Bryson DeChambeau put his commanding US Open victory down to ‘blood, sweat and tears’ after he powered his way to a first major title, demolishing the most difficult course on the American rota and everyone else in the field.
DeChambeau carded a closing 67 to finish six under par at Winged Foot, a record winning score by two shots at a revered venue where only two players had finished in red figures in five previous US Opens.
Previously ridiculed for the dramatic transformation in his body shape and derided for thinking he could bully Winged Foot, the 27-year-old was the only player to break par on a demanding final day and the only one not to shoot over par in any round.
Bryson DeChambeau put his commanding US Open victory down to ‘blood, sweat and tears’
He finished six shots clear of compatriot Matthew Wolff, who began the day with a two-stroke advantage but faded to a closing 75.
‘It’s been a long journey and difficult at times but this makes it all worthwhile,’ said an emotional DeChambeau. ‘It’s been a dream of mine for so long to win this title and I can hardly believe it has come true.’
Asked how it felt to be called the US Open champion, DeChambeau added: ‘It sounds amazing, but surreal. It’s been a lot of hard work.
‘It’s one of those things that doesn’t really hit you – it’s not going to hit me until tonight, but I will say that my parents have given so much up for me. I mean, there were times that I went to school without any lunch money, and we had to make baloney sandwiches and didn’t have anything to eat.
‘We had some very, very difficult times, but every single day they always wanted the best for me, and they always gave me the opportunity to go golf, go practice, and go get better.
‘This one’s for my parents, it’s for my whole team. All the work, all the blood, sweat, and tears we put into it, it just means the world to me.’
DeChambeau’s physical transformation has been the main talking point since golf’s return to action following the coronavirus shutdown, the American putting on 20lbs of muscle to become the game’s biggest hitter in the space of just a few months.
His new body shape has been the talk of golf ever since play resumed on the PGA Tour following lockdown, and many fans have been less than kind, poking fun at his transformation into ‘The Incredible Bulk’.
DeChambeau carded a closing 67 to finish six under par at Winged Foot for his first major title
He finished six shots clear of Matthew Wolff, who began the day with a two-stroke advantage
The experiment appeared to bear fruit, with three straight top 10s followed by a sixth PGA Tour title. But the jury was out over whether it would work on the harder courses used for major championships, where thick rough is meant to penalise wayward drives.
A share of fourth in the USPGA Championship at Harding Park appeared to prove that it could, and DeChambeau removed any lingering doubt with his power-packed performance at Winged Foot.
Asked if the win validated his approach, DeChambeau added: ‘A hundred per cent, no doubt.
‘For me, it’s about the journey of – can I execute every shot more repeatably than everybody else? I was able to do that this week. That’s why I won by six.
‘Any major were all ones that I wanted to win, but I knew that my game would fit best for a US Open. The reason for that is I always felt growing up, in college, I was always a super straight driver of the golf ball, super great iron player.
‘Putting was always iffy, but I knew I could get around it on fast, quick greens. I’ve become a great putter, and my ball striking has improved consistently, and now I’ve got an advantage with this length, and that’s all she wrote.’
DeChambeau was until fairly recently a slim athlete (left), but after lockdown he emerged with a transformed, muscle-bound figure (right) and has become golf’s biggest hitter
DeChambeau had fun poked at him for his physical makeover, such as in this tweet
Other posts were less kind, such as this comparing him to an obese Homer Simpson
DeChambeau’s muscular body has been the talk of golf for months, with fans left amazed
DeChambeau demolished the fearsome Winged Foot course and the rest of the field