Bryson DeChambeau got the result he was looking for from transforming his body. After a bogey at the 14th threatened to derail him, DeChambeau responded with a hattrick of birdies from the 16th to seal victory. Arjun Atwal capped off a good week with a battling 73 to finish in T45.
With jaw-dropping drives and some clutch putts, DeChambeau won the Rocket Mortgage Classic by three strokes Sunday for his first victory of the season and sixth overall.
DeChambeau shot a 7-under 65 at Detroit Golf Club, birdieing four of the first seven holes and closing with three straight. He finished at a career-best 23-under 265.
Matthew Wolff (71) was second. He started the day with a three-shot lead and hurt his chances with five bogeys over his first 10 holes. Kevin Kisner (66) finished another stroke back.
DeChambeau removed all doubt with a strong finish.
He made a 30-foot birdie putt at No. 16, a short putt for birdie on the next hole and uncorked a 367-yard drive to set up another short putt at 18.
DeChambeau came into the week with six straight top-eight finishes and was the only player with top 10s in the first three events after the restart from the coronavirus. He won for the first time since the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in November 2018.
DeChambeau has dramatically changed his body, adding 40 pounds of mass, and took advantage of the time he had to work on his physique during the COVID-19 pandemic.
His power was on full display in the Motor City with drives routinely going about 350 yards.
DeChambeau’s drive on the 621-yard, par-5 fourth went way left and landed in greenside rough on an adjacent hole. He cleared trees and landed just short of the green, sending his approach 276 yards and he two-putted from 37 feet.
“It’s a little emotional for me,” DeChambeau said after firing a 7-under 65 to beat Matthew Wolff (71) by three at the Rocket Mortgage Classic at sun-splashed Detroit Golf Club. “Because I did do something a little different, I changed my body, I changed my mindset in the game, and was able to accomplish a win while playing a completely different style of golf. I’ve shown people that there’s another way to do it.”
It was his sixth career win and seventh straight top-10 finish. He led the field in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee, and not only led in driving distance, too, but his 350.6-yard average for two measured holes was the highest number by a winner in the ShotLink era. DeChambeau is playing such a different game he had the honor at the 399-yard 13th hole but had to wait for the green to clear – he let playing partner Troy Merritt hit first, instead.
“He’s changed the entire way the game is played,” said Kevin Kisner (66, solo third, five back).
Wolff is another disrupter with his unorthodox swing, and he was all smiles for the first three rounds, when his 25 birdies and eagles were the most of any player at any tournament this season. But it took him too long to find his game in the final round, by which time DeChambeau could sense the finish line.
“Yeah, it was definitely a grind out there,” Wolff said after birdies on four of his last seven holes. “Didn’t start off really well at all, wasn’t hitting it how I was the beginning of the week, and feel like I was really getting some bad breaks as well, which was pretty unfortunate.”
Still, it was his first top-10 finish since his maiden TOUR win at the 3M Open a year ago.
“Bryson played great,” he said. “Seven under, you know – it’s not like I gave it to him. He definitely earned it. Kudos to him.”
Said DeChambeau, “I was kind of in my own world today.”
Danny Willett (66), Adam Hadwin (67), Tyrrell Hatton (67) and Ryan Armour (72) tied for fourth, seven back.
Wolff’s back-nine surge got more interesting when DeChambeau got in trouble off the tee and pitched out into the hazard at the par-5 14th, leading to bogey. But in the end, there was too much front-nine damage to undo even for the explosive Wolff, and in the winner’s press conference DeChambeau, cradling the round, red Rocket Mortgage trophy, said he planned to work out in the morning. (Of course.)
Still, questions remain. With DeChambeau, they always do. How will his new style translate in the majors? Will scarfing down steaks and potatoes and protein shakes, and pumping iron feverishly, hold up over the long haul? Is he still getting better? What happens if and when he dials in his short irons? Will anyone stand a chance? And what about imitators? Will others on TOUR try to mimic the DeChambeau way?
“I hope it’s an inspiration to a lot of people that if they set their mind to it, you can accomplish it,” DeChambeau said. “It just takes a lot of hard work, a lot of figuring out things that you may not know and understand yet. But if you keep … working on it, figuring stuff out, eventually you’ll get a little bit better each and every day, and hopefully that leads to something great in the end.”
Source: PGA TOUR Release, July 06,2020