By Christopher Powers
Following back-to-back victories to start the FedEx Cup Playoffs, Bryson DeChambeau cooled off considerably, finished T-19 and 19th in the last two legs. He wasn’t much better at the Ryder Cup, where he failed to register a point as a rookie in France. Some much needed time off served him well, as DeChambeau returned to action this week at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and fired rounds of 66, 66, 65 and Sunday’s final-round 66 to claim a one-stroke victory over Patrick Cantlay.
“I was just coming out here to try and kick rust off and was able to play some good golf,” said DeChambeau. “Didn’t putt my best, but was still able to get it done.
“Pretty proud of that. Put in a lot of hard work with my team.”
The win is the fifth of DeChambeau’s career, and his fourth in the last five months, a remarkable stretch that began with a win in a playoff at the Memorial Tournament last June. His next two wins at the Northern Trust and the Dell Technologies Championship were a little less stressful, unlike Sunday in Las Vegas, where DeChambeau needed some late-round heroics to finish it off. After playing his first 10 holes in three under par, he made five straight pars beginning at the 11th, but then slammed the door with a 57-foot bomb for eagle at the par-5 16th. Two straight pars to finish capped off a back-nine 33 that secured the victory.
Cantlay, the defending champion, posted a six-under 65 that featured nine birdies and three bogeys, putting him one shot out of a playoff at 20-under 264.
Sam Ryder shot the low round of the day, a nine-under 62 that got him to 19-under 265, good enough for solo third. It’s his second finish inside the top four in just three events this season (T-4 at Safeway). Rickie Fowler, Abraham Ancer and Robert Streb tied for fourth at 17-under 267.