DeChambeau balloons on second nine at U.S. Open
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Bryson DeChambeau went from leading the U.S. Open to an afterthought in a span of nine holes.
He wasn’t the only player to wilt under the pressure at Torrey Pines.
A packed leaderboard early in the final round Sunday turned into a showdown between Jon Rahm and Luis Oosthuizen as one player after another fell off in the brutal setup at Torrey Pines.
DeChambeau had the quickest fall from contention.
The defending champion moved into the lead when his tee shot on the par-3 eighth hole stopped an inch from the hole for an easy birdie. The near-ace put him at 5 under, one shot ahead of Oosthuizen.
Then his smash-and-hack approach — one that worked when he won at Winged Foot last year — came back to haunt him.
DeChambeau had consecutive bogeys at Nos. 11 and 12, and made a mess of the par-5 13th, taking a triple bogey after his feet slipped twice.
It got even worse on the par-4 17th, where he hit into the canyon left for a penalty stroke and shanked an awkward-stance chip shot on his way to a quadruple bogey. He shot 6-over 77 and finished at 3 over, nine shots behind Rahm.
“I’ve had plenty of times where I hit it way worse than today and I won,” DeChambeau said. “It’s just one of those things where I didn’t have the right breaks happen at the right time.”
Rory McIlroy was in position to win his second U.S. Open before being derailed by a double bogey on the par-4 12th hole. He shot 73 to tie for seventh at 1 under, leaving him still without a major championship win since the 2014 PGA Championship.
Matthew Wolff started the day three shots off the lead at 2 under, but never really found a groove in the final round, shooting 74.
Russell Henley shot 76 and fellow overnight co-leader Mackenzie Hughes had a 77.
Guido Migliozzi made quite a run in the final round of the U.S. Open. It will carry him on to next year’s Masters.
The 24-year-old Italian shot 3-under 68 to finish at 2 under, tied for fourth.
The top-five finish earns him a spot in the next Masters. The two-time winner on the European Tour had already clinched a spot at next month’s Tokyo Olympics before the U.S. Open started.
“My game is in a good spot and I’m really happy,” he said. “Even under pressure, I’m performing well. I can’t wait to play another tournament.”
Migliozzi was thrilled just to make the cut at Torrey Pines, celebrating with his caddie by eating pizza. He shot 2-over 73 in the third round, but had five birdies on Sunday.
Migliozzi drained a 60-foot putt from the fringe on the 505-yard 12th hole and chipped in for birdie on the par-4 14th hole, pumping his fist as he walked across the green.
He also joined the other top-10 finishers in earning a spot in next year’s U.S. Open at Brookline.
One was Branden Grace. He had to qualify just to get in the U.S. Open, but won’t have to next year after a closing 67 moved him into a tie for seventh.
HUGHES’ TREE TROUBLE
Mackenzie Hughes was in a good spot when he arrived at the 11th tee, sitting two shots behind leader Luis Oosthuizen at 4 under.
A tree chopped down his chances.
Hughes pulled his tee shot on the 213-yard hole into a tree left of the hole. Fans in the gallery initially ducked, then started looking up and pointing.
The ball never came down. It was wedged between the branches.
Hughes consulted with a rules official and took a drop in the thick rough. His chip shot came up 13 feet short and he two putted for double bogey, dropping him to 2 over par.
“It’s like one-in-a-million break,” Hughes said. “I’ve played golf my entire life, I’ve never had a ball stuck in a tree.”
He shot 77 to finish tied for 15th at one over.
The pros weren’t the only ones hitting shots at Torrey Pines on Sunday.
A rowdy fan barefoot dressed in a women’s top and a cape ran out into the 13th fairway just before Bryson DeChambeau was about to hit.
The fan hit two shots into the canyon left of the fairway, did a little dance and tried to run away before being tackled by a police officer.
DeChambeau took a triple bogey on the hole, but blamed it on his feet, not the fan.
“I didn’t know until I saw him, so it was kind of weird,” he said. “I slipped twice on 13. I mean, that was really weird. I don’t know what happened.”