Say what you will about what success in LIV Golf means – and most of us have – but Bryson DeChambeau’s 58 on Sunday to win at Greenbrier Resort was spectacular.
Yes, the Old White course is relatively short (7,255 yards) and vulnerable by modern standards, but shooting 61-58 on the weekend as DeChambeau did is borderline crazy.
No one is likely to come close to those numbers when LIV plays at Trump Bedminster this week, but the second-year tour is all about putting exclamation points on its product, and DeChambeau provided a big one.
DeChambeau’s spread-eagle leap when his 35-foot birdie putt dropped on the final green for the 58 deserves props, too. The old bulked-up Bryson probably couldn’t have gotten so much air, but this version may have found a new personal logo to replace the arms-raised silhouette from his Arnold Palmer Invitational heroics two years ago.
Set aside the merits of LIV Golf versus the PGA Tour and appreciate DeChambeau’s achievement. That’s three strokes better than Troy Matteson’s PGA Tour record for consecutive rounds, at the 2009 Frys.com Open.
Had someone else done it – say, Dustin Johnson or Joaquín Niemann – the achievement would have rumbled across golf’s landscape, but because it was DeChambeau, who sees the world through a different prism, it felt bigger.
DeChambeau even had a passing thought about cashing in on LIV Golf’s promise to pay any player who shoots 54 a $54 million bonus after he birdied six of his first seven holes. It’s an outrageous idea, but DeChambeau had the audacity to consider it.
“There was a point in time where I did think about the 54, but I kind of threw that to the wayside, like, OK, just get under 60 first,” DeChambeau said.
Think about that statement for a moment.
It’s not something you hear every day.
“For any junior golfers out there, it’s probably the best thing you can do when trying to learn how to score. You go up to the red tees and try and shoot sub-60 rounds, for a good aspiring junior golfer that’s trying to be a professional golfer.” – Bryson DeChambeau
The deeper he went, the more DeChambeau wanted to keep going. It’s something he learned as a youngster.
“For any junior golfers out there, it’s probably the best thing you can do when trying to learn how to score. You go up to the red tees and try and shoot sub-60 rounds, for a good aspiring junior golfer that’s trying to be a professional golfer,” DeChambeau said Sunday.
“You just go to the front tees, try and shoot under 60. If you can do that and you consistently are able to do that every single round you play, get in that comfortable mind of, OK, I’m 10-, 11-, 12-under, let’s keep going, pedal to the metal, that gets you in a great mindset.
“That tremendously helped (Sunday), being able to say, OK, I’m 10 under; well, I can’t stop. I’ve got to keep going.”
DeChambeau shot 59 in a pro-am at the 2020 Shriners Children’s Open in Las Vegas then shot 62 in the first round. At the 2021 BMW Championship at Caves Valley, DeChambeau shot 60 in the second round and had a 6-foot putt for 59 on the final green.
Going seriously low requires more than shot-making. It requires a mindset that allows a player to stay aggressive rather than protect what he’s already done. DeChambeau has built his career on being aggressive.
He called the 58 “probably the greatest moment in my golf career.”
Considering that he won the 2020 U.S. Open at Winged Foot in dominating fashion, DeChambeau can be excused if he was a prisoner of the moment, but maybe he truly thinks the 58 is better than winning a major championship.
It was DeChambeau’s first win in two years after working through personal and physical adjustments. He lost his father late last year, and he abandoned his beefy physique after injuries surfaced.
He has always plotted his own path, unconcerned by what others may think, and it has worked for him. DeChambeau’s highs have been incredibly high, and there have been some flat spells as well.
With his LIV peer and former antagonist Brooks Koepka seemingly a lock for the U.S. Ryder Cup this fall, DeChambeau performed at a level that brought his name back into the discussion as one of six potential captain’s picks by Zach Johnson.
It’s a long shot for a number of reasons, but if DeChambeau puts together another splashy week in New Jersey, the Ryder Cup chatter will intensify. He went 2-0-1 at Whistling Straits two years ago, and if none of the borderline PGA Tour players shows great form in the next two weeks, DeChambeau or Johnson (who went 5-0 at Whistling Straits) could get serious consideration.
DeChambeau is eccentric and quirky, but he’s been one of the most compelling characters in the game over the past few years. His dreams seem to have no boundaries.
“Seemed like a kid in a candy shop,” DeChambeau said Sunday evening.
And he helped himself to the good stuff.
Top: It was raining birdies for DeChambeau, who shot 61-58 on the weekend to win in West Virginia. Photo: Eakin Howard, Getty Images
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