The heavy hitter became the first PGA Tour star to auction off digital art, but the event left some room for improvement.
Winning the 2020 US Open was a sign of things to come for rising golf superstar Bryson DeChambeau, but the latest news from the 27-year-old is of a more unexpected variety. He announced earlier this week that he was jumping into the world of non-fungible tokens with his own set of limited-edition virtual trading cards.
On Tuesday, DeChambeau officially became the first golfer to release his own NFT collectibles, joining star athletes like Rob Gronkowski and Patrick Mahomes among those who have auctioned off specially-created digital art this year.
The set includes five distinct assets commemorating DeChambeau’s raw power and unique approach to the game. Trading cards entitled “Red,” “White,” “Swing,” and “American Champion” went up for auction on NFT platform OpenSea, with 18 editions minted of each.
Beyond those four, the most anticipated offering in the set blended a combination of digital and tangible collectibles. The winner of the 1-of-1 “Distance” card was due to receive a signed flag from the 2020 US Open, a custom set of Cobra golf clubs, a Bose gift certificate, six dozen Bridgestone golf balls, and a chance to meet the man himself at a future PGA event.
It’s not surprising, then, that “Distance” was the subject of a spirited bidding war in the auction’s closing minutes, topping out at 23.007 Ethereum (just under $40,000).
However, some NFT enthusiasts and DeChambeau fans were left with a few uncomfortable questions after Tuesday’s event.
Golf writer Eric Patterson was among those following along as some potential hiccups emerged. He noted that three sales were complete before the auction even launched with only one bid. Additionally, buyers were promised the option to cancel the sale before the deadline, and at least one investor indicated that he was not able to do so.
One fan stated on Wednesday that while he successfully won one of the “White” tokens, he had yet to receive official confirmation hours later.
DeChambeau’s team can’t be overjoyed about the relatively limited traction that the auction received, as several of the cards received zero bids. That’s a far cry from the fast-paced successes Gronkowski and Mahomes enjoyed at their NFT auctions. This shouldn’t serve as an indication that the guy shouldn’t be involved in the digital collectibles game, however. It just means that there’s room to grow.
In the meantime, here’s to hoping Bryson has a smoother time at this weekend’s 2021 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, where he’s currently the odds-on favorite to win.