DeChambeau comes up big in the clutch
July 16, 2017
By Ben Everill, PGATOUR.COM
Bryson DeChambeau charges down the stretch to win at John Deere
SILVIS, Ill. – Notes and observations from Sunday’s final round of the John Deere Classic where Bryson DeChambeau broke through for his maiden PGA TOUR win in dramatic fashion.
The quirky former U.S. Amateur champion shot a final round 6-under 65, including two closing birdies, to post 18-under amongst a raft of challengers.
Patrick Rodgers (70) needed to just par the final two holes to force a playoff but made bogey on the 17th and narrowly missed chipping in for birdie on the 18th. Wesley Bryan (64) and Rick Lamb (66) shared third, two off the pace.
For more from TPC Deere Run check out the Daily Wrap.
NO REGRETS FOR RODGERS
For most of the John Deere Classic it appeared the coming out party would be for former Stanford star Patrick Rodgers.
He held the 36 and 54-hole leads and was near the top of the leaderboard throughout Sunday.
But bogeys on the 14th and 17th holes, the second and third easiest holes all week, ultimately cost him as he signed for a 1-under 70 to lose by one.
While clearly gutted by the result, Rodgers found solace in the fact he had tried to win. It was, indeed, two loose drives on those holes as he tried to go for the throat, that set up the problems.
Instead of trying to protect his lead all day, he tried to extend it. Sadly, the execution was just a fraction off.
“I don't really have a ton of regrets. I'm proud of myself for staying aggressive all day,” Rodgers said.
“Obviously you look back on the back nine, and making bogeys on 14 and 17, that's where I lost the golf tournament; two pretty simple holes.
“But I made bogeys being aggressive, and I wouldn't go back and change anything. I'm looking forward to be in this position again soon.”
Rodgers almost provided the tournament with the magic it is accustomed to when his birdie attempt from behind the 18th green tracked towards the cup only to just slide by.
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BRYSON BIRKDALE BOUND
Among the perks to go with his first win on the PGA TOUR Bryson DeChambeau booked his ticket to Royal Birkdale next week as part of the Open Championship Qualifying Series.
DeChambeau claimed the final spot in the series that began in Australia last November and included multiple stops around the world.
As the highest ranked player at TPC Deere Run inside the top 5 not already exempt DeChambeau will line up for his first Open Championship, but fifth major.
“Pretty special. I've been wanting to go for a long time,” DeChambeau said.
DeChambeau could have played the 2016 Open Championship had he remained an amateur but gave up his spot by turning professional.
“I knew I would be back. I knew I would definitely be back,” he said.
“It's pretty special to play in an Open Championship, the home of golf pretty much, where golf started in that area. It's pretty special to have that first time.”
A total of nine players qualified via the PGA TOUR over the last three weeks starting with Kyle Stanley, Charles Howell III, Martin Laird and Sunghoon Kang at the Quicken Loans National.
Xander Schauffele, Robert Streb, Jamie Lovemark and Sebastian Munoz booked their spots at the Greenbrier Classic before DeChambeau took the last spot this week.
For more on DeChambeau’s win at TPC Deere Run click here.
Bryson Dechambeau extended highlights | Round 4 | John Deere
Early Sunday the crowds at TPC Deere Run were in a fervor as one of their favorite sons blitzed his way to a familiar place atop the leaderboard.
Presidents Cup captain Steve Stricker, who had made the cut on the number Friday, was 8-under on his final round through 14 holes and 16-under for the tournament.
Could he seriously be heading for a fourth John Deere Classic title?
Knowing he needed to get it even lower the veteran remained aggressive but could not get anything more to fall and a final hole bogey left him ultimately in a tie for fifth.
He has now finished inside the top 10 in half of his 16 starts in the event, tying the tournament record.
“This weekend was really good for me. It was important for me to make the cut here,” Stricker said.
“I was able to get two more rounds under my belt and work on a few things. I did a lot of really nice things today which I'm excited about.”
The result moves Stricker to 103rd in the FedExCup race as he heads for the Open Championship where he was 4th last year.
Not bad for just 10 starts as he juggles time on PGA TOUR Champions, the PGA TOUR and his Presidents Cup duties.
“My whole goal was to keep my card. I want to keep my card and not use any of my career money exemptions and get in the PLAYERS Championship again next year, stuff like that,” he said.
“So this was a good step in doing that. My game trended in the right direction over the weekend, so looking forward to next week over at Birkdale.”
WELCOME NERVES GET TO ZJ
Zach Johnson has won majors at Augusta National and St Andrews. At TPC Deere Run he’s a cumulative 168-under since 2000 with a win and now seven top-10 results.
But even he’s not immune from back nine Sunday nerves.
Johnson found himself sharing the lead once more at his “home” event after going out in 31 shots but some back nine struggles, while others were going deep, ensured he couldn’t put any serious heat on the contenders.
An even par final nine hole left him with a respectable 4-under 67, his 43rd sub par round at TPC Deere Run. Incredibly 37 of those have come consecutively now, 33 of which were in the 60s.
“Truth be told, I’m not going to lie to you, it’s been a while since I’ve been in contention and the leaderboard kind of caught up with me a little bit,” Johnson, who last won at the 2015 Open Championship, said.
“I think I got a little antsy at times. I felt it, which is good, so I will be better next time around.
“I kind of glanced at (the leaderboard) over the last five or six holes. I still hit good shots I just didn’t score, that’s unfortunate.
“I pride myself on being able to embrace that and not succumb. Today was a day I had my chances and unfortunately down the stretch I couldn’t make any.”
ODDS AND ENDS
Bryson DeChambeau’s win came in just his 40th TOUR start at the age of 23 years, 10 months. He moves from No. 114 to 34 in the FedExCup with 524 points. He is the 10th first-time winner this season and provides the 13th win by a player under the age of 25 on TOUR this season, the most on TOUR since 1970.
PGA TOUR rookie and Indiana native Rick Lamb posted scores of 69-70-63-66 to finish T3 at 16-under. It was the first top-10 finish of his TOUR career and moved him from outside the top 200 to 149th in the FedExCup, securing a place in the web.com Finals. His previous-best was a T17 at the Travelers Championship last month.
Making his second start in the John Deere Classic, Wesley Bryan birdied five of his last six holes in the final round (Nos. 13-17) to post a 7-under 64 and finish at 16-under 268 (T3). It is Bryan’s first top-10 finish since his win at the RBC Heritage.