There was a point during the final round of the U.S. Open yesterday when Bryson DeChambeau had a one-stroke lead with only 9 holes to play. He, umm… did not finish with a victory. In fact, he didn’t finish in the top five, or the top 10. Or anywhere close to that. DeChambeau finished in a tie for 26th.
The guy straight-up fell apart on the back nine. He bogeyed 11 and 12, double-bogeyed 13 after a rogue golfer stormed the course and fired off a couple of swings while DeChambeau was getting ready for his third shot of the hole, and then DeChambeau capped off his catastrophic flame-out with an eight on par-four 17, including a glorious shank.
So, what happened?
“I didn’t get off the rails at all,’’ DeChambeau said. “It’s golf. People will say I did this or did that, and it’s just golf. I’ve had plenty of times where I hit it way worse than today and I won. It’s just one of those things where I didn’t have the right breaks happen at the right time.”
“I could have easily gotten to 7-, 8-under today. I just wasn’t fully confident with the golf swing and just got a little unlucky in the rough and a couple other places … Nobody understands, at least if you play professional golf, major championship golf, a lot of it is luck. I can’t tell you how many times I hit shots this week into bad lies and good lies, and they played out 50-50 this week. I caught the bad lies in the back nine today,” he continued.
Sure, you could have. But you didn’t. And I could have easily gone pro in baseball if it weren’t for that pesky knee injury in high school. Okay, Bryson.
According to DeChambeau, he had the worst luck in the history of professional golf, not to be confused with melting down. I think that maybe, just maybe, he actually just didn’t play well on the back nine.
DeChambeau is always going to run the risk of this style of play, with his hulking “must hit ball far” approach to every swing. The U.S. Open, notorious for anguish and challenging conditions, should be expected to give a player of his style a challenge. He almost overcame that challenge, until he didn’t. But yeah, let’s blame it on bad luck.