Validation. All of the math. All of the science. All of the adjusting. All of the work. First, to his game in all various shapes and sizes. The driver. The single-length irons. The putter. The Trackman studying.
Then to his body. In one shape and one size. Bigger. Forty pounds over the course of a year, all in the pursuit of power.
It was worth it.
Bryson DeChambeau was right. Validation. The combination of brain and brawn has won him a U.S. Open, his first major championship. Coronation.
DeChambeau played a near-flawless Sunday final round at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaronek, N.Y, shooting a three-under 67 to finish at six under overall and six shots ahead of third-round leader Matthew Wolff. Louis Oosthuizen was third and eight shots back, and Harris English was fourth and nine back.
DeChambeau started the day two shots behind Wolff. By the 4th hole, he was tied. By the 5th hole, he was in the lead for good. On the 457-yard par-4 4th, DeChambeau moved to four under with Wolff after a 13-foot birdie putt. On the next hole, the 514-yard par-4 5th, Wolff failed to get up and down from a greenside bunker and fell one shot back.
DeChambeau built his lead from there. He dropped a 39-foot bomb for eagle on the 556-yard par-5 9th, only for Wolff to match him with an eagle of his own, on a 10-foot putt. Wolff bogeyed the next hole, the 198-yard par-3 10th, to fall two back, and DeChambeau birdied the hole after that, the 365-yard par-4 11th, after making a putt from just off the green.
On 18, DeChambeau raised his arms in victory. Validation.
- See above. Validation. All of Bryson DeChambeau’s work paid off. He’s a major champion. And he’ll very likely be the favorite for the next major, the Masters in November.
- Matthew Wolff could very well be competing in — and winning — majors for the next 20 – 20! – years. He’s just 21. He’s going nowhere.
- Winged Foot showed up well. The pros had to earn it.
The 10 key shots: How the action unfolded
- Matthew Wolff begins the final round at 5-under and holds a two-stroke lead over Bryson DeChambeau and a four-stroke lead over Louis Oosthuizen. Wolff bogeys the 247-yard par-3 3rd hole after hitting his tee shot very left. He holds a one-stroke lead over DeChambeau and a three-stroke lead over Oosthuizen.
- DeChambeau birdies the 457-yard, par-4 4th hole on a 13-foot putt and moves to 4-under and into a tie for the lead with Wolff. Oosthuizen is four shots back.
- Wolff bogeys the 514-yard, par-4 5th hole after failing to get up and down from a greenside bunker and moves to 3-under and one shot behind DeChambeau. Oosthuizen is four shots behind DeChambeau.
- DeChambeau and Wolff each bogey the 503-yard, par-4 8th hole. DeChambeau, after missing an 11-foot par putt, moves to 3-under and holds a one-shot lead over Wolff, who missed an 8-foot par putt, and a three-shot lead over Oosthuizen and Xander Schauffele.
- DeChambeau sinks a 39-foot putt for eagle on the 556-yard, par-5 9th, and Wolff matches him with a 10-foot putt for eagle. DeChambeau moves to 5-under and holds a one-shot lead over Wolff and a five-shot lead over Oosthuizen and Schauffele.
- Wolff bogeys the 198-yard, par-3 10th to move to 3-under and two shots behind DeChambeau. Schaufele and Harris English are at even-par.
- DeChambeau birdies the 365-yard, par-4 11th after making a putt from just off the green to move to 6-under, and he holds a three-shot lead over Wolff and a six-shot lead over Schauffele and English.
- Wolff bogeys the 444-yard, par-4 14th hole to move to 2-under and four strokes behind DeChambeau.
- Wolff double-bogeys the 508-yard, par-4 16th to fall to even-par and six shots behind DeChambeau.
- DeChambeau hits his drive on the 472-yard, par-4 18th hole down the right side. He hits his approach short of the green. He chips on to about 7 feet. He makes the putt.
The final word
“Yeah, absolutely. I think the past two majors I’ve played in, I’ve been right in contention. It’s definitely validating, albeit there’s a lot more to go. I’ve got to figure out a lot more. I am excited to be in this position, for sure. There’s no better place to be.” — Bryson DeChambeau, on Saturday, when asked if he felt validated for the work that he’s put in.