June 13, 2019
NCGA Alum Bryson DeChambeau Starts Solid at Pebble
By Gary McCormick
Clovis native Bryson DeChambeau has been increasingly featured in conversations when the subject of golf’s major tournaments comes up. With five career wins, three of them coming in a stretch of five tournaments in 2018/2019, the 2015 U.S. Amateur champion and NCAA champion (as an SMU Mustang) has shown flashes of brilliance between stretches of inconsistent play.
DeChambeau comes into this week at Pebble Beach with only one Top-10 finish since winning the Shriner’s last November,
Starting on the back nine in Thursday’s first round of the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, DeChambeau, who is currently ranked #9 in the world, followed an opening bogey with birdies at 12, 13 and 16, rolling in a 10-foot birdie putt at 16 from above the hole???always a difficult proposition at Pebble Beach.
After firing a two-under 34 on his front nine, the former Physics major opened with another birdie on hole #1, stiffing his approach shot at the 380-yard par-4 to three feet. That birdie was his last hurrah for the day, however, as he finished the round with a run of seven pars that was broken by a bogey on the par-five 6th hole.
Putting with an awkward-looking stiff-armed version of the arm-lock method, DeChambeau narrowly missed a birdie on the par-four fourth hole, the ball curling away in the last few inches and coming up short. A too-cautious birdie try at the notoriously tricky eighth green stopped four feet short of the hole, for par. At his finishing hole, the 526-yard par-four ninth, his 10-foot plus par putt curled in from the low side of the cup, saving par and consolidating his 2-under opening round.
DeChambeau’s 69 in the opening round puts him in good company, sharing the score with previous U.S. Open champions Graeme McDowell (Pebble Beach, 2010) and Martin Kaymer (Pinehurst, 2014).