Bryson DeChambeau proved his doubters, including yours truly, wrong this week by using his own method to win the U.S. Open.
I am not afraid to admit when I am wrong. And boy, was I wrong about Bryson DeChambeau at this week’s U.S. Open.
My thinking was that DeChambeau’s new strategy, to bomb the ball as far as he can and take his chances from there, would not work in a U.S. Open setup, especially at Winged Foot. But that obviously proved to be the wrong assumption.
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I also assumed that DeChambeau’s past performance in major championships would work against him this week. Turns out, that was absolutely no factor at all this week.
The 27-year-old DeChambeau completed a very impressive four-day tour of Winged Foot with a 6-under par total of 274. That includes a 1-under par 69 on Thursday, a 2-under par 68 on Friday and an even-par round of 70 on Saturday.
That all added up to DeChambeau trailing Matthew Wolff by two shots with 18 holes to play. But that lead didn’t last long. In fact, DeChambeau tied Wolff with a birdie on the fourth hole, then took the lead when Wolff bogeyed the fifth.
The pivotal moment in the round could have come on the ninth hole, when both players hit the par five in two shots. DeChambeau was able to run in his putt for eagle, potentially distancing himself from Wolff in the process. But Wolff answered with an eagle of his own. That allowed these two players to separate themselves from the rest of the field, but not yet from each other.
That separation for DeChambeau, from Wolff, came on the back nine. Wolff bogeyed the par-3 10th hole, giving DeChambeau a two-shot lead. Then DeChambeau birdied the 11th hole, while Wolff parred, and the lead was suddenly three.
DeChambeau would go on to win by six shots and, in the process, he joined some elite company. He became one of just six players to win the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Open. And the list is quite impressive. DeChambeau joins Arnold Palmer, Gene Littler, Jack Nicklaus, Jerry Pate and Tiger Woods as the only players to accomplish the feat.
And DeChambeau joins an even more elite list of players who have won the Amateur, the NCAA individual championship and the U.S. Open. That list is now three and includes DeChambeau, Nicklaus and Woods.
I definitely got it wrong about DeChambeau this week. While I may not like the way he approaches and plays the game, it definitely worked for him this week. And it appears to be the wave of the future for professional golf.