In showdown of long-driving Americans, DeChambeau knocks off Matthew Wolff at Winged Foot to join an elite fraternity in golf
In a matchup of long-driving Americans, DeChambeau outdueled 54-hole leader Matthew Wolff on Sunday for a six-stroke victory in the 120th U.S. Open at heralded Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y. (scores).
DeChambeau shot 3-under 67 for a 6-under 274 total, the only player to break par in the final round and for the tournament. Wolff struggled to a 5-over 75 and 280 total. The past two U.S. Open champions at Winged Foot finished at 5 over or worse, including the infamous 1974 “Massacre at Winged Foot” and Hale Irwin’s winning 7-over score.
It was the first major championship for DeChambeau, who turned 27 on Wednesday, the day before the tournament started. The victory was his seventh on the PGA Tour and his second this season.
DeChambeau hit only 23 of 56 fairways for the week, setting a record for the fewest fairways hit for a U.S. Open champion (complete coverage).
Wolff, 21, playing only his second major championship – he tied for fourth last month at the PGA – was bidding to win the Open in only his 30th start on the PGA Tour. He won last year’s 3M Open in his third professional start.
Wolff had shown an amazing ability to defy conventional wisdom through the first three rounds at Winged Foot, the 1923 A.W. Tillinghast-designed gem in the suburbs north of New York City. Despite the 5-inch rough that swallowed errant shots all week, Wolff stood at 5 under despite having hit only 12 of 42 fairways through three rounds. He took a two-stroke lead over DeChambeau into the final round.
Things started to unravel early for Wolff. When he made his second bogey of the day, at the par-4 fifth hole, he found himself a stroke down. When DeChambeau holed a 40-foot eagle putt on the 575-yard, par-5 ninth, which both players reached in two with short irons, Wolff matched him from about 15 feet to remain one behind and set up a de facto match-play back nine.
When DeChambeau saved par at the 14thafter Wolff had made his fifth bogey of the day, the margin was four strokes with four holes to play, and the tournament effectively was over.
In 2015, DeChambeau joined an elite group – Jack Nicklaus (1961), Phil Mickelson (1990), Tiger Woods (1996) and Ryan Moore (2004) were the others – when he won the NCAA and U.S. Amateur titles in the same year while at SMU. Now, DeChambeau is part of an even more exclusive golf group: players to have won a U.S. Open, U.S. Amateur and an NCAA title. It’s Nicklaus, Woods and DeChambeau.
How's that for a threesome?
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