Bryson DeChambeau powers his way to stunning US Open win

Rory McIlroy never got going on the final day but nobody was catching the eventual winner

Bryson DeChambeau celebrates with the championship trophy after winning the 2020 US Open at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York. Photo: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Bryson DeChambeau celebrates with the championship trophy after winning the 2020 US Open at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York. Photo: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

 

A scientific mind discovered the winning formula, and bulked-up Bryson DeChambeau’s simplistic approach – basically to bash the ball as far as he could off the tee – proved productive in helping the 27-year-old Californian, dubbed “The Scientist,” lay claim to the 120th US Open Championship at Winged Foot in Mamaroneck, New York.

Next stop, the US Masters in Augusta. For now, DeChambeau, who went into overdrive in the Covid-19 lockdown – transforming his body so that the new bulked up version could overpower courses – can savour the rewards for his efforts with a brilliant final round that saw him first draw in 54-hole leader Matthew Wolff and then power his way to victory.

DeChambeau – who claimed a winner’s cheque of €2.05million – finished with a final round 67 for a championship total of 274, six-under-par, all of six shots clear of runner-up Wolff.

Wolff, the 21-year-old with the quirky swing, carried the lead into the final round but found himself overpowered and outwitted by DeChambeau who combined brute strength off the tee with a wonderful short game. His unorthodox arm-locking putting action, with the long putter positioned away from his body, yielded huge dividends on the green.

For Rory McIlroy, without a Major title since his fourth at the 2014 US PGA Championship, his quest to deliver another ended as soon as it started. The 31-year-old Northern Irishman, who struggled to find his mojo on the PGA Tour’s resumption but showed glimpses of his old self through this championship, suffered a double-bogey six on his opening hole with an uncharacteristic four-putt. He went on to finish with a round of 75 for a total of six-over-par 286 and a tie for eighth.

“It was really difficult, the wind was up again. It was hard to give yourself enough chances and leave yourself in the right spots where you could make a run at putts and birdie putts and just sort of being real defensive on the greens, trying to sort of think about your next putt and where the best putt to leave it. It looks like everyone found it tough out there,” said McIlroy.

Except DeChambeau!

Just four days since turning 27, DeChambeau delivered a masterclass to annex the championship, starting out two strokes adrift of Wolff but swiftly moving into the ascendency with a display of power driving and solid putting. Wolff, in contrast, struggled time after time to find the fairway with a misfiring driver. And, to rub salt into the wound, any DeChambeau waywardness was followed by some wonderful escapology as he was the only player in the field to shoot a sub-par final round.

DeChambeau plays a pitch shot up to the last green. Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images
DeChambeau plays a pitch shot up to the last green. Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The highpoint of DeChambeau’s round was an eagle on the ninth – from 25 feet where, ironically enough, Wolff also eagled – which saw the eventual winner turn in 33 and a birdie on the 11th saw him kick on to take a firm grip on the title. Seven pars in from there sealed the deal.

Louis Oosthuizen, who finished third, could do nothing but tip his cap to DeChambeau. “I think he’s busy settling his own little way of playing, in the sense of I don’t think they can set up (a course) for him, to be honest, without really doing something. I don’t know what they can do because he is hitting it so far. He’s so strong out of the rough, and probably one of the best putters out there . . . .. hats off to him for what he’s doing, he went out on this journey and he’s pulling it off. He’s playing great golf,” said the South African.

Shane Lowry finished with a final round 72 for 295 for tied-42nd position. The Offalyman then headed for a flight home, where he will be the headline act in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Galgorm Castle, which starts on Thursday.

Collated final round scores and totals in the U.S. Open, Winged Foot GC, United States of America (USA unless stated, par 70):

274 Bryson DeChambeau 69 68 70 67

280 Matthew Wolff 66 74 65 75

282 Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa) 67 74 68 73

283 Harris English 68 70 72 73

284 Xander Schauffele 68 72 70 74

285 Dustin Johnson 73 70 72 70, Will Zalatoris 70 74 70 71

286 Tony Finau 69 73 73 71, Rory McIlroy (NIrl) 67 76 68 75, Justin Thomas 65 73 76 72, Zach Johnson 70 74 68 74, Webb Simpson 71 71 71 73

287 Viktor Hovland (Nor) 71 71 70 75, Adam Long 71 74 69 73, Patrick Reed 66 70 77 74, Lee Westwood (Eng) 67 76 72 72

288 Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn) 71 69 70 78, Jason Kokrak 68 71 77 72, Alex Noren (Swe) 72 74 67 75, Lucas Glover 71 71 71 75, Paul Casey (Eng) 76 70 69 73

289 Sungjae Im (Kor) 70 75 73 71

290 Joaquin Niemann (Chi) 68 73 72 77, Brendon Todd 68 72 75 75, Jon Rahm (Spa) 69 72 76 73, Taylor Pendrith (Can) 71 74 75 70, Erik Van Rooyen (Rsa) 70 74 76 70, Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Spa) 68 70 74 78, Thomas Pieters (Bel) 66 74 73 77

291 Charles Howell III 73 72 72 74

292 Lucas Herbert (Aus) 72 74 74 72, Bubba Watson 72 69 74 77, Renato Paratore (Ita) 71 72 73 76

293 Daniel Berger 73 70 74 76, Stephan Jaeger (Ger) 71 70 79 73, Romain Langasque (Fra) 71 74 75 73, Tyler Duncan 73 71 77 72

294 Jason Day (Aus) 72 74 76 72, Cameron Smith (Aus) 71 73 78 72, Adam Scott (Aus) 71 74 74 75, Billy Horschel 72 70 72 80, Brian Harman 74 72 75 73

295 Matt Wallace (Eng) 70 75 73 77, Shane Lowry (Irl) 76 70 77 72, Patrick Cantlay 70 76 76 73, Lanto Griffin 71 74 71 79, Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 73 72 76 74

296 Michael Thompson 70 75 75 76

297 Thomas Detry (Bel) 71 72 73 81, Rickie Fowler 69 77 72 79

298 Ryo Ishikawa (Jpn) 72 74 74 78, Chesson Hadley 73 73 77 75, John Pak 69 76 79 74

299 Adam Hadwin (Can) 72 73 74 80

300 Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa) 70 76 72 82

301 Abraham Ancer (Mex) 71 75 79 76, Robert Macintyre (Sco) 74 72 76 79

302 Troy Merritt 72 74 78 78

304 Rory Sabbatini (Svk) 69 76 78 81, Sebastian Munoz (Col) 71 74 77 82

305 Shugo Imahira (Jpn) 71 74 78 82

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