NORTON — On an oppressively sultry day at TPC Boston with temperatures reachingthe 90’s, Bryson DeChambeau was the coolest cat on the course. Playing a game that rewards precision and patience, DeChambeau never rattled, his cerebral nature and steady swing laying the groundwork for a triumphant round of golf.
DeChambeau shot 4-under-par 67 Monday to reach 16-under and claim the Dell Technologies Championship. He is the first player since Vijay Singh in 2008 to win the first two FedExCup Playoff events, and the first to do so donning a Ben Hogan-esqe cap.
At one point during the afternoon, 26 golfers sat within four shots of the lead. Then DeChambeau kicked things into high gear, dusting the field for his 4th PGA Tour win in just 70 starts. Third-place finisher Cameron Smith of Australia tried to puncture DeChambeau’s roll with a charge on the back nine, coming within a shot of the lead with four holes to go. But his effort fell short with a bogey on No. 18, dropping him to 13-under.
Justin Rose faded from the picture early, carding bogey on his first two holes, but mustered a 4-under 31 on the closing nine to finish second, two strokes back.
It was the physics major with the even-keeled temperament that shone brightest on a day when summer refused to cede its grasp. DeChambeau did what he had all week, trusting his yardages and reaping the rewards.
“Again, I have to go back down to all the little stuff I do in my book,’’ said the native of Modesto, Calif. “If I keep doing the numbers right and I keep executing the right shots, I can’t do much more than that. And if I keep going that route I’ll be hard to beat.’’
DeChambeau’s play Monday showed why he is almost sure to be a captain’s pick for the American Ryder Cup team when Jim Furyk makes three of his four selections Tuesday.
Things got going on the par-5 2nd with a 9-foot putt for birdie which DeChambeau converted. He gave it back on No. 3 but proved headstrong a hole later, taking advantage of the par-4 4th with a tap-in for birdie.
Three straight birdies on holes 7-9 won DeChambeau the championship. He birdied all three holes, draining a 12-foot putt at No. 8 and sinking mid-rangers on the other two. He played the back-nine in even-par.
Unlike many of his counterparts on tour, DeChambeau doesn’t resist scoreboard watching and was cognizant of where Smith and others stood as he walked the course Monday.
“It affects me tremendously, but in a positive way,’’ said DeChambeau. “I love knowing where I’m at, solely because I can make good decisions that allow me the best chance to win coming down the stretch.’’
Even with victory assured, DeChambeau never deviated from his process. When he left his birdie putt on No. 18 inches from the cup, the 24-year old smacked his putter against the bill of his cap despite being minutes from pocketing the $1.62 million reward.
Eight players have won multiple events in the same FedExCup Playoffs, and five went on to claim the $10 million bounty at the Tour Championship in Atlanta.
“I wouldn’t have written it any better, to be honest with you,’’ said DeChambeau. “I’ve been playing some great golf this whole year. I knew it was a matter of time before something cool showed up.’’
Hideki Matsuyama of Japan had everything cooking early on a 6-under 30 front nine, but fizzled with infuriating missed putts on Nos. 11 and 12. He shot even-par on the back and finished in a tie for 4th place at 12 under , joined by C.T. Pan (5-under 66) and Tony Finau (3-under 68).
Dustin Johnson fired a 7-under 64 to maintain his No. 1 position in the Official World Golf Ranking. He wrapped Labor Day Weekend in a tie for 7th place at 11-under alongside Bubba Watson, Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Emiliano Grillo, and Abraham Ancer.
Ancer, the 54-hole leader, ceded precious ground to the field with a bogey on TPC Boston’s relatively easy 2nd hole. He shot 2-over 73 in the final round, but still advancedto the third leg of the FedExCup playoffs.
“Very frustrated,’’ offered Ancer on his round. “Couldn’t really get anything going. I was always battling back, making bogeys on par-5s when I should have been making birdies. It put me behind the eight ball.’’
Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth lingered for a while, but neither received the burst they were looking for on the challenging middle-stretch of the golf course. McIlroy bogeyed Nos. 14 and 15, Spieth carded three bogeysin his first five holes on the back nine, and both finished in a tie for 12th at 10-under.