Second straight win for DeChambeau
Norton, MA- Bryson DeChambeau entered 2018 with one PGA victory, a unique style, and the potential for greater success. He won The Memorial in early June, finished in eight Top 10s, and made the cut at three Majors, only missing at the PGA, and finishing top 25 at the U.S. Open. He walked into The Northern Trust last week sitting eighth in the FedEx Cup standings and ended that tournament with a victory and the top FedEx Cup spot.
With the pressure of holding his spot and playing with a childhood idol on Sunday, DeChambeau played in the final group for the second consecutive week. And for the second consecutive week, the uniquely technical 24 year old shone on the final day. He opened with two birdies in the first four holes. He did bogey 3, after driving the bunker and missing an eight foot par putt. But the SMU alumnus rebounded for a brilliant chip on 4 and a birdie to claim the top spot. He pared 5 and 6 and lost the top spot to a surging Rafa Cabrera Bello. Tony Finau whittled the lead down to one, and playing partner Abraham Ancer kept close on the front. However, none overcame the 24 year old DeChambeau. He birdied holes 7, 8, and 9 to conclude the front and claim a two stroke lead at the turn.
Excellence mostly eluded Bryson on the back nine. A trio of pars gave way to frustration on 13, where he drove to the right rough then missed a short, makeable par putt. However, he rebounded and never let his lead get lower than two strokes on the back. He hit his best shot on 15, with a perfect three wood drive, and followed with a chip to eight feet to make birdie. He pared out to conclude his round at 67, or -4, and his tournament score to -16.
DeChambeau claims the winner’s purse of 1.62 million dollars and maintains his spot atop the FedEx Cup standings. He’s got 5,617, over 2,000 more points than the second place competitor, Dustin Johnson. The win is his third this year and fourth in his short PGA career.
“This one down the stretch was a lot more difficult. 13, 14, 15, 16 were not easy holes. And you had to execute shots out there when the wind was swirling all day. Once I got to the back nine, I felt like it was swirling again, just like Thursday and Friday. But I was fortunate enough to hit shots in the right place, miss it in the right place, and make a couple of key, clutch putts.”
DeChambeau is the eighth different golfer to win two FedEx Cup events. Rory did it twice, winning the FedEx Cup in 2016 and losing it in 2012. In total, two tournament winners have won the FedEx Cup five times (Tiger Woods, 2007, Vijay Singh, 2008, Henrik Stetson, 2013, Billy Horschel, 2014, and McIlroy, 2016) and lost the FedEx Cup three times (Camilo Villegas, 2008, McIlroy, 2012, and Jason Day, 2015).
Justin Rose finished in second place, with a -3 day to get to -14. He opened poorly, with four bogeys on the front. He did balance that with three birdies and carded four birdies on the back nine. “I wouldn’t say I kept ice cool. I was frustrated, with the best of them. Put one foot in front of another one, keep playing, keep going.
DeChambeau’s playing partner, Abraham Ancer, was the 54 hole leader. Unfortunately, he could not follow a great third round with a great final round. He went -1 on the front but carded four bogeys on the back. He finished the day +2 and the tournament -11. “Very frustrated, couldn’t really get anything going. I was always battling back, making birdies, making bogeys on par fives when I should have been making birdies. Hit the ball pretty good for the most part, just couldn’t get the putts to go in.”
While Ancer’s close wasn’t his best, he still drew in-person support from his girlfriend, family members, life long friends who made the red-eye flight from his home town of Reynosa to make the final day in Norton, and had plenty of people watching back home. His performance this week bumped him up 36 spots in the FedEx Cup standings from 92nd to 56th. He will be part of the top 70 golfers competing at the BMW Championship in Newton Township, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia. Play begins early on Thursday, September 6th.
This marks the last playing of the Dell Technologies Championship. The PGA will return to TPC Boston in 2020, when The Northern Trust is played outside the New York/New Jersey area for the first time in its history.