AHulk-like Bryson DeChambeau’s simplistic approach proved decisive in helping the man dubbed the ‘Mad Scientist’ clinch his first major at the US Open.
Heengineered his cerebral approach every step of the way, picking apart one of the toughest courses in America with ease and accuracy.
The 27-year-old was the only player in the 61-man field to break par on day four, a testament to the levels of creativity he showed to manageWinged Foot to perfection.
His closing 67 and six-under total ensured a six-shot win over Matthew Wolff, the leader going into the final round, and eight strokes clear of Louis Oosthuizen in third.
He played the front nine in two-under, a bogey on the eighth the only blemish on his scorecard, and played a bogey-free back nine at one-under.
It wasn’t just distance and power that were key to hisfirst major win. DeChambeaumatched strength with precisionand secured victory with the putter.
A 38-foot eagle putt on the ninth, and a 13-footer for birdie on 11th established a three-shot lead that would only increase from there. Wolff had no response.
In the six US Opens staged at Winged Foot, DeChambeau’s six-under was the lowest score, and he was the first to have four rounds at par or better.
You can call him what you want now. Any description now starts with US Open champion. A major winner anda man still with buckets of potential.
Coming into this season, though, question marks hung over whether the world number five would ever contend a major.
However, it was his fourth-place finish at the PGA Championship last month, his first top-10 at a major, that proved his hard work on and off the course was paying off.
At regular Tour events, he would regularly post formidable results. But at majors, the pressure coupled with his own frustrations may have got to him.
In the past year,hehas addeda significant amount of muscle – from 87kg to 107kg – to his 6ft 1′ frame, building himself into the strongest golfers off the tee. He leads the PGA Tour in driving distance with a 321.3 yard average.
The single-length clubs, his modified swing, and the emphasis on his 6000 calories per day diet are all clearly working. And the improvements are coming thick and fast too.
But how much better can he get after his US Open triumph?
DeChambeau has a major resting on his mantlepiece now and his experiment gets more interesting by the day.
Unlike past experiments – a banned on-course compass and side-saddle putting technique – he intends to pack on a further 4.5kg before the Masters and test out a 48-inch driver. Always searching for new ways to change his game.
What works for him might not work for others, but he is certainly enjoying the challenge.
He will head back into his lab again in Dallas, ready tocook upa winning strategy for November’s Masters at Augusta.
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