DeChambeau Muscles His Way to Rocket Mortgage Title
AND SO it turns out that Bryson DeChambeau may just have known what he was doing. The 26-year-old American, who has put on 42lb of muscle and in the process turned himself into the biggest hitter on the PGA Tour, left the rest of the field trailing in the dust as he strolled to victory in the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit. He shot a final round of 65 for a 72-hole total of 265, 23 under par, closing the deal with a birdie at the last for a three-shot victory. It was his sixth success in just three years on Tour.
Just another routine week at the office for the most talked-about man in golf right now. His average driving distance for the week was 350 yards.
“I wanted people to see a different play style and wanted to show people that if you work hard you can achieve amazing things,” he said. “I want to share this with everybody. I made so many good putts today. I improvised when I had to and I got the job done."
He began the day three shots behind 54-hole leader Matthew Wolff but wasted little time eating into that lead. He quickly overtook Wolff and enjoyed what amounted to a victory parade. It was a win that wasn’t without controversy - he fell out with a cameraman during the third round after he was caught on film attacking a bunker after a poor shot. It did him few favours but all he will care about is that he is living up to all the hype he has generated - and there has been plenty of it. He has become the most talked-about player on Tour as he has transformed both his game and his physique.
DeChambeau began the day with a routine 356-yard drive to set up an opening birdie. He moved to 17 under par, two behind Wolff. And from that moment it seemed like it was only going to be a matter of time before he assumed complete control. And so it turned out.
Wolff hit a wild tee shot at the opening hole, caught some tree branches with his second and dropped a shot. And by the time DeChambeau walked off the fourth green with his third birdie of the day, he was one ahead - without finding a single fairway from the tee. The highlight was a 289-yard second shot from the rough to the 621-yard par-five fourth.
Wolff, whose swing has more moving parts than most car engines, had made a ragged start but he holed a wonderful birdie putt of fully 40 feet at the fourth to draw level with DeChambeau, one of the few players on Tour who hits the ball further than he does.
It looked like we were in for an enthralling final afternoon.
There was some encouraging play by Danny Willett, the former Masters champion. Birdies at the fifth, sixth and seventh took him to the turn in 33. And when he picked up further shots at the 10th, 12th and 14th he had moved to 16 under and was tied for third place with Kevin Kisner and Ryan Armour. He was 10 holes ahead of DeChambeau and if he could pick up another couple of shots he just might have been able to set the leaders a challenging target. He would finish with a 66 and a 272 total.
Longest drives of the week for @B_DeChambeau:— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) July 5, 2020
344 yards pic.twitter.com/0tWgS0WrUP
Tyrrell Hatton, winner of the Arnold Palmer Invitational earlier in the year, was also making a significant move. He dropped a shot at the second but then birdied the fourth, fifth and seventh and started the back nine with further birdies at the 10th and 11th to join the logjam at 16 under.
Armour is 44 and was looking for only his second PGA Tour win. He is one of the shortest hitters on Tour but finds a lot of fairways and greens and had putted superbly through the opening three rounds. He finished in a tie for sixth at the Travelers last week and finished in a tie for fourth this time.
Wolff hit a poor shot at the par-three fifth and it cost him a shot, and another one went at the sixth. And with Kisner picking up another shot at the 12th, Wolff was tied for second, two behind DeChambeau, who was still struggling to find the fairway. But it didn’t seem to trouble him.
DeChambeau birdied the seventh to move to 20 under but Wollf stopped the bleeding with a birdie of his own at the eighth to stay two adrift. Hatton still wasn’t finished, a birdie at the 14th taking him to 17 under, alongside Hatton. And when Wolff let another one go at the ninth, the Englishman was in a tie for second, three behind DeChambeau. And that became four when he holed yet another putt at the 10th.
Since the restart, his worst score has been a 70, and he was heading for something much better than that. In three starts since we got under way again, he was finished tied third, tied eighth and tied sixth. The only thing missing was a victory, and this was turning into a procession.
Kisner, who began the week struggling with his game, flew in his swing coach. And it was paying dividends. He birdied the 16th to narrow the gap to three and was second on his own as Hatton dropped a shot at the same hole. Both men parred in. Kisner’s 66 meant he had the clubhouse lead on 18 under.
Wolff’s misery continued as he fell back to 16 under with yet another dropped shot at the 10th.
DeChambeau, meanwhile, was continuing to play a game with which most of us are unfamiliar. He waited for the green to clear at the 400-yard 13th! He missed the fairway, however, and had to settle for par.
Wolff dug deep, birdied the 12th and 13th and moved back to 18 under. And he had renewed interest when DeChambeau found a hazard at the par-five 14th after missing yet another fairway, dropped a shot and fell back to 20 under with Wolff watching from back in the fairway. Wolff hit a 355-yard drive but missed the green with his second and took three more to get down. He was still two behind.
Incredibly, the gap was down to one when Wolff hit a superb shot at the par-three 15th and duly holed the putt. DeChambeau hit a poor approach at the 16th - one of many during the course of the week - but he holed the putt for a birdie to extend his lead to two once again.
At the par-five 17th, DeChambeau hit an eight iron 228 yards from the rough to the heart of the green. Just stop and think about that for a moment. Most of us struggle to hit a driver that far. He turned that into a routine birdie to move to 22 under. Wolff birdied the same hole and went to the last two behind.
DeChambeau’s drive at the 18th travelled an astonishing 367 yards and when he put his approach to three feet the tournament was over.
Rickie Fowler showed signs of a return to form, a final round of 67 seeing him finish the week on 14 under par
Inside Bryson DeChambeau's Bag
KING SPEEDZONE Driver 5.5 deg | LAGP BAD Prototype 60x 45.5”
KING LTD 3/4 Fwy |14.5 deg | LAGP BAD Prototype 70x | 85x @ 43"
KING SZ Tour 5wd | 13.5 deg | LAGP BAD Prototype 70x @ 41” (3wd loft at 5wd length)
KING One Length Utility | 4 & 5 | LAGP Graphite Rebar Proto Shaft | 37.5”
KING FORGED TOUR One Length irons | (6-P) | LAGP Graphite Rebar Proto shaft | 37.5"
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