Bryson DeChambeau said it was special to join elite company in Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus with his U.S. Open victory.

DeChambeau pulled away for his first major success, winning by six strokes at Winged Foot in New York.

The American, 27, carded a three-under 67 in the final round on Sunday and was the only player to finish under par.

DeChambeau joined Woods and Nicklaus as the only players to win the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Open and an individual title at the NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championship, and it was company the winner was delighted to join.

"It's just an honour. I don't know what else to say. It's been a lot of hard work," he said.

"Mr Nicklaus has been always awesome to me. He gave me a sponsor's invite. Tiger has always been great to me. I can't say thank you enough to them for them helping me push me along to be a better person and a better golfer, as well.

"But to be in the likes of the names of that company is special. I'll forever appreciate that."

As overnight leader Matthew Wolff fell away in the final round, DeChambeau mixed an eagle with two birdies and a bogey.

The pair traded eagles at the ninth and DeChambeau said his 39-foot putt led to him thinking about lifting the trophy.

"It's kind of interesting, on nine is when I first thought, 'Okay, this could be reality'," he said.

"I made that eagle, long eagle putt and I shocked myself by making it, too, and I thought to myself, I could do it. And then immediately after, I said, 'Nope, you've got to focus on each and every hole', and I just kept throughout the course of the back nine telling myself, 'Nope, we've got three more holes, we've got four more holes, we've got five more holes', whatever it was.

"I just had to keep focused, making sure I was executing every shot to the best I possibly could."

Rory McIlroy admitted he was surprised by the manner of Bryson DeChambeau's six-stroke victory at the U.S Open as the former world number one hinted at another big Masters win for the powerful American.

DeChambeau claimed his maiden major crown following a dominant display at Winged Foot, where he carded a final-round 67 to top the leaderboard ahead of overnight leader Matthew Wolff on Sunday.

A topic of discussion on the PGA Tour after his weight gain and smash approach, DeChambeau only hit six fairways on the final day and 23 for the week in New York as he was the only player in the red following 72 holes.

"I don't really know what to say because that's just the complete opposite of what you think a U.S. Open champion does," four-time major champion McIlroy, who finished tied for eighth at six over, told reporters. "Look, he's found a way to do it.

"Whether that's good or bad for the game, I don't know, but it's not the way I saw this golf course being played or this tournament being played. It's kind of hard to really wrap my head around it."

"I played with him at Colonial [the Charles Schwab Challenge] the first week back out, but I sort of said, okay, wait until he gets to a proper golf course, he'll have to rein it back in," continued McIlroy, who closed the tournament with a five-over-par 75.

"This is as proper as they come, and look what's happened. Yeah, he's got full belief in what he's doing, and it's pretty impressive."

Asked if he was concerned ahead of the rescheduled Masters at Augusta in November, McIlroy said: "I don't shudder, but if he can do it around here, and I'm thinking of Augusta and thinking of the way you sort of play there.

"I stood up here a few weeks ago and said the game's moved on a lot in the last 14 years since the U.S. Open's been played here, and you're seeing what the game has become, what he's doing out there."

"I think it's brilliant," McIlroy said. "But I think he's taken advantage of where the game is at the minute. Look, again, whether that's good or bad, but it's just the way it is. With the way he approaches it, with the arm-lock putting, with everything, it's just where the game's at right now.

"I'm not saying that's right or wrong. He's just taking advantage of what we have right now."

Bryson DeChambeau clinched his maiden major title after a strong final round at the U.S. Open on Sunday.

The American was the only player in the red on his final round as a three-under 67 propelled him to a dominant six-stroke victory at Winged Foot.

Making his 16th major start, DeChambeau, 27, closed out a win as the rest of the field, particularly overnight leader Matthew Wolff, struggled at the tough course in New York.

Wolff battled to a five-over 75 in the final round, but it was enough to finish outright second at even par.

DeChambeau, whose win marked his seventh on the PGA Tour, had struggled at majors since his debut in 2015, securing his first top-10 finish earlier this year at the US PGA Championship.

Much of the talk around DeChambeau earlier this year centred on his weight gain, but he has been in fine form since the season restarted in June amid the coronavirus pandemic.

His U.S. Open victory is his second win since the campaign resumed, while he has four other top-10 finishes.

Wolff's two-stroke overnight lead disappeared quickly before he traded eagle putts with DeChambeau on the ninth.

DeChambeau holed a 39-footer and Wolff responded with a much shorter effort to be a stroke behind heading onto the back nine.

But that would be as close as Wolff would get from that point, DeChambeau pulling further ahead with a birdie at 11 after the 21-year-old bogeyed the 10th.

Whatever slim hope Wolff, bidding to become the first tournament debutant to win the U.S. Open since 1913, had disappeared with another bogey at 14 and a double at 16 as DeChambeau parred out.

A one-time winner on the PGA Tour, Wolff gave up a three-stroke lead heading into the final round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic in July, when DeChambeau was also victorious.

Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open Championship winner, finished third at two over after his 73.

Harris English (73) was a shot further back and ahead of Xander Schauffele (74), while world number one Dustin Johnson carded a 70 to finish in a tie for sixth.

After his opening-round 65 put him in a strong position, Justin Thomas (72) ended up tied for eighth at six over alongside the likes of Rory McIlroy.

McIlroy double-bogeyed the first hole and was not able to recover as he fired a 75.

Bryson DeChambeau produced a fine final round to win his first major title at the U.S. Open.

Matthew Wolff equalled a U.S. Open record and is on track to make further history after taking a two-stroke lead in the third round.

Wolff carded a five-under 65 on Saturday, equalling the lowest round produced at Winged Foot at a U.S. Open.

The 21-year-old American blitzed the front nine in New York, making five birdies before a consistent back nine included a bogey and birdie.

Wolff's round came after hitting just two of 14 fairways, but he reached five under and a two-shot lead.

His 65 matched the round Justin Thomas managed on Thursday to set the record at Winged Foot.

If he wins, Wolff would become the first player to claim the U.S. Open on tournament debut since Francis Ouimet in 1913.

Bryson DeChambeau (70) sits second at three under and Louis Oosthuizen (68) is the only other player under par at one under.

DeChambeau opened his round with back-to-back bogeys before picking up a shot at the seventh.

The American then made birdies at 16 and 17, but could only manage a bogey at the par-four 18th.

Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open Championship winner, is also in contention after mixing four birdies with two bogeys.

Hideki Matsuyama (70), Xander Schauffele (70) and Harris English (72) are at even par, a shot ahead of Rory McIlroy (68).

But it was a forgettable third round, and in particular back nine, for overnight leader Patrick Reed.

The 2018 Masters champion was one under through nine holes before falling apart to shoot a 77 and sit at three over, tied for 11th.

Reed bogeyed six of his final nine holes and had a double bogey at the 11th, where he struggled to recover from the rough.

Thomas is at four over, while world number one Dustin Johnson was again unable to get much going, shooting a 72 to be at five over.

Patrick Reed is the man to beat at the halfway mark of the U.S. Open after earning a one-shot lead in his pursuit of a second major title, while Tiger Woods was among the big names who failed to qualify for the weekend.

Reed – the 2018 Masters champion – carded an even-par-70 to move top of the leaderboard through two rounds in tricky conditions at Winged Foot Golf Club on Friday.

American golfer Reed was a stroke behind overnight leader and countryman Justin Thomas heading into day two in New York, where the rescheduled major is taking place behind closed doors amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Reed, who made a memorable hole-in-one in the opening round, replaced Thomas atop the standings thanks to a mixed day, which included five birdies and as many bogeys.

A controversial figure on the PGA Tour following accusations of cheating during last year's Hero World Challenge, Reed started on the back nine and birdied his second hole but had three bogeys in a five-hole stretch – that also included another birdie – approaching the turn.

Reed tallied two birdies and two bogeys before closing his round with a birdie at the last to end the day four under and ahead of surging American Bryson DeChambeau (68), who improved 12 positions.

Rafa Cabrera Bello (70), Harris English (70) and former world number one Thomas (73) are tied for third and two shots off the pace heading into Saturday's third round.

Thomas set the record for the lowest score posted in a U.S. Open at Winged Foot with a first-round 65, but he was unable to repeat the feat on a tough day.

Jon Rahm (72) closed the round one over through 36 holes, while world number one and FedEx Cup champion Dustin Johnson (70) is two strokes worse off following back-to-back rounds in the 70s.

Johnson – the 2016 winner – is three over alongside four-time major champion Rory McIlroy, who endured a forgettable round following a six-over-par 76.

In contention after round one, Northern Irish star McIlroy – seeking his first major trophy since 2014 – fell 17 positions on the back of a double bogey, seven bogeys and just three birdies.

As for Woods, he missed the cut and the 15-time major winner was not alone as defending champion Gary Woodland (74), Jordan Spieth (81) and Phil Mickelson (74) also fell short of the six-over line.

Three-time U.S. Open champion Woods finished with a score of 10 over after shooting a second-round 77, which included two double bogeys and five bogeys.

It was a horrible day for 2015 champion Spieth, whose woes continued as he bowed out at 14 over after going through the second round without a birdie, instead holding a double bogey and nine bogeys.

Bryson DeChambeau's confidence is at an "all-time high" after an excellent two-under 68 put him in contention following his second round at the U.S. Open.

Players and experts alike commented about how forgiving the notoriously brutal Winged Foot West Course was on day one, but the same could not be said on Friday.

The number of players finishing the day under par fell drastically, with Thomas Pieters and Matthew Wolff – both of whom were just a shot off the lead after the opening round – among those to slip, with each going four over par this time around to drop back to level.

But long-hitting DeChambeau, who carded 69 on Thursday, put himself right into the mixer with an impressive round for the clubhouse lead.

"I feel great. Confidence is at an all-time high right now," he told reporters. "I'm driving it well, iron play is fantastic, wedging is getting better each and every day, and I'm putting it like I know I can. So very happy.

"I want it to play as hard as possible. I feel like there's so many holes out here that I can take advantage of that some people can't.

"Now, that doesn't mean that I'm going to win or anything, you've still got to execute, you've still got to hit the driver straight.

"If I'm hitting the driver far but all over the place, you can't make birdies from the rough. It's very difficult to, so I still have to work on hitting it straight while hitting it far. And that's a unique combo that I'm going to strive for for the rest of my life."

With regards to his improvement, DeChambeau put it partly down to his approach play with the wedges, with calibration adjustments paying off.

"My wedges yesterday weren't that good," he said. "I was flying them too far and I wanted to know what the problem was and we figured out what the problem was.

"It just was going farther than I thought it was. We didn't practise them as well as I should have leading up to this tournament, but we made that adjustment, and it worked out beautifully for me today."

World number one Dustin Johnson appeared to be in trouble after his opening-round 73, but on Friday he went around at even par to remain on three over for the tournament, and given how aggressive the course felt on Friday, the 2016 champion believes his chances are still alive.

"I think still on this golf course, with the conditions that we're supposed to have the next couple days, I don't feel like I'm out of it," Johnson said. "I'm going to have to play really well, but I like where I'm at. I think obviously two solid rounds and [I'm] right back in the mix.

"So hopefully. It was a little better today, get a little better tomorrow and then even better on Sunday, and I'll be right there."

World number one Dustin Johnson will tee off at the 2020 U.S. Open on Thursday in a star-studded group with Bryson DeChambeau and Tony Finau.

Johnson, whose solitary major triumph came at this event in 2016, has returned to the rankings summit following a stunning run of form on the PGA Tour.

The 36-year-old has claimed three tournament wins, including the TOUR Championship, to land him a maiden FedExCup and the PGA Tour Player of the Year Award.

Johnson is the favourite to lift the trophy at Winged Foot this week and will be alongside American compatriots DeChambeau and Finau, who are each seeking their first major title.

That headline group goes out at 1:16PM (local time).

Two-time winner Brooks Koepka is absent as he seeks full fitness, while reigning champion Gary Woodland will compete alongside 2019 Open winner Shane Lowry and amateur Andy Ogletree.

Tiger Woods, who has his name on the silverware three times, will feature in a trio with US PGA victor Collin Morikawa and Justin Thomas.

Rory McIlroy's pursuit of a fifth major will see him tee off in a group featuring Adam Scott and Justin Rose. 

Spain's Jon Rahm, also considered a leading contender for glory, is in a threesome with Phil Mickelson, who needs this major to complete the set, and Paul Casey.

 

 

The competition at the top of the US PGA Championship leaderboard showed little sign of dispersing as Dustin Johnson had Paul Casey for company at the summit through nine holes.

Overnight leader Johnson held a one-stroke advantage heading into Sunday's final round as he aims to add to his sole prior major triumph at the 2016 U.S. Open.

But a number of stars were in hot pursuit and, despite a birdie at the first, Johnson failed to pull clear of the chasing pack before the turn.

A bogey at the third opened the door a little wider for those with serious title interests, but the former world number one bounced back at the next to return to 10 under.

Casey was there, too, by the time Johnson reached the ninth, though, building on scores of 68, 67 and 68 with birdies at the fourth, fifth and 10th.

Cameron Champ and Bryson DeChambeau had each earlier moved into position to challenge the frontrunner.

Champ – a 25-year-old with just two PGA Tour wins to his name – joined Johnson on 10 under and put away a vital 18-foot putt for par at the eighth, but he left himself with an awful lot to do at the following hole and fell two strokes off the pace.

Meanwhile, DeChambeau spectacularly lost momentum just as he briefly pulled level with Johnson, back-to-back bogeys undoing his hard work.

A clutch of others were also in contention, however, with impressive consecutive birdies following the turn giving Jason Day a share of third, one shot back.

Tony Finau, Collin Morikawa and Scottie Scheffler were all also on nine under.

Matthew Wolff had been among the same throng following a rapid ascent up the leaderboard – managing three straight birdies from the seventh, then adding an eagle at the 10th – but twice missed achievable putts that would have secured a co-lead before falling away.

Much further down the leaderboard, Brooks Koepka's round was going from bad to worse, with the two-time defending champion falling out of the picture completely.

Having highlighted Johnson's lack of winning major experience on Saturday, Koepka subsequently struggled from the outset and was four over on the front nine, way back on three under for the week.

Defending champion Brooks Koepka struggled to find momentum early in his final round at the US PGA Championship as leader Dustin Johnson headed out on Sunday.

Koepka has won the tournament in each of the past two years and talked a good game after Saturday's third round, seemingly intending to increase the pressure on Johnson.

But the four-time major winner made an unconvincing start and was soon in trouble at the second, scrambling to a first bogey of the day.

That setback saw Koepka fall back to a tie for 11th on six under and suddenly facing somewhat of an uphill battle.

His woes at the second were exacerbated by a solid start from Johnson, who was four strokes clear of his rival after birdieing the first.

Playing partner Scottie Scheffler briefly pulled level with Johnson on nine under, yet the former world number one - whose only major win came at the 2016 U.S. Open - swiftly became the first player to reach 10 under.

Early pressure from further down the leaderboard came courtesy of Tony Finau and Bryson DeChambeau, who each reached eight under with birdie-birdie starts.

Brooks Koepka remains in contention to complete a US PGA Championship three-peat after keeping new leader Dustin Johnson in his sights on Saturday.

Johnson will take a one-stroke advantage into the final round after firing a crisp 65 to reach nine under, but the 2019 runner-up looks set to face a strong challenge from the man who beat him to last year's title.

Back-to-back champion Koepka (69) picked up two shots over the final three holes to recover from a potentially damaging run of three straight bogeys.

Overnight leader Li Haotong coped less successfully with the pressure, carding a costly three-over 73 that included three bogeys and a double at the 13th.

Johnson, four shots back through 36 holes, ran into trouble with a double bogey of his own at the ninth, before steadying to finish with eight birdies on moving day.

The one-time major champion holds a narrow lead over Scottie Scheffler (65) and Cameron Champ (67), who are tied for second.

Cole Morikawa (65) and Paul Casey (68) are level with Koepka at seven under, but all eyes will be on the 30-year-old American on Sunday.

He could become the first golfer to win the tournament three times in a row since Walter Hagen in the 1920s.

Six men, including the improving Bryson DeChambeau (66) and 2015 winner Jason Day (70), are a further shot back at six under.

Tiger Woods fell well out of contention after carding a two-over 72 for the second successive round.

Jason Day and Brendon Todd share a one-stroke lead on a congested leaderboard after the first round of the US PGA Championship on Thursday.

Day, the 2015 champion, carded a bogey-free five-under 65 at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.

The Australian capitalised on favourable early conditions and made five birdies to sit a stroke clear of nine players, alongside Todd.

Todd produced the best round of those in action later in the day, although he mixed seven birdies with two bogeys.

Bidding to win a third straight US PGA title, Brooks Koepka is among that group after shooting a four-under 66.

Koepka mixed six birdies with two bogeys as the American continued to grow in confidence after a runner-up finish at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.

Martin Kaymer, the 2010 champion, Scottie Scheffler, Xander Schauffele, Bud Cauley, Zach Johnson, Justin Rose, Brendan Steele and Mike Lorenzo-Vera are also in a tie for third.

Rose was just one under with six holes to play in his round, but the Englishman managed three birdies to be in contention.

In action for just the second time since the PGA Tour season restarted in June, 15-time major champion Tiger Woods opened with a two-under 68.

The American was even through his first 12 holes before a strong finish saw him birdie three of four holes prior to dropping another shot.

Bryson DeChambeau accidentally broke his driver during his first round and was twice four under, but finished with a 68.

Dustin Johnson carded a one-under 69 to be tied for 33rd, a shot better off than four-time major champion Rory McIlroy, who battled to his 70.

Jon Rahm also struggled to get going on his way to a 70, while 2017 champion Justin Thomas fired a 71.

Jordan Spieth's hopes of completing a career Grand Slam this year took a hit, the American again battling as he opened with a 73 that included five bogeys. Rickie Fowler also shot an opening-round 73.

Bryson DeChambeau accidentally snapped the head off his driver during the opening round of the US PGA Championship.

American golfer DeChambeau broke his driver after hitting a tee shot on the seventh hole at TPC Harding Park on Thursday.

One of the biggest hitters on the PGA Tour, DeChambeau was leaning on the club as he attempted to pick up the tee when the head became detached in San Francisco.

DeChambeau – a six-time Tour champion – was able to replace the driver as it was not damaged through anger or abuse.

"The head is fine, it's just the shaft. That was weird, swinging too hard. I guess it's all those swings I put in. Glad I can replace it, that's awesome. That’s a nice break," DeChambeau said on course.

"I think it is so funny. It was bound to break. I've been using it for a long time. Got a lot of good use out of it."

Bryson DeChambeau has quite literally been a big talking point after mixing swinging irons with pumping iron during lockdown.

It was very evident the eccentric American had not been putting his feet up when the PGA Tour resumed in June following a three-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

DeChambeau teed off at the Charles Schwab Challenge with a substantially bulked-up frame after dedicating himself to an intensive daily training schedule while in quarantine.

The world number seven also put his new appearance down to a diet that includes seven protein shakes a day and a 2,000-calorie breakfast, consuming two big meals daily and "munching" inbetween.

DeChambeau has long since given his rivals food for thought with such an alternative approach to the game that earned him the 'mad scientist' nickname.

If the 26-year-old Californian can come up with a recipe for success this week, he could be a major force at the US PGA Championship.

The six-time PGA Tour champion's extra power would have drawn gasps from the galleries if spectators had been allowed in to see the distances he has been hitting the ball since the restart.

His average drive of 324.4 yards is the highest on the PGA Tour this year and can be a huge weapon, but some believe his new-found strength combined with technical adjustments may have impacted his touch game.

He returned with three consecutive top-10 finishes before winning the Rocket Mortgage Classic, but suffered a meltdown as he missed the cut at the Memorial Tournament a fortnight later.

DeChambeau was there for the weekend at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, but finished in a tie for 30th as Justin Thomas won the title on Sunday.

Slow play and on-course tantrums have ensured DeChambeau is unlikely to ever be the most popular player on the circuit, but his drive for success has to be admired.

As does his optimism judging by a recent interview with GQ magazine.

"My goal is to live to 130 or 140. I really think that's possible now with today's technology," he said.

"I think somebody's going to do it in the next 30 or 40 years. I want humans to be better. I want them to succeed. I want to say, 'Hey, this is all of the stuff I've experienced… if it helps you, great. If it doesn't, well, let's keep working on it. Let's keep figuring stuff out."

DeChambeau must hope it is a case of the bigger, the better when he starts his quest to claim a first major title at TPC Harding Park, San Francisco on Thursday.

It may not be quite what we are used to but major golf is finally back as Brooks Koepka defends his US PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park in California this week.

The global coronavirus pandemic completely wiped out The Open Championship for 2020, while each of the other three majors had to be rescheduled.

A three-month enforced break of the PGA Tour perhaps came at an opportune moment for some, while halting the momentum of others.

As golf gears up for its first major of 2020, behind closed doors of course, we take a look at the players we expect to be competing in California.


WEBB SIMPSON

It has been some return to form over the past couple of years for 2012 U.S. Open victor Webb Simpson, who slipped as low as 90th in the rankings following the 2016 Wells Fargo Championship before his triumph at the Players Championship a couple of years ago kick-started a career that looked in danger of stagnating. Even more promisingly, Simpson has wins either side of lockdown at the Phoenix Open and RBC Heritage. Throw in top-10s at the Sony Open and Rocket Mortgage Classic and he certainly has the form to contend.

JUSTIN THOMAS

Since winning the 2017 PGA Championship, it has not quite happened in the majors for Justin Thomas, whose only other top-10 in golf's big four since came at the same tournament a year later. But this guy is a serial contender on Tour and has four wins to his name in the past year, the most recent of course coming at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational on Sunday. Thomas is now back at world number one thanks to his triumph in Memphis and has three other top-10s since golf's hiatus was lifted so do not be surprised to see him in contention come Sunday.

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU

He is a man who splits opinion but one thing that cannot be argued is how supremely talented Bryson DeChambeau is. After bulking up during lockdown, he now appears to have even more weapons to his arsenal. Prior to missing the cut at the Memorial, DeChambeau made eight top-10s in nine starts, which included a win at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. He has the game to win a major.

COLLIN MORIKAWA

A name perhaps not too familiar with the casual golf fan, but since turning pro in 2019 Collin Morikawa has climbed from 1039th in the world to 12th. After finishing second at the season-restarting Charles Schwab, he won the Workday Charity Open by beating Thomas in a play-off. His other results have admittedly been mixed but for those who like an outside bet the 23-year-old may take your fancy.

JON RAHM

Admittedly, tipping the man who was world number one until Thomas' win at the weekend to be a contender does not exactly scream imagination. But the talented Spaniard was not exactly in peak form prior to winning the Memorial last month, which crowned his ascension to the top of the rankings. Prior to that he had gone CUT, T33, T37, T27 at his four previous events post-lockdown. But surely Jon Rahm will eventually break his major duck and this weekend can be the time.

KOEPKA, RORY, WOODS AND THE USUAL SUSPECTS

Some players you just expect to see involved at the majors. Koepka is aiming to be the first man in 64 years to win the same major three years running and showed plenty of promise in Memphis over the weekend, where he finished runner-up to Thomas. Rory McIlroy has lost his number one status after struggling to rediscover his excellent form prior to golf's suspension but the Northern Irishman has previous at Harding Park, where he won the 2015 WGC-Cadillac Match Play. Tiger Woods really has not played enough golf in 2020 to judge where his form and fitness is at – he has played just once since the season restarted – but never, ever write off the 15-time major winner. Dustin Johnson's form has been a little erratic, though he did win the Travelers Championship at the end of June.

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