Bryson DeChambeau is trying to become the only golfer other than Vijay Singh in 2008 to win the first two events of the FedEx Cup Playoffs with a victory at the 2018 Dell Technologies Championship at TPC Boston. DeChambeau fired a filthy 63 on Sunday that started strong and ended even stronger.
DeChambeau, who rolled last week at The Northern Trust, punished the front side of the course en route to a 32 on Sunday. Then he went silent for a bit before finishing his final five holes with three birdies, a bogey and an eagle. He hit seven approach shots inside of 11 feet, including his second on the par-5 18th to an astonishing 2 feet for an easy eagle. It was a show, and he did it in front of one of his favorite practice partners and somebody who knows a thing or two about winning playoff events, Tiger Woods.
Interestingly, in the previous 11 playoff years, a golfer has won a pair of the four tournaments eight times. Billy Horschel, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods, Jason Day, Camilo Villegas and Singh have all done it. Rory McIlroy has done it twice. Now DeChambeau is trying to join them.
At 12 under for the week, DeChambeau trails leader Abraham Ancer by one stroke and is tied with Tyrrell Hatton (more on him in a bit).
I’m not totally sure we’re aware of just how good DeChambeau is or has been over the course of his short career. The former U.S. Amateur and NCAA champion has joined a laugh-out-loud-worthy list of elite golfers with three wins before turning 25, and he’s looking at No. 4 this week in Boston.
It was also fascinating to watch him and Tiger Woods interact during their round. The pair has been discussed as a potential twosome at the Ryder Cup in Paris (though neither is on the team yet), and they clearly enjoy one another.
After DeChambeau finished with that eagle to get near the lead at the time, Woods gave him a big five and hug. Really, Tiger Woods did that with a competitor during a weekend round! Their feelings for one another are clearly mutual, and they’ll be a nice Ryder Cup duo if it goes that way.
Watching Tiger/Bryson talk today reminds of answer Bryson gave last week when asked if the two speak the same “swing” language: “At times. And at times he tells me to shut up and hit the ball.”
— Tiger Tracker (@GCTigerTracker) September 2, 2018
Regardless of what happens in Paris, DeChambeau has a chance to win for the fourth time in just his 69th event. It took Justin Thomas 74 events to get four wins. It took Jordan Spieth 75. It took Dustin Johnson 78. It took Jason Day 163. It took Rickie Fowler 179. DeChambeau is a star with superstar potential. I’m not sure we’ve realized it yet, but if he keeps winning, it’s going to be hard to ignore.
1. Rory surges: After a so-so first two days, Rory McIlroy lit the course on fire early on Sunday in Round 3. The four-time major winner shot a 32 on the front (with a bogey!) and birdied two of his first four on the back to get to 10 under. He played the next five holes in 1 over, including a missed birdie on the final hole that led to a slap of his putter. He was brilliant from tee to green, led the field in driving and had a real chance to be sniffing the lead going to Monday. Now he’s sniffing it at four back, but has to have a monstrous final round if he wants to win his third Dell Technologies Championship.
Oh, and how about this?
- 2016 Dell Technologies Championship: 71-67-66-65
- 2018 Dell Technologies Championship: 71-67-66-?
2. Ryder Cup update: DeChambeau is a bigger lock than Tiger and Phil Mickelson, both of whom are absolute locks. Tony Finau shot his 10th straight round in the 60s on Sunday and sits T8 with McIlroy and Jordan Spieth. Matt Kuchar shot a 5-under 66 to get to T14, just behind Finau. Those are probably (?) the two most likely golfers for the 12th spot on the team right now, and given how Finau is playing, it’s difficult to see him not making the squad. Get back to me after Kuchar shoots another 66 on Sunday to finish T3 and wins the BMW Championship next week, though.
3. Tyrrell Hatton, all over the yard: Hatton, who somehow led for most of the day, shot a 2-under 69 even though he finished 69th in the field (or close to last) in strokes gained on approach shots. He saw parts of TPC Boston that have never been televised before, and he somehow kept it under par. Quite a day for somebody who also secured his first Ryder Cup slot on Sunday.
Not all birdies are created equally.
Take a bow, @TyrrellHatton. 👏#LiveUnderPar pic.twitter.com/Z1KvbtrOu6
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) September 2, 2018
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