DeChambeau birdies his way to WGC-Mexico Championship lead, McIlroy falls

By Sports Desk February 21, 2020

Bryson DeChambeau birdied his way to a one-stroke lead at the halfway stage of the WGC-Mexico Championship on Friday.

DeChambeau produced a putting masterclass to move top of the leaderboard after two rounds with an eight-under-par 63.

The American golfer had seven birdies in an eight-hole stretch as he lit up Club de Golf Chapultepec.

DeChambeau finished with nine birdies and just one bogey to be 11 under and clear of countryman Patrick Reed (63) and South African Erik van Rooyen (62).

"It was a lot of fun," DeChambeau said. "Surely when you have days like that you can't help but smile out there, and making those putts the way I did, striking the ball the way I did, it's surely a joy out there.

"The confidence has got to be high. It is high, and it's a lot of fun to see putts finally going in. I'm going to go out and do my work like I normally do, go putt a little bit, hit some balls, but overall everything is going pretty well. I’m firing on all cylinders."

Birthday boy Van Rooyen, 30, tied the course record with his sizzling and flawless second round, which included nine birdies.

Justin Thomas (66) dropped two positions to nine under as he ended the second day tied for fourth alongside Hideki Matsuyama (64).

World number one Rory McIlroy, meanwhile, lost top spot following his two-under-par 69.

Carrying a two-shot lead into the second round, McIlroy was unable to replicate his first-round 65 as the Northern Irishman slipped three strokes off the pace.

Bubba Watson – a three-time runner-up – is three under through 36 holes after his 72, while defending champion Dustin Johnson (71) and struggling Jordan Spieth (73) are both five over and tied for 60th.

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    Bryson DeChambeau believes he can carry strong momentum into the majors this year after winning the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

    DeChambeau secured a three-stroke victory at the Detroit Golf Club in Michigan on Sunday to continue his good run of form.

    The American had six top-10 results heading into the Rocket Mortgage Classic and appears set to contend with three majors to be held before the year's end.

    DeChambeau said he was gaining confidence and it would give him momentum ahead of the majors, where he is without a top-10 finish in his career.

    "The most important thing is that I played on a golf course that required unbelievable wedging and that's not one of the strong suits of my game, and I was able to win and win by a few, so that's really positive," he said.

    "It means my wedge play isn't up to the best in the world, but it's definitely good enough to still compete on Tour. My driving's still good enough to compete on Tour.

    "It's really exciting to be able to get the job done here and it's a lot of momentum for the majors. I feel like it's a good test run for me hitting drives in some tight areas. Number seven wasn't easy this week and I hit great drives there all week. I've been hitting a great job at 18 when I had to, absolutely had to. If I hit it in the water or a little left or a little right, I'm struggling to make par, but I was able to give myself a little wedge shot in there.

    "It gives me a lot of confidence going forward that I'm heading in the right direction with my driving and my game."

    DeChambeau carded a seven-under 65 in the final round on his way to a sixth PGA Tour victory.

    The 26-year-old said he was happy with the way he played as he carded the best round on Sunday.

    "It's funny, I was kind of in my own world the whole day, I never really thought much about anything outside of me," DeChambeau said.

    "Man, I was just focusing on my game, trying to execute every shot to the best of my ability and I did that for quite most of the day."

  • DeChambeau claims sixth PGA Tour crown with Rocket Mortgage Classic triumph DeChambeau claims sixth PGA Tour crown with Rocket Mortgage Classic triumph

    Bryson DeChambeau eclipsed Matthew Wolff to win the Rocket Mortgage Classic by three strokes and claim his sixth PGA Tour title.

    Wolff was the player to beat in Sunday's final round, teeing off with a commanding three-shot lead at Detroit Golf Club in Michigan.

    However, Wolff faltered and shot a 71 as fellow American DeChambeau rose to the top with a seven-under-par 65 to mark his fourth successive season with a victory.

    DeChambeau was almost flawless on day four, holing eight birdies and just one bogey – finishing with an exclamation point after birdieing the last three holes to end on 23 under.

    The 26-year-old, who had top-10 finishes in his past six starts heading into the tournament, signed off for four successive rounds in the 60s.

    Wolff walked away with the runners-up cheque after mixing five bogeys and six birdies, two strokes ahead of countryman Kevin Kisner (66).

    Danny Willett (66) – the 2016 Masters champion, Adam Hadwin (67), Tyrell Hatton (68) and Ryan Armour (72) finished tied for fourth, seven shots behind DeChambeau.

    Meanwhile, American star Rickie Fowler climbed 28 places into a tie for 12th on 14 under thanks to his final-round 67.

  • Wolff surges three clear at Rocket Mortgage Classic Wolff surges three clear at Rocket Mortgage Classic

    Matthew Wolff carded a second successive eight-under-par 64 to move to the top of the leaderboard after the third round at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. 

    Wolff surged to a three-stroke lead through 54 holes thanks to another low round at Detroit Golf Club in Michigan on Saturday. 

    The 21-year-old is eyeing his second PGA Tour title after winning last year's 3M Open and the American is on track to add the Rocket Mortgage Classic trophy to his collection. 

    A shot off the pace at the start of day three, Wolff posted six birdies and two bogeys on the front nine to make the turn in 32. 

    After another bogey at the 10th, Wolff caught fire with two birdies and an eagle before another gain at the 17th moved him to 19 under overall – ahead of countrymen Ryan Armour (67) and Bryson DeChambeau (67). 

    Troy Merritt (67), Mark Hubbard (69), Seamus Power and Chris Kirk (70) are five strokes behind Wolff heading into the final round. 

    Kirk shared a one-shot lead with 2012 U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson following Friday's second round, but the former saw his advantage evaporate. 

    Simpson is one stroke further back in a tie for eighth after signing for a one-under-par 71 – his first round in the 70s this week. 

    Meanwhile, American star Rickie Fowler ended the day 10 strokes off the pace after shooting a third-round 69.

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