SAN DIEGO — Bryson DeChambeau had gone 30 consecutive holes without a bogey and after making the turn at 2-under 33, he was only one shot behind the leader in Sunday’s final round of the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.
Then things imploded for the defending U.S. Open champion.
DeChambeau had back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 11 and 12, followed by a double-bogey 7 on the 13th and a quadruple-bogey 8 on the 17th.
DeChambeau finished his final round at 6-over 77, including an 8-over 44 on the back nine. He finished in a tie for 26th at 3-over 287.
“I didn’t get off the rails at all. It’s golf,” DeChambeau said. “People will say I did this or did that, and it’s just golf. I’ve had plenty of times where I hit it way worse than today and I won. It’s just one of those things where I didn’t have the right breaks happen at the right time. I could have easily gotten to 7-, 8-under today. I just wasn’t fully confident with the golf swing and just got a little unlucky in the rough and a couple other places.”
After playing the entire third round without a bogey — the first time he had done that in 67 career rounds in a major — he also played the first 10 holes on Sunday without one.
On the par-3 eighth hole, DeChambeau’s tee shot came within about one rotation of being an ace. His birdie moved him to 5-under for the solo lead.
Not long after, things unraveled quickly. After a par on the 10th hole, DeChambeau’s tee shot on the par-3 11th went way right and landed near the grandstand. He chipped about 8 feet past the hole and two-putted for a bogey. On the par-4, 505-yard 12th, he hit his drive into the right rough and knocked his second shot onto the green. He three-putted from there for another bogey, dropping him to 3-under.
The real damage came on hole Nos. 13 and 17. He slipped on the No. 13 tee box while hitting his drive and his ball landed in the right rough again. He was able to hit his second shot only 145 yards out of the deep rough, leaving him 191 yards to the hole. He hit his ball into a front bunker and then sailed his fourth shot over the green. He chipped on and two-putted for a double-bogey 7.
“Unfortunately, [I] had bad break after bad break happen,” DeChambeau said. “I played two little shots next to the green, both weird lies, both trying to get cute with them and messed up on 13.”
On 17, DeChambeau yanked his tee shot into a ravine, took a penalty and hit his third shot into a bunker. With one foot in the bunker and one out, he smashed his ball across the green. He ended up taking a quadruple-bogey 8.
“I hit a great second shot — well, third shot, and the ball just spun too much,” DeChambeau said. “The wind died down and it landed short and came back off of that front edge into a really, really bad lie. I tried just chopping it out, and I caught the hosel just from a weird line.”
It wasn’t the title defense DeChambeau was hoping for. It was the fourth straight major in which he finished outside the top 25 since winning the 2020 U.S. Open by 6 shots at Winged Foot.
“It is what it is,” he said. “It’s golf. It’s life. I’m just proud that I can hold my head right now. I’m OK. I’m all right.”
DeChambeau said he wouldn’t stew over the way he played the last eight holes for long.
“I don’t even care,” he said. “People think that — I’ve changed a lot, attitude-wise and everything. It’s frustrating in the moment when it’s happening, but afterwards for me now, I don’t really care as much. I’ve already won it.”