2020 U.S. Open leaderboard, winner: Bryson DeChambeau powers way through Winged Foot to capture first major

DeChambeau, 27, put his added muscle to good use at one of the toughest courses in the United States

Bryson DeChambeau saved his best round for last at the 2020 U.S. Open, carding a 3-under 67 at Winged Foot on Sunday to claim his first career major championship. DeChambeau’s closing round was just two strokes off the best 18-hole score of the week (65) as he grinded out grueling, sometimes gusty conditions with an effortless combination of his length off the tee and control around the greens.

DeChambeau, who caught and then surpassed 21-year-old Matthew Wolff (the 54-hole leader), was the only golfer in the field to finish with a final-round score under par, cementing himself in the history books in his seventh career win on the PGA Tour. The last time a U.S. Open champion owned the only final-round score under par was 1955 — 38 years before DeChambeau was born (!) — when Jack Fleck pulled off the feat after beating Ben Hogan in an 18-hole playoff. He polished off hole No. 72 in style, too, dropping in a par save and letting out a roar.

It has been a breakout year for DeChambeau, who captured golf’s first major of the 2020-21 season on Sunday. In the last year, he’s added a significant amount of muscle to his 6-foot-1 frame and built himself into the longest golfer off the tees in the world. What’s come of the new edge is five top-five finishes this calendar year, a (previous-best) top-five finish at the PGA Championship last month and an advantage off the tees that’s becoming more pronounced with each passing event.

DeChambeau finished fourth in strokes gained off the tee this week and fourth in driving distance on Sunday. He was also the first player to make an eagle in his final round and win the U.S. Open since 1937, per Justin Ray. DeChambeau accomplished that on the ninth hole and cruised to victory from there.

“On 9 was when I first thought, ‘OK, this could be a reality.’ I made that long eagle putt and shocked myself making it, too. I thought to myself I could do it, and then immediately after I said, ‘Nope, you gotta focus on each and every hole.’ I just kept telling myself ‘Nope, we’ve got three more holes, we’ve got four more holes, we’ve got five more holes.’ Whatever it was, I just had to keep focused, make sure I was executing every shot the best I possibly could.”

Finishing runner-up is the aforementioned Wolff, who was on the precipice of making his own history before surrendering his 54-hole two-stroke lead. If he had closed it out, Wolff would have become the youngest U.S. Open winner since 1923 (Bobby Jones) and youngest major champion since Tiger Woods (1997 Masters). Instead, he finished with a final-round 5-over 75 as he tried to keep up with DeChambeau’s mesmerizing performance. It’s Wolff’s second consecutive top-five finish in a major, however, on the heels of a T4 finish at the PGA Championship last month.

Rounding out the top five is a two-way tie for third between Harris English (+2) and Louis Oosthuizen (+2). There was a three-way tie for fifth with Dustin Johnson, Will Zalatoris and Xander Schauffele all finishing 5 over on the week.

1. Bryson DeChambeau (-6): DeChambeau’s built his game around length off the tees. It’s fitting, then, that he finished third in the field this week in strokes gained off the tee, strutting to his first major championship on the strength of his best skill. DeChambeau had just one bogey all day (on No. 8) and found a new stride after an eagle on No. 9. He played the front nine at 2 under and played a bogey-free back nine at 1 under.

“Oh my gosh, I can’t believe it,” DeChambeau said after the round on NBC. “It’s just an honor. It’s been a lot of hard work.”

2. Matthew Wolff (-E): It’s easy to look at Wolff’s runner-up finish as a disappointment after he held the 54-hole lead, but finishing runner-up in a major championship at his age is the stuff of legend. In fact, Wolff, 21, is the youngest runner-up at the U.S. Open in 80 years (Jack Nicklaus, 1960). How he hit only two fairways on Saturday and still squeaked out a 5-under 65 will forever remain majestic. Wolff’s weaknesses, particularly with his putter, showed in his 5-over 75 on Sunday, losing strokes on the field with his putter. But being one of only two professional golfers on tour to not be over par this week at wicked Winged Foot is something he can build off.

3. Louis Oosthuizen (+2): One-time major champion Oosthuizen finished in sole possession of third — his second-best finish at the U.S. Open ever — on the strength of a final-round 73. Oosthuizen played with control all week, finishing in the top 20 in greens hit in regulation and in fairways hit. As treacherous as Winged Foot played all week, it was a distinct advantage he used to overcome his lack of length off the tees.

4. Harris English (+3): Best finish in a major ever for 31-year-old English. He’s coming off one of his most productive seasons on the PGa Tour and was in the thick of it all week. Kicking his day off with a double bogey put his back to the wall early Sunday, he rallied to play the final 17 at 1 over. He finished the week second in the field in fewest number of putts at 111.

5. Xander Schauffele (+4): In each of Schauffele’s four wins, he has entered the final round trailing by at least two strokes. And so entering Sunday, just five strokes off the lead, a comeback didn’t seem likely … but it also didn’t seem entirely impossible. He had a strong even-par opening nine to hang around, but had five bogeys in his last six to drift just outside the mix. Strong overall showing for him this week, finishing first in the field in strokes gained with his short game and 11th putting.

SOURCE: CBSsports.com

Everything you need to know about the U.S. Open at Winged Foot

Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck is again hosting the U.S. Open championship, which gets underway on Thursday and concludes on Sunday. The event is normally played in June, but had to be postponed and will be contested without spectators.

Here are some of the details that will keep all upcoming conversations about the 120th U.S. Open going:

The host
Winged Foot Golf Club was founded in 1921 by a group of New York Athletic Club members whose goal was to build two exceptional golf courses and host championships. The founders did not skimp. A.W. Tillinghast was commissioned to design the courses. Clifford Wendehack designed the clubhouse.

History is well-preserved inside the iconic gates.

“Winged Foot is one of the greatest clubs on the planet with two incredible courses,” said Gary Player, who tied for eighth in the 1974 U.S. Open.

The club has more than 600 members and recently completed a large-scale capital building and restoration plan.

“It’s clearly a very golf-centric, golf-loving, golf-enthused membership,” said longtime general manager Colin Burns.

This will be the sixth U.S. Open (1929, 1959, 1974, 1984, 2006) contested at Winged Foot, which has also hosted the PGA Championship (1997), U.S. Amateur (1940, 2004), U.S. Senior Open (1980), U.S. Women’s Open (1972, 1957), Walker Cup (1949) and U.S. Amateur Four-Ball (2016).

The 2006 U.S. Open Championship at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York. (Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

The West Course
This famed Tillinghast design opened in 1923 and ranks among the most complete and difficult tests of golf in the country. A meticulous restoration by Gil Hanse was completed in 2017. That project was guided by Tillinghast’s original design and brought 22,211 square feet of putting surface back into play.

“It was really hard,” Justin Thomas said to Golfweek following a round with Tiger Woods last month. “I absolutely loved it. … It’s right in front of you. It’s not tricked up.”

A number of subtle changes will provide a different test than 2006. It’s now a 7,477-yard par 70. There are several new tees in place, most notably at No. 10, a par 3 that requires more club at 214 yards, and No. 17, a par 4 that has been stretched to 504 yards. There is a reversal on the front nine with No. 5 now playing as a 502-yard par 4, and No. 9 now playing as a 565-yard par 5.

There will be a few pin locations that were not feasible in 2006, as well.

Geoff Ogilvy won the last U.S. Open played at Winged Foot, back in 2006. (Frank Becerra Jr./The Journal News)

The history
Geoff Ogilvy won by a stroke in 2006, posting a 5-over total of 285. He made clutch pars on the final two holes, including a chip-in on No. 17 while Phil Mickelson (double bogey) Colin Montgomerie (double bogey) and Jim Furyk (bogey) came famously undone on the 72nd hole.

Fuzzy Zoeller carded a record-setting 67 in 1984 to dismiss Greg Norman in an 18-hole playoff after they finished at 4-under. Norman made a 45-foot putt for par on the 72nd hole to get into the playoff.

Hale Irwin played with great patience and survived the Massacre at Winged Foot in 1974, winning the U.S. Open with the high score in relation to par since 1963, 7-over. Forrest Fezler was two shots back. Tom Watson came into the final round with a one-shot advantage, but shot a 79 and tied for fifth place.

Billy Casper one-putted 31 times, holding off Bob Rosburg in 1959 to win by a shot. He three-putted just once during the championship. Ben Hogan was also in the hunt, but a final-round 76 dropped him into a tie for eighth.

Bobby Jones won his third U.S. Open crown in 1929, getting up and down from a greenside bunker to finish with a 6-over total of 296 then defeating Al Espinosa in a 36-hole playoff. He dominated the playoff, carding rounds of 72 and 69 to win by a remarkable 23 strokes.

The trophy
The original two-handled cup was presented at the initial U.S. Open in 1895 and was to be displayed at the winner’s home club. It was destroyed by a 1946 fire at Tam O’Shanter near Chicago following Lloyd Mangrum’s win. A full-scale replica was produced and handed out the following year. That championship trophy was permanently retired to the USGA Golf Museum in 1986 and replaced with another replica that stays in the possession of the winner for a year.U.S. Open Gary Woodland

Gary Woodland hoists the trophy after winning the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. (Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports)

The setup
It was a dry, hot summer, but the last few weeks have been ideal for growing healthy grass and the rough is thriving at Winged Foot.

And the USGA strives for the firm and fast setup.

There will be graduated cuts on some of the holes, but any drive that gets loose or approach that misses left, right or long will likely end up in tangled mess that measures at least 5 inches.

“Well, I think they will learn real quick,” NBC on-course reporter Roger Maltbie said of the players. “They will learn in practice that this rough means something.”

During the restoration, the greens were also rebuilt to USGA specifications and have underground SubAir technology in place, which restores firm and fast conditions following a rain event. All of the bunkers were redone and no longer wash out.

There’s a five-line irrigation system in place, as well, ensuring the rough will thrive even under tree lines.

The field
With traditional qualifying canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 144-man field is comprised entirely of exempt players. Normally, 156 players compete at the U.S. Open, but when the championship was postponed, accommodations had to be made because there are fewer daylight hours in September.

There are two players with Westchester County roots. Brandon Wu is a Korn Ferry Tour player who lived in Scarsdale when he wasn’t at Deerfield Academy or Stanford. Danny Balin is the head professional at Fresh Meadow Country Club and lives in Valhalla.

Tiger Woodsy during the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, NY. (Stan Honda/AFP via Getty Images)

The purse
It’s yet to be determined, but last year there was $12.5 million up for grabs. The winner got $2.25 million along with a 10-year U.S. Open exemption and invitations to the next five Masters Tournaments, PGA Championships, Open Championships and Players Championships and exempt status on the PGA Tour for the next five seasons.

The smattering of applause
There will some bus and shuttle traffic between Winged Foot and parking lots at Harbor Island and Playland, but the remainder of the hustle and bustle was canceled when the state announced spectators would not allowed inside the gates.

According to the USGA, only 2,000 people will be onsite most days.

The list of essential personnel includes players, caddies, staff, volunteers, security, media and food service workers.

Knowing somebody isn’t going to help, unless it’s a homeowner along the back nine of the West Course with a rooftop deck. Fans can make all kinds of noise, though, on front of their flat screens as NBC provides some 11 hours of coverage a day across its platforms.

The calendar
A lot of behind the scenes maneuvering went into finding a workable date, but everything fell into place when the Open Championship was canceled. The last time the U.S. Open was not contested in June was 1931 at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio. The last time the championship was played in September was 1913 at the Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts.

SOURCE: golfweek