07/05 18:30 CDT Bryson DeChambeau wins Rocket Mortgage Classic by 3 shots
Bryson DeChambeau wins Rocket Mortgage Classic by 3 shots
By LARRY LAGE
AP Sports Writer
DETROIT (AP) --- Bryson DeChambeau pounded protein shakes and lifted iron to
transform his body, adding 40 pounds of mass, and changed his game to put a
premium on power.
The plan is working.
With jaw-dropping drives and some clutch putts, DeChambeau won the Rocket
Mortgage Classic by three strokes Sunday for his first victory of the season
and sixth overall. He became the first PGA Tour player since 2004 to lead a
tournament in driving distance, along with shots gained off the tee and putting.
"This is a little emotional for me because I did do something a little
different," the 26-year-old DeChambeau said. "I changed my body, changed my
mindset in the game and I was able to accomplish a win while playing a
completely different style of golf. And, it's pretty amazing to see that. I
hope it's an inspiration to a lot of people."
DeChambeau shot a 7-under 65 at Detroit Golf Club, birdieing four of the first
seven holes and closing with three straight. He finished at a career-best
Matthew Wolff (71) was second. He started the day with a three-shot lead and
hurt his chances with five bogeys over his first 10 holes. Kevin Kisner (66)
finished another stroke back as part of a relatively weak field that continued
to trend of exceptional play since the PGA Tour restarted.
"The level of play on tour in these first four weeks has been incredible, cuts
at 4 and 5 under every week," Kisner said.
With a strong finish, DeChambeau removed all doubt that he would win the second
Rocket Mortgage Classic.
He made a 30-foot birdie putt at No. 16, which he said was his shot of the day.
He also had a short putt for birdie on the next hole. And finally, he uncorked
a 367-yard drive to set up another short putt at 18.
DeChambeau came into the week with six straight top-eight finishes and was the
only player with top 10s in the first three events after the restart from the
coronavirus pandemic. He won for the first time since the Shriners Hospitals
for Children Open in November 2018.
DeChambeau has dramatically altered his body, packing about 240 pounds on his
6-foot-1 body, and took advantage of the extra time he had to work on his
physique during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"He understands what is the key to gaining the biggest advantage and that's
distance, and mega distance," Kisner said. "He just has too much time on his
hands. He needs to start getting married and having kids and feel like the rest
DeChambeau's power was on full display in the Motor City with drives that went
351 yards on average after looking like he might swing out of his spikes.
When DeChambeau was on the tee box at the 399-yard, par-4 13th, he waited for
the next group to leave the green before hitting his drive so that he didn't
hit any fellow competitors.
"No, I've never done that," he acknowledged. "I really could have gotten there."
His drive on the 621-yard, par-5 fourth went way left and landed in greenside
rough on an adjacent hole. He cleared towering trees and landed just short of
the green, sending his approach 276 yards and he two-putted from 37 feet.
"That was probably my second best moment of the day," DeChambeau said. "I got
really quite honestly pretty lucky being able to get over these trees and let
it land and roll onto the front edge of the green."
As his body and power becomes a fixation for those who follow golf, more eyes
are on him and it bothered him during the third round.
On Saturday, DeChambeau had a testy exchange with a TV cameraman after a bogey
on the sixth hole. After the third round, he bristled that it isn't right
showing a potential vulnerability and hurting someone's image.
DeChambeau, though, tried to soften his stance on the issue Sunday by saying
the cameraman was just trying to do his job.
During the final round, he was also briefly distracted by a commotion outside
While a Black Lives Matter protests was gathering outside the Detroit Golf
Club, breaking the silence of the fan-free event with chants and air horns,
DeChambeau took some time to reset before hitting a 366-yard drive.
"I know there's a lot of strife and trouble going on right now," he said. "I
love that everybody's voicing their opinion and I think that they deserve to do
"We're golfers here trying to provide the best entertainment. I think that's
the most important thing that we can do."
More AP golf: https://apnews.com/apf-Golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Follow Larry Lage at https://twitter.com/LarryLage