the shots that won it
September 20, 2020

U.S. Open 2020: The 7 most critical Sunday shots in Bryson DeChambeau's victory

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Jamie Squire

Bryson DeChambeau reacts to making a putt for birdie from off the 11th green in the final round of the U.S. Open at Winged Foot.

For both the champion and those who were chasing him, there are always swings of the club in the final round of a major that shape the outcome. A look at those shots from the 120th U.S. Open at Winged Foot, where Bryson DeChambeau shot three-under-par 67 to finish with a six-under total and beat Matthew Wolff (75) by six shots. The gist of this reveiw: Bryson did way more than just hammer bombs to claim his first major title.

A great punch/pitch at No. 4

From the left rough, with 132 yards to the hole, DeChambeau took about a half-swing and powered a shot out of the deep stuff that first hit well short of the green and then rolled like a putt to 14 feet. With Wolff, who started the day with a two-shot lead, having bogeyed No. 3, DeChambeau was now tied for the lead.

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From deep grass to sand

At No. 5, Wolff drives into the left rough and his slashed second shot goes into a greenside bunker. He gets out to 10 feet, but as with a few makeable putts during the round, he can't save par, and DeChambeau takes a lead he'll never relinquish.

Matching eagles!

If there had been a crowd, the roars would have been deafening. Ryder Cup deafening. By the time they reached the par-5 ninth, this essentially was match play, and Wolff looked to win the hole and square the "match" when his brillaint approach gave him 10 feet for eagle. But from 40 feet, DeChambeau rolled the most perfect of putts that tipped into the cup on the center of the flagstick.

Wolff could have been deflated, but answered defiantly by making his putt. No blood. Incredible.

A horrible break

At the difficult par-3 10th, Wolff's draw it the green, but then spun wickedly to the left. Sand would have been a good fate for such a bad break, but Wolff instead ended up in the deep rough. Standing in the bunker, choking down his club nearly to the hosel, Wolff did his best to get his ball 13 feet past the hole. His missed, for his fourth bogey of the round, and dropped two behind.

Another match-play swing

Wolff had the advantage by hitting the fairway off the tee, with DeChambeau in the rough near a bunker. But Wolff flailed his approach into the greenside rough, and though DeChambeau came up short of the green with his second, he delivered a crushing blow with his putter, making a 13-foot birdie. At six under for the tournament, he had a three-shot lead.

An all-world flop shot

The last true trouble DeChambeau faced was at the par-4 14th when he hooked his drive into deep rough. The approach came up pin-high in the rough, though he got a relatively fluffy lie. And then DeChambeau went all Phil Mickelson on us with an incredible flop shot that settled to 9 feet. The slow-mo replay showed the ball popping straight up. If the clubface is a fraction lower, it's a complete whiff. And, of course, Bryson made the putt.

A surreal finish

it was strange and unfortunate enough to not have thousands cheering DeChambeau in his comfortable stroll up 18. But then, after DeChambeau pitched up from short of the green to 7 feet, he was just inside of Wolff's birdie distance, but ended up putting first. Not the way traditoin dictates it. But it all worked out when Bryson drained the putt to save par, thrusting his arms into the air as if victory hinged on that roll. It was an unorthodox conclusion for an unorhtodox man's wholly impressive performance.

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