Bryson DeChambeau announces the death of his father
After years of battling kidney disease, Bryson DeChambeau’s father died on Friday at the age of 63.
Bryson announced his father Jon’s death on social media on Saturday and said, “I’m sad to see you go but you’ve been through way too much pain in this life. I’m so happy you are at peace. Now you get to be with me and watch me at every event I play.”
Jon DeChambeau was a golf teaching pro in Fresno, Calif., and nurtured Bryson’s interest in the game. Jon also was diabetic and dealt with the ravages of the disease for decades, including spending years on dialysis.
In 2016, Bryson played in his first Masters as the reigning U.S. Amateur champion and Jon was able to attend while undergoing hemodialysis between each of the rounds. Bryson was the low amateur in the tournament and turned pro soon after. His father watched in person or on television all of his eight PGA Tour wins, including the 2020 U.S. Open at Winged Foot.
Jon DeChambeau eventually received a kidney transplant in 2017 from Ron Bankofier, a former high school golf teammate of Bryson’s. In a fascinating turn of events prior to the transplant, Fresno State golf coach Mike Watney—the uncle of PGA Tour player Nick Watney—read about Jon DeChambeau’s struggles in the local newspaper and offered to donate one of his kidneys. Though he wasn’t a match with Jon, Watney’s kidney did go to another person on behalf of Jon, which allowed him to move faster up the national kidney transplant list.
Of Watney’s gesture, Jon DeChambeau told a local television station in 2017, "You go from a handshake to a hug is what's really happened. When you see it a friend you shake their hand or kind of say hey to them. When you see somebody that gave you life you hug them and tell them you love them."