Bryson DeChambeau stuck by all his theories - no matter how out there - to make the step up from regular PGA Tour winner. Now he's a major champion
Bryson DeChambeau was so disgusted at his own driving performance on Saturday, he asked officials at Winged Foot to keep the floodlights shining on the range long into the night so he could work on righting the wrongs.
Less than 24 hours later, he finally had in his hands the major championship trophy he so desperately craved.
It was a compelling final round which felt more like a chess match than the last 18 holes of a major. DeChambeau, a veteran even at 27, started the day two back of overnight leader Matthew Wolff. By the fifth hole he had the lead and from there on it was an exquisite display with those single-length irons he favours.
When DeChambeau dropped a 40-footer for eagle on the 9th, it looked to be over. But Wolff followed him in for the same score and suddenly the watching world perked up at the possibility of a thrilling back nine.
But it never materialised. Wolff failed to find the mesmeric rhythm of his Saturday 65 and DeChambeau’s persistant par making squeezed the life out of the young pretender. In the end, he was the only player to finish under-par as Winged Foot truly bit back over the weekend.
Wolff has now opened his major career with a T4 and a runner-up spot. There are majors in the 21-year-old’s future.
But love him or loathe him, DeChambeau never fails to entertain. This year alone we’ve watched him smash records, scream at camera operators, upset legends, fall out with rules officials, rant about ants, snap his driver mid tournament, and heard stories of how he looked up the maths behind the Nappy Factor.
But since the turn of the year, his record reads T52, T5, 2nd, 4th, T3, T8, T6, 1st, missed cut, T30, T4, missed cut, 50th, 22nd, and now major champion.
The biggest talking point – above any of his victories – was his new beefed-up status. He stuck by the science, he stuck by the one-length irons, he stuck by the huge grips. And he justified it all on the grandest of stages.
Stat(s) of the day
You just have to admire Justin Ray’s dedication to his craft.
After both DeChambeau and Wolff holed eagle putts at the 9th, the 15th Club’s stats guru got on the blower to the USGA.
“The last player to make eagle in the final round of their US Open victory,” he confirmed, “was Ralph Guldahl in 1937.”
Think of all those incredible players to win the US Open in that time, from Jack to Tiger to Brooks. Not one of them had an eagle in their final round.
DeChambeau is also just the fifth player in the major era as we know it today to win by being the only player to shoot under par in the final round. The others were Dick Burton (1939 Open), Byron Nelson (1939 US Open), Henry Cotton (1937 Open), and Jack Fleck (1955 US Open).
Shot of the day
Even though Wolff matched it, DeChambeau’s eagle at the 9th was the moment the youngster will have realised it wasn’t meant to be.
But we have to give a shout out to Rory Sabbatini for this hilarious effort…
Elsewhere on tour…
Georgia Hall is now a two-time LPGA Tour winner after picking up the Portland Classic. Hall, whose previous title was the 2018 Women’s Open, beat Ash Simon in a play-off.
Meanwhile, Swedish teenager Julia Engstrom won her second LET title this year with a one-shot win at the Lacoste Ladies Open de France, and how good is it to see Matteo Manassero back in the winners’ circle? The teenage phenom, whose last victory came at the BMW PGA Championship in 2013, won the Toscana Open on the Alps Tour.
Elsewhere, South African Garrick Higgo won his first European Tour title at the Open de Portugal, while on the Champions Tour, Jim Furyk – who only turned 50 in May – has his second seniors title after winning the Pure Insurance Championship.
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