DeCham­beau ral­lies to win John Deere

Lodi News-Sentinel - - Quick Hits - By Luke Meredith

SILVIS, Ill. — Third-round leader Pa­trick Rodgers knew that it would take a ton of birdies Sun­day to win the John Deere Clas­sic.

Bryson DeCham­beau took that ad­vice to heart.

DeCham­beau over­came a four-stroke deficit to beat Rodgers by a stroke for his first PGA Tour ti­tle — and a spot next week in the Bri­tish Open.

The 23-year-old DeCham­beau birdied four of the fi­nal six holes at TPC Deere Run for a 6-un­der 65 and an 18-un­der 266 to­tal. In 2015, the un­con­ven­tional for­mer SMU star be­came the fifth player to win the NCAA in­di­vid­ual ti­tle and U.S. Am­a­teur in the same year.

The win punc­tu­ated a come­back of sorts for DeCham­beau, who capped a string of eight con­sec­u­tive missed cuts last month in the U.S. Open — where he was 6 over for two rounds.

“I was able to right the ship about three or four weeks ago, and it’s been steady Ed­die ever since,” DeCham­beau said. “It is vindi­ca­tion.” Rodgers closed with 70. DeCham­beau made a 14foot birdie putt on No. 18 to pull even with Rodgers. Rodgers then had a par putt on No. 17 lip out, and sent his tee shot on 18 into the rough.

“He’s a great com­peti­tor, and I was kind of shocked he bo­geyed 17,” DeCham­beau said about Rodgers. “I thought I was go­ing to be in a play­off.”

Wes­ley Bryan (64) and Rick Lamb (66) tied for third at 16 un­der, and past tour­na­ment cham­pi­ons Steve Stricker (64) and Zach John­son (67) topped the group at 15 un­der.

DeCham­beau played the front nine in even par, then birdied six of the fi­nal nine holes to surge to the top of the leader­board.

Rodgers, on the other hand, had four bo­geys — and his ap­proach on No. 18 sailed past the green. Rodgers nearly chipped in from 50 feet to force a play­off, miss­ing the cup by a foot.

DeCham­beau be­came the 10th first-time win­ner on the PGA Tour this sea­son.

“Our ten­dency when you have the lead is to kind of hold on and play safe and guard against mak­ing mis­takes,” said Rodgers, who re­mained win­less on the PGA Tour. “But I had guys com­ing at me with some re­ally low rounds. Ob­vi­ously, Bryson shot a great one.”

Bryan, who won the RBC Her­itage in April for his first ca­reer vic­tory, shot a 30 on the back nine. Lamb was 13 un­der for the fi­nal two rounds but was done in by pedes­trian ef­forts in the first two rounds.

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