Bryson DeChambeau’s second career victory came because he kept his putting stroke on track.
He needed to.
DeChambeau drained a birdie putt from about 12 feet away on the second playoff hole to win the Memorial at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio, on Sunday after he failed to hold on in regulation.
“I can’t believe I did it today,” he said. “I knew I was struggling with my ball-striking all week. I was putting great.”
DeChambeau won what began as a three-way playoff. Kyle Stanley bowed out with a bogey on the first hole, leaving DeChambeau and South Korea’s Byeong Hun An.
On the second extra hole, An’s approach shot went left of the green into the gallery, so when DeChambeau sank another putt, the title was his. He had won Jack Nicklaus’ tournament.
“I can’t even describe it right now,” said DeChambeau, who met with the legend shortly after securing the victory. “Just to be able to win his event is so great.”
Stanley had consecutive birdies on Nos. 14-17 to grab a share of the lead. The last of those was from 30 feet, with his ball barely on the green.
Stanley’s tee shot on the final hole of regulation hit a tree, with the ball rolling across the fairway and into the rough. He missed a par putt from 15 feet, followed by DeChambeau’s 8-footer that slid to the left that would have won the tournament.
Those two bogeys pulled An into the playoff at 15-under-par 273. He shot 3-under 69 and was waiting for the final group to finish. An made a charge with birdies on Nos. 15 and 17.
In the final round, Stanley shot 70 and DeChambeau 71.
On the first playoff hole, Stanley had difficulty getting out of the rough.
DeChambeau, who began the day with a one-shot lead, had trouble keeping the ball in the fairway throughout the round, but he avoided being punished for some problems off the tee. He wasn’t stuck with a bogey until the par-4 14th hole.
“I would say I’m putting the best I have in my life,” he said. “And seeing putts going in doesn’t hurt at all.”
DeChambeau, a 24-year-old who played in college for Texas Christian, was probably due for his second PGA Tour victory. Five times this season, he posted a finish among the top seven — including three top-four spots in the past 2 1/2 months.
“I’ve played beautifully, had a lot of top-five finishes, been right up there in contention,” DeChambeau said.
The Californian, whose other tour victory came in the 2017 John Deere Classic, made birdies on the 11th and 12th holes. DeChambeau began the round as a 54-hole leader on the tour for the first time.
An was so steady that he gave himself a chance.
“You have to hit it close and not miss any fairways, because the rough is quite juicy and long here,” An said. “So you have to drive it well and hit it well and try and give yourself plenty of birdie chances.”
Patrick Cantlay placed fourth at 14 under after finishing with a 71. Peter Uihlein was in fifth at 13 under, with his 66 in the last round his best score of the tournament by three shots.
It was a rather mundane outing for Tiger Woods, who was unable to take advantage of good scoring conditions.
Woods, who was five shots behind DeChambeau when the day began, posted a 72 and tied for 23rd place.
Woods was one of only two golfers to finish among the top 28 who didn’t have an under-par score Sunday. He was hurt by a bogey on No. 13 after his tee shot sailed out of bounds.
England’s Justin Rose, who was coming off a victory a week earlier in the Fort Worth Invitational, made another push. He shot 70 on Sunday, finishing at 12 under for a tie for sixth place with Joaquin Niemann of Chile. Niemann, 19, slumped with a 73 on the last day.
Tee times for the final round were pushed up a few hours because of weather concerns. The round was played under ideal conditions.
–Field Level Media