DeCham­beau Wins John Deere Clas­sic

The first US PGA Tour ti­tle for the 23 year old

Golf Asia (Malaysia) - - CONTENTS - IM­AGES © GETTY IM­AGES / BRIDGE­STONE

Bryson DeCham­beau drained a 14-foot birdie putt at the 72nd hole as his storm­ing back nine lifted him to a first US PGA Tour ti­tle at the John Deere Clas­sic. DeCham­beau had six birdies com­ing in as he ral­lied for the vic­tory over a fal­ter­ing Pa­trick Rodgers, punch­ing his ticket to the Bri­tish Open in the process, which took place the week af­ter.

"I don't even know what it means right now," said DeCham­beau, who carded a fi­nal-round 65 for an 18-un­der par to­tal of 266 at TPC Deere Run in Sil­vis, Illi­nois. Af­ter start­ing the round four adrift, he fin­ished one stroke in front of Rodgers, who started the day with a two-stroke lead but fell be­hind DeCham­beau with a bo­gey at the parfive 17th and couldn't come up with a birdie at the last to force a play­off.

Rodgers signed for a 70 that put him in 267, alone in sec­ond and one shot in front of Wes­ley Bryan and Rick Lamb. Bryan closed strong with a 64 and Lamp carded a 66. DeCham­beau was in the prac­tice area, try­ing to stay warm for a pos­si­ble play­off when Rodgers' chal­lenge ended.

"I've just been work­ing so hard my whole life to try and do this," the emo­tional player told a tele­vi­sion in­ter­viewer. To fi­nally have it hap­pen at the John Deere - where I started pretty much a cou­ple of years ago - is just in­cred­i­ble," added DeCham­beau, who played the tour­na­ment on a spon­sor's ex­emp­tion in 2015.

DeCham­beau had en­dured a se­ries of dis­ap­point­ing fin­ishes this sea­son, in­clud­ing a missed cut on six-over at the re­cent US Open. He played the front nine in level par af­ter one birdie and one bo­gey, then put to­gether three bursts of back-to-back birdies - at 10-11, 13-14 and 17-18.

Rodgers was one-over through the first nine holes, but re­asserted him­self with birdies at 10, 12 and 13. A bo­gey at 14 was quickly fol­lowed by a birdie

at 15 and the rough at the par-five 17th off the tee. He even­tu­ally found him­self chip­ping from the green to get over a bunker and missed an eight-footer to save par.

DeCham­beau said he felt the vic­tory was some­thing of a vin­di­ca­tion of his un­ortho­dox de­ci­sion to play with irons and wedges of sim­i­lar shaft length, which he be­lieves is a sci­en­tif­i­cally sound ap­proach.

"I think that's the true mean­ing be­hind what I try and do," he said. "I show every­body there's plenty of ways to do it and I like do­ing it my way and I feel com­fort­able do­ing it my way. What­ever way you want to do it out there, you can do it."

DeCham­beau Wins John Deere Clas­sic

DeCham­beau with the Bridge­stone Tour B330 golf ball

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