Big-hitting DeChambeau in US Open hunt

Bryson DeChambeau was wayward off the tee but managed to keep himself in contention at the US Open.
Bryson DeChambeau was wayward off the tee but managed to keep himself in contention at the US Open.

Bryson DeChambeau launched a towering drive on the 14th hole and watched it sail well left into Winged Foot's deep, gnarled rough.

"Dude, I can't stop over drawing it," he told his caddie.

May be, but he and his rebuilt body can certainly overpower it.

Using a combination of muscle and mind, DeChambeau carved out an even-par 70 in the third round of the US.Open to remain in contention for his his first major championship.

Golf's biggest bruiser was three under, two shots behind leader Matthew Wolff heading into the final round on Sunday.

"The round today was a huge battle," DeChambeau said.

"I was proud of the way I persevered out there today. It was difficult, especially when you're not hitting it straight in the fairway.

"For me it felt like I kept myself in it, scrambled really well."

Known for his analytical approach to golf, DeChambeau spent the PGA Tour's pandemic shutdown adding pounds of muscle and began hitting moon-shot drives upon his return.

He led the PGA Tour in driving distance at 322.1 yards last season and used his power to win in early July.

DeChambeau was in contention on Sunday at the PGA Championship before finishing fourth and was 22nd in the 2020 FedEx Cup standings.

The beefier bomber from central California said he would stick to his big-armed guns at the US Open, blasting drivers despite Winged Foot's winding doglegs and lucky-to-find-the-ball rough.

DeChambeau hit half the fairways in rounds one and two.

Once moving day started, so did the hooks to leave him exasperated.

"Today was pathetic and it needs to get better if I'm going to win the US Open," he said.

But he never let it get to him as he finished strongly, despite a bogey on 18, to put himself in position to prove his bully ball approach to golf works under major pressure.

His old scientific method had mixed results in previous majors; he missed the cut six times in 14 attempts with a high finish of a tie for 15th at the 2016 U.S Open.

The new plan of attack, mixing brawn with the brains, worked out pretty well at Harding Park at last month's PGA Championship.

Now it's time for DeChambeau to take a big swing at the next step.

Australian Associated Press