Bryson DeChambeau wins John Deere Classic for 1st PGA Tour title


Here is a recap of Sunday’s final round of the John Deere Classic, played at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill.:

WINNER: Bryson DeChambeau has long had his methods questioned, but he’s now a PGA Tour winner. And it was EMPHATIC. DeChambeau was even for his final round and several shots back and then pushed his game into overdrive. Birdies at Nos. 10, 11, 13 and 14 rushed him into contention, but he still needed a strong finish to catch Patrick Rodgers. He did just that. DeChambeau hit a stunning second from 268 yards from the right rough at the par-5 17th to 40 feet. A two-putt from there gave him birdie. His approach at the last from 194 yards went just left and long of the flag and ended up 14 feet from the hole. That birdie putt was to close in 30, shoot 6-under 65 and tie the lead at 18 under. The putt was a good one but appeared it would dive low and right before catching the edge and dropping for a closing birdie.

DeChambeau unleashed a spirited reaction after the clutch birdie and then had to wait. Rodgers would hit a wild drive at the par-5 17th, punch out short into the rough, knock it on the green but leave himself a chip, nip that to 8 feet and miss the par putt. Suddenly he was one back, and if he couldn’t birdie 18, DeChambeau was the winner. Rodgers flailed his drive right at 18, went long on his second and then nearly chipped in for birdie for an incredible tie. After Rodgers tapped in for his par, DeChambeau had posted a one-shot victory.

DeChambeau was a star at SMU, and in 2015 became just the fifth player to win the NCAA Championship and U.S. Amateur in the same year. Since he turned pro last year, though, he’s courted criticism for his eccentric methods.

Earlier this year, the 23-year-old had a battle with the U.S. Golf Assicoation over his side-saddle putting. It eventually led to him calling out the organization and subsequently apologizing. He has since ditched side-saddle.

There’s also DeChambeau’s single-length irons and wedges, and his scientific approach. But it’s worth noting DeChambeau has a compelling backstory with his dad’s long-time battle in kidney donation.

Anyway, whatever people feel, DeChambeau has his first PGA Tour win at age 23.

There’s no questioning DeChambeau’s talent. His potential is boundless. He finished T-4 in his pro debut last year at the RBC Heritage, and won in the Web.com Tour Finals last fall to earn his PGA Tour card.

This PGA Tour season has been a struggle at times (see above), as DeChambeau had missed 14 cuts and withdrew once in 24 starts. But now he has his win, a two-year exemption, and, oh yeah, a spot into the Open Championship.

People can say what they want, but DeChambeau has arrived and he’s not going anywhere for a long time.

JUST MISSED: Poor Patrick Rodgers. The 25-year-old is a former winner of the Haskins Award presented by Stifel, shares the all-time victories record at Stanford with Tiger Woods and Maverick McNealy and won on the Web.com Tour in 2015 – a year after turning pro. But he can’t his first PGA Tour win. It seemed like his to win, as he started the day with a two-shot lead and was two in front after birdies at Nos. 10, 12, 13 and 15. But DeChambeau charged and that bogey on 17 cost Rodgers. Still, his time is coming. In this PGA Tour season, he’s now held two 54-hole leads and finished top 5 twice. His final-round 70 put him one short Sunday, but his time is coming.

SHOT OF THE DAY: The winning birdie putt for DeChambeau is obviously the shot to remember Sunday.

And a closer look at this reaction.

So cool.

QUOTABLE: To come…

SHORT SHOTS: Wesley Bryan finishes T-3 at 16 under thanks to a final-round 64. He jumps 24 spots on the leaderboard. … Steve Stricker posts a heart-racing closing score. The three-time JDC champion was 8 under for his round through 14, 16 overall and tied for the lead. He needed a strong finish to have a chance, but he posted three pars and then bogeyed 18 to get in at 15 under. That wasn’t enough, but he did jump 30 spots to a tie for fifth thanks to that 64. … Zach Johnson posts another high finish at the JDC. He had six top-three finishes here (including a win in 2012). It’s a T-5 for him this time as he closes in 67 to finish at 15 under. He was in the lead at one point Sunday but couldn’t keep it up as he played his final five holes in 1 over. … Brian Harman (the 2014 JDC champion) starts his round 5 under through eight and challenges the lead but cools off for a 67. That’s still a top 10, though, as he places T-10 at 14 under. … Morgan Hoffmann jumps 56 spots to a tie for 12th at 13 under thanks to a final-round 64. … Maverick McNealy, formerly of Stanford, is the low am finisher as he posts at 9 under for a tie for 44th. …

UP NEXT: We’re onto the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale! Our fantasy golf expert picks are here, and our fantasy golf rankings are at your service, too. We have a full crew on-site at Royal Birkdale. Follow all the action live on Golfweek.com and our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

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