the U.S. Open this year and earlier won his first-ever European Tour event at the British Masters, was critical of DeChambeau on Thursday — a day when DeChambeau hit 11 of 14 fairways and shot 65.
“Bryson ploughing it into the crowd again off the tee & no shout of “Fore.” Maybe it needs someone to get seriously injured for him to learn.”
Edoardo Molinari, 40, a three-time European Tour winner from Italy, who is the older brother of 2018 Open Champion Francesco Molinari, was also upset. His tweet also came with video of DeChambeau teeing off on the 18th hole.
“It shouldn’t be difficult to understand you should always shout “fore” when you hit a shot into the crowds,” Molinari tweeted. “When is someone going to do something about this? Hopefully before a spectator gets seriously hurt!”
Neither Bland nor Molinari is in the WGC field and commented after watching on television.
DeChambeau is not the only player to have been called out for this. It is a frequent source of irritation in the game, one that came up at The Open last month, when in a pre-tournament news conference, DeChambeau was asked about it.
“I do shout fore,” DeChambeau said. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. There are plenty of people on the tee box that do shout fore. You’re bringing up a very controversial thing, which is unfortunate, but 99 percent of the time I do, and unfortunately people think I don’t. But that’s OK, they can say whatever they want.”
(It is also fair to point out that because of the distance DeChambeau and other pros hit the ball, their cries might not be heard 350 yards down the fairway; the idea, however, is that others will also shout the warning when the player does.)
DeChambeau was not asked about it after his round Friday, a 4-under-par 66 at TPC Southwind that has him tied for seventh, four shots behind second-round leader Harris English.
It has been a rough couple of months for DeChambeau. He shot 44 over the final nine holes at the U.S. Open to ruin a chance to defend his title; he split with his longtime caddie, Tim Tucker, at the Rocket Mortgage Classic and then missed the cut; at The Open, he said his driver “sucks” and partly blamed the club for a disappointing opening round, only to have his equipment maker and endorser, Cobra, publicly chastise him for the comments.
Two weeks ago, DeChambeau tested positive for COVID-19, knocking him out of the Olympics.
Earlier this week at TPC Southwind, he explained his COVID-19 plight and acknowledged that he had not been vaccinated, erroneously reasoning that there are not enough doses.
“I’m young enough, I’d rather give it [the vaccine] to people who need it,” he said. “I don’t need it. I’m a healthy, young individual that will continue to work on my health. I don’t think taking the vaccine away from someone who needs it is a good thing.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said there are no vaccine shortages in the United States.
DeChambeau, who acknowledged he had lost 8 to 10 pounds while recovering from COVID-19, received considerable backlash for the comments.
He will play the third round of the WGC-St. Jude Invitational with Louis Oosthuizen and tees off at 1:30 p.m. ET.