Unorthodox-swinging, twenty-five year old Bryson de Chambeau just won the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC-Summerlin in Las Vegas, Nevada, by one stroke over Patrick Cantlay. It was his fifth win on the PGA Tour and third win in his past five PGA Tour tournaments. De Chambeau is on a roll to be included among the top players on the PGA Tour even though he so far has a dismal record in the majors. He just moved into fifth place in World Rankings.
TPC-Summerlin is a fun golf course to play. I used to play it on the Champions Tour. The last four holes are interesting holes for the finish of a golf tournament. There are gettable birdies, but with many dangers. Pros can drive the uphill par-four 15th hole. But if you miss the green and green side sand bunkers, you may be thrashing about among the cacti in the desert wasteland. The par-five 16th hole is reachable in two shots for pros, but you have to negotiate a lake that fronts the green and somewhat on its right side as well. The left side of the narrow, elongated green on the par-three 17th hole nestles against a lake. And the dogleg-left fairway of the par four 18th hole is somewhat uphill and blind from the tee. Miss that fairway left, and you’re in some bad desert and trash. Again, the left side of the green fits right next to another lake.
Bryson shot seven-under par 65 today by taking the lead on the 69th hole, his 16th today. He hit a long iron to the par-five 16th for his second shot. The ball stopped in the back fringe, leaving him nearly 60 feet from the cup. He holed that putt to take the lead from Patrick Cantlay as he was bogeying the par-three 17th hole. So, that was a three-shot swing. Cantlay then birdied the par-four 18th to remain one shot behind de Chambeau, who parred that last hole to get the win.
De Chambeau also plays the game quite conservatively. He thinks his way around the course perhaps as well as anyone on the PGA Tour nowadays. Hogan was like that. So was Billy Casper.
Bryson also has a long putter and grips it way down the shaft. Very unorthodox. In the TV interview right after he won, he said he putted kind of poorly this week. Wow, putted poorly and won. Only Tiger Woods used to able to say that. He also implied he works harder at his game than anybody else on the PGA Tour when he said he’s often the last one to leave the driving range in the evening during tournament days.
When Bryson de Chambeau first appeared on Tour with his unorthodox swing and clubs, people thought he wouldn’t make it on the world’s best stage for the game. He’s not only proved all lot of people wrong, they may start fixing their clubs like his, swinging like him, and singing praises to Bryson de Chambeau.