“Mad Scientist” With Right Formula
NORTON, MA. Nothing speaks louder and with more certainty on the PGA TOUR then winning. And when one follows-up a win with another win and does so via the high platform of the FedEx Cup Playoffs the message sent is unmistakable and deafening.
After winning last week’s Northern Trust event at Ridgewood CC in New Jersey, Bryson DeChamabeau pushed his name to the front of the line — minus those named Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson — for consideration as one of Jim Furyk’s captain picks for Team USA in this year’s Ryder Cup Matches in Paris later this month. Winning back-to-back events with a top tier field competing is no small feat and DeChambeau has sent an undeniable message that he is inserting his name into the mix as one of golf’s brightest young stars.
DeChambeau captured the Dell Technologies Championship with a two stroke win over late charging Englishman Justin Rose. The win marks his 3rd triumph in his last nine starts — his 4th overall PGA TOUR victory — and all happening for a golfer not yet 25 years of age.
The win makes Bryson the sixth to win back-to-back Playoffs events and the first to win in consecutive weeks on TOUR since Justin Thomas did so in Hawaii in 2017. DeChambeau also adds his name alongside Vijah Singh (2008) in wining THE NORTHERN TRUST and Dell Technologies Championship in the same season.
Just as he did at THE NORTHERN TRUST — DeChambeau equaled his low round on the PGA TOUR with a 3rd round 63 at TPC / Boston which catapulted up the leaderboard and positioning himself just one shot off the lead. Three consecutive birdies on the outward side in the 4th round — starting at the par-5 7th — provided the lift-off to secure a lead he would never relinquish.
Prior to his most recent golf explosion in professional golf — DeChambeau showed his golfing dexterity early on in being only the 5th golfer to win both the NCAA individual title and the US Amateur in the same year. However, there were prospective universities that took a pass on recruiting him given Bryson’s personal quirks and unique approach to playing the game. The tagline, “Mad Scientist,” was applied to DeChambeau for the manner in which he approached playing the game. Given his powerful ascent in professional golf – it’s now time to put aside the predictable storylines of DeChambeau wearing the Hogan cap and playing irons of the same length and see things very clearly — the man can certainly play the game at the highest of levels.
DeChambeau joins the likes of Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson and Justin Thomas as a three-time winner on the PGA TOUR. This is a golfer who started the year at No. 99 in the world golf rankings — he’s now No. 7.
How fast has the rise been? In 2017 he won his first PGA TOUR title at the John Deere Classic but the journey was not an easy one early on. Numerous missed cuts followed and doubt can be a powerful weight to fight against. DeChambeau stayed resolute in his manner and the results now ratify not only his steadfastness but inner desire to resist the comments from naysayers who could not appreciate the path he has chosen in his professional career development.
DeChambeau will remain in the No. 1 position in the FedEx Cup Playoffs no matter what happens at this week’s BMW Championship at Aronimink just outside of Philadelphia. But the longer term is what is now on the radar screen. The Ryder Cup will have him participate in his first professional team match and how he fares — both personally with his teammates and by the golf skills he shows — will be a crucial step in how he advances to even greater heights. The clarity of his successes — now have him on another level and DeChambeau has resisted, thus far, the desire to coast — to be satiated. The appetite for even greater triumphs is what lies ahead with The TOUR Championship just around the corner and Paris at the end of this month against Team Europe. Life for DeChambeau is indeed rolling along quite nicely — or as the French would say, “C’est magnifique.”
* Photos Courtesy of Jim Smith (Instagram – @jimsmithgolf)