Call him a mad scientist in a tam o’shanter cap. Call him a game-changer in golf. Any description of Bryson DeChambeau now starts with U.S. Open champion.
In a breathtaking performance Sunday at Winged Foot, on a course so demanding no one else broke par, DeChambeau blasted away with his driver and had short irons from the ankle-deep rough on his way to a 3-under 67.
When his 7-foot par putt fell on the 18th, DeChambeau thrust those two powerful arms into the air. This was validation that his idea to add 40 pounds of mass, to produce an incredible amount of speed and power, would lead to moments like this.
Two shots behind Matthew Wolff going into the final round, he passed him in five holes, pulled away to start the back nine and wound up winning by six shots.
Wolff, trying to become the first player since Francis Ouimet in 1913 to win the U.S. Open in his debut, closed with a 75.
Just under a year ago, DeChambeau closed out his 2019 season in Las Vegas and said, “I’m going to come back next year and look like a different person.”
He lived up to his word among skeptics who wondered if the smash factor would work at a major, especially one at Winged Foot where the keeping it in the short grass was tantamount. DeChambeau pledged to keep hitting it as far as he could, even if that meant being in the rough.
And it worked. He hit only three fairways Saturday, six Sunday, and 23 for the week.
SLouis Oosthuizen birdied the 18th to finish alone in third.
In the five previous U.S. Opens at Winged Foot, only two out of 750 competitors ever broke par over 72 holes, and that was in the same year of 1984 when Fuzzy Zoeller and Greg Norman finished at 4-under 276.
DeChambeau finished at 6-under 274, a score no one saw coming.
PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Jim Furyk joined Arnold Palmer and Bruce Fleisher as the only players to win their first two PGA Tour Champions starts, beating Jerry Kelly with a birdie on the first hole of a playoff in the Pure Insurance Championship.
The 50-year-old Furyk won The Ally Championship last month in Michigan in his tour debut. Palmer won his first two events in 1980, and Fleisher accomplished the feat in 1999.
Furyk and Kelly both laid up on the par-5 18th in the playoff, with Kelly hitting his approach to 10 feet and Furyk following with a 90-yard wedge to 3 feet. Furyk holed his birdie try after Kelly pulled his attempt.
Furyk closed with a 5-under 67 — a day after losing the lead to Ernie Els with a second-round 73 — to match Kelly at 12-under 204. Playing three groups ahead of Furyk and four in front of Els, Kelly birdied the 18th for a 65.
Els missed a 2-foot putt on the 18th to finish a stroke out of the playoff. The South African star shot his second straight 70.
Furyk, the 2003 U.S. Open winner and 17-time PGA Tour champion, played the first six holes Sunday in 5 under — making an eagle on the par-5 second and three birdies —- then parred the final 12.
Mike Weir (69) and Retief Goosen (70) tied for fourth at 9 under.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Georgia Hall won the Cambia Portland Classic for her first LPGA Tour victory in the United States, beating Ashleigh Buhai with a par on the second hole of a playoff.
Hall won after falling into a tie with a bogey on the part-4 18th in regulation. The 24-year-old Englishwoman, the 2018 Women’s British Open champion, matched Buhai with a par on 18 on the first extra hole and won on the par-4 first at Columbia Edgewater.
Hall closed with a 4-under 68. She bogeyed the par-4 third, birdied Nos. 5-7 and 10-12 and made five straight pars before closing with bogey to fall into the playoff.
The 31-year-old Buhai, from South Africa, birdied four of the last five holes for a 65 — matching Danielle Kang for best round of the day. She missed a chance for her first LPGA Tour victory.
Moriya Jutanugarn (67 and Yealimi Noh (69) finished a stroke out of the playoff.
VAU OBIDOS, Portugal (AP) — South African left-hander Garrick Higgo won the Portugal Openl for his first European Tour title, closing with 7-under 65 for a one-stroke victory at Royal Obidos Spa and Golf Resort.
The 21-year-old Higgo finished at 19-under 269. He was making his seventh tour start.
Spain’s Pep Angles was second after a 66. South Africa’s George Coetzee (66) and England’s Andrew Wilson (66) tied for third at 15 under.
Sweden’s Julia Engstrom won the Lacoste Ladies French Open for her second Ladies European Tour title, closing with a 1-over 72 for a one-stroke victory. The 19-year-old Swede finished at 7 under at Golf du Medoc. France’s Celine Herbin and Argentina’s Magdalena Simmermacherat tied for second. … Ayaka Furue beat Hiroko Azuma in a playoff in the Japan LPGA’s Descente Ladies Tokai Classic.
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