Bryson DeChambeau has hired a new caddie just over a week after his much-publicized split with Tim Tucker.
DeChambeau chose Brian Zeigler, a lead instructor at DeChambeau’s home course, Dallas National. The two have a close working relationship, DeChambeau told Golf.com.
“Brian has been a big part of my life for a while now,” DeChambeau said. “We did a lot of speed training stuff together. He was the motivator and the hype man. He helped me reach new [personal records] I never believed I would get to.”
Now, Zeigler will take on the challenge of filling Tucker’s role, which Tucker has, in fact, been helping Zeigler prepare for over the past six months. It was part of a plan put into place by Tucker and DeChambeau at the end of the 2020 season, in case Tucker couldn’t — or didn’t want to — caddy anymore.
That moment came just ahead of the 2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic, but both men maintain that no event or incident sparked the split.
“Everybody always thinks there was some kind of falling out, but there really wasn’t. This was in the works for a while,” DeChambeau said. “Tim is a really, really great friend of mine. He’s somebody that I’ve cared about, and still care about, and will care about for the rest of my life.”
Tucker described feeling “tired” and “not being 100 percent healthy” as he laid out his reasons for stepping away.
“We were really tired. The season; the tour schedule was grinding on us, grinding on me. I knew I was working on this business on the side; we’ve had a very intense relationship where he works a lot of hours,” Tucker said. “It was a little bit of me not being 100 percent healthy and happy . . . We made the best decision for the both of us.”
So, it doesn’t appear as if there’s any bad blood between the two. It was just time to move on.
Zeigler will be tested right away. His first event as DeChambeau’s caddie will be The Open Championship, which starts on Thursday in England. While Zeigler is ready to take on the unique task of working with DeChambeau — which includes calculating air density and its effects on the ball — he isn’t expecting to be perfect right away.
“The typical, tiny stuff that [caddies] already know,” Zeigler said of what concerns him most about his new job. “That’s the stuff I’ll need some time to learn.”