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Critics be damned – Bryson DeChambeau is a major champion.

The 27-year-old American closed with a three-under 67 to seal an emphatic six-shot victory in the COVID-delayed US Open

DeChambeau was the only player to break par on a brutally tough final day at Winged Foot and, at six-under-par, was the only man in red numbers after 72 holes.

The 54-hole leader Matthew Wolff was his closest challenger on level-par, with third-placed Louis Oosthuizen a further shot adrift.

The win earns DeChambeau $2,250,000 in prize money, vaults him to No.5 on the Official World Golf Ranking, and sees him emulate join Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus as the only players to have won the US Open, US Amateur and an NCAA Division I individual championship. 

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It also gives him vindication.

Vindication for his polarising, oft-ridiculed idiosyncrasies.

Vindication for his singular and scientific approach to the game.

Vindication for the massive physical transformation he has put himself through over the past year. 

He has, as Frank Sinatra might have crooned, done it his way. Now, he wants others to find their own path, too.

“I hope I can inspire some people,” said the new champion. “My goal in playing golf is to try and figure it out. I’m just trying to figure out this very complex, multivariable, multidimensional game. It’s very, very difficult. It’s a fun journey for me.

“I hope that inspires people to say, hey, look, maybe there is a different way to do it. Not everybody has to do it my way. I’m not saying that. I’m just saying in general that there are different ways to do things. 

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“Like Arnie said, swing your swing. That’s what I do. That’s what Matthew Wolff does. That’s what Tiger does. That’s what Phil does. That’s what everybody does. We’re all trying to play the best golf we can.

“I think I’m definitely changing the way people think about the game.”

“Hopefully, my way inspires people. This is my seventh win on the PGA Tour, my first major and I couldn’t be more proud.”

Ominously for his rivals, DeChambeau believes he can still get even better – and bigger.

“I’m not going to stop,” he insisted. “Next week, I’m going to be trying a 48-inch driver. We’re going to be messing with some head designs and do some amazing with things with Cobra to make it feasible to hit these drives maybe 360, 370, maybe even farther. I don’t know.

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“And I think I can get to 245 [pounds]. It’s going to be a lot of working out. I don’t think it’s possible. It may be, I don’t know. It’s just I’ve gained so much so quickly in a year. They always say, when you work out, you gain your 30 pounds or whatever it is, and then after that, each year, you halve it and then eventually there comes a point where you can’t gain much more.

“But I still feel like I can get up there if I work hard enough.”

Many believe that his weight and muscle gains are unsustainable. Not the case, according to DeChambeau. 

“I’m talking to a doctor. I got all my blood sample tests back a couple weeks ago. Everything is fine so far. We’re going to keep monitoring it and making sure I’m as healthy as possible because I do want to live for a long time.”

In a fascinating post-round press conference, DeChambeau also addressed the huge distances that he is hitting the ball following his physical transformation – particularly off the tee – and whether or not his success might accelerate rumoured changes to equipment regulations.

“It’s tough to rein in athleticism,” he said. “We’re always going to be trying to get fitter, stronger, more athletic. Tiger inspired this whole generation to do this, and we’re going to keep going after it. 

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“I don’t think it’s going to stop. Will they rein it back? I’m sure. I’m sure something might happen. But I don’t know what it will be. I just know that length is always going to be an advantage.

“I was just a normal average tour player a year ago, and then I got a lot stronger, worked out every day and all of a sudden, not because of clubs, but because of me, I was able to gain 20, 25 yards.”

Runner-up Matthew Wolff, meanwhile, was magnanimous in defeat. 

The 21-year-old started the final round with a two-shot lead and a chance to become the first place to win the US Open on his debut in over a century. However, he slipped to a disappointing five-over 75 and was powerless to prevent DeChambeau’s victory march. 

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Afterwards, he admitted it “just wasn’t meant to be”. 

“I played really tough all week,” said Wolff. “I battled hard. Things just didn’t go my way. But my first US Open, second place is something to be proud of and hold your head up high for.

“I’m just excited to learn from this experience, and it’s definitely not the last time that I’m going to be in this spot.”

Anticipation will now build for the third and final men’s major of 2020 – The Masters at Augusta National in November.

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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