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Bryson DeChambeau bombs again with a calamitous third-round 76 at the US Open

Bryson DeChambeau bombs again with disastrous third round 76 at US Open as American grapples with conscience after defecting to Saudi-backed LIV Tour

  • Bryson DeChambeau was the biggest star in golf after his US Open victory in 2020
  • But the American was largely ignored on Saturday by the crowds at Brookline
  • He has been suspended from the PGA Tour after joining Saudi-backed rebels
  • The 28-year-old will probably fall outside the top 30 in the world on Monday

Imagine 20 months ago predicting that by mid-2022, Bryson DeChambeau would just be a golfer again, committed to playing in 54-hole tournaments with tons of has-beens and largely ignored by the US Open crowds.

When he left the field to win the 120th edition by six strokes, he was comfortably the most talked-about player in the world. Not only was it a big win, it seemed like the beginning of Bryson’s era. Now it’s almost over before it started, his vanishing act continues with a disastrous third round 76.

DeChambeau has been suspended from the PGA Tour for becoming a Saudi stooge and the brutal truth is that no one cares. America is awash with brilliant twenty-somethings consumed by ambition and desire. DeChambeau’s defection feels like no loss right now.

Bryson DeChambeau (above) Suspended from PGA Tour for Becoming a Saudi Front Man

Bryson DeChambeau (above) Suspended from PGA Tour for Becoming a Saudi Front Man

At the Country Club yesterday, he acknowledged the few who watched him with a touch of his cap every time they applauded, but there wasn’t much to cheer about. Like his career, a nice chip-in for a birdie on the first turned out to be a false dawn as the bogeys and a double came up at the par-five eighth.

DeChambeau looks like a man who has to play golf regularly after a series of injuries that ruin the early months of his season. It looked like he was willing to do that when he said a few weeks ago that he was not interested in competing in the LIV Tour. He then joined the LIV Tour.

Next week he will make his debut with the rebels in spasmodic, meaningless exhibitions. “A business decision,” he called it, meaning his reported $150 million sign-up price was met. He never has to worry about money again, but wouldn’t he if he hadn’t let the hype go to his head?

It is said that his business decision was motivated in part by fears that the injuries he sustained as a result of his constant beating to the ball would bother him in the long run, and that a fully regular schedule would be beyond him.

Whatever the truth, it’s hard not to feel sad about the game fading into oblivion such a fascinating story.

The American was largely ignored on Saturday by the crowds at the US Open in Brookline

The American was largely ignored on Saturday by the crowds at the US Open in Brookline

When he resurfaced after the pandemic, three bricks heavier and muscled the ball 50 yards further than where he had hit it before, DeChambeau had everyone captivated. Even Rory McIlroy got sucked into it and admitted to trying to swing harder to match Bryson. Now, Rory is one of those who waves goodbye to DeChambeau, without much regret.

The story of DeChambeau’s golf over the past 18 months is that he has never been far from a catastrophic mistake. In tough, gusty conditions yesterday, it was hard for anyone to avoid mistakes like that, let alone for someone with Bryson’s full-blown aggression.

Three pairs to start the back nine gave way to a second double bogey of the round on the 13th par-four. “That’s in the water,” he correctly predicted, as his approach from the thick rough never came close to clearing the penalty area. Of the 64 players who were halfway through, 61 were now ahead of him. Of those behind him, one was an amateur and the other was Harris English, who has only played for six months.

In the other six majors DeChambeau has played since his brilliant success in this event, he has failed to make a single top-25. After this latest error-ridden display, it’s hard to imagine he would get any better on that pathetic run this morning.

On Monday, the man who dominated the golf landscape after the pandemic is likely to fall outside the world’s top 30. It’s amazing how many of the players who have won the Saudi jackpot have seen their careers explode over the course of this season, as they struggle with their conscience. DeChambeau’s career bombards with the best of them.

He was ready for the day as the leaders struggled with the difficult opening holes. There they were, players like Rory and Rahm he teamed up with: Scheffler, Burns and Morikawa taking his place.

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