‘Golfing scientist’ DeChambeau hails winning formula as hot streak continues
The physics graduate set a new tournament record of 24 under par to claim an emphatic victory in Dubai.
Bryson DeChambeau hailed the latest vindication of his unique method after claiming a remarkable fourth win in his last nine events with a commanding victory in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
DeChambeau carded a closing 64 at Emirates Golf Club to set a new tournament record of 24 under par and finish seven shots clear of England’s Matt Wallace.
Wallace birdied the 18th to shoot 68 and claim outright second, a shot ahead of Ryder Cup team-mates Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia, 2011 champion Alvaro Quiros and England’s Paul Waring.
Beginning the day with a one-shot lead, DeChambeau made the ideal start with a hat-trick of birdies and put the result beyond doubt with an eagle from just six feet on the 10th and another birdie on the next.
The 25-year-old briefly gave the chasing pack a glimmer of hope with a bogey on the 12th following an errant drive, but birdied the 13th, 14th and 17th to seal an emphatic triumph.
“It’s incredible to get my first win overseas on the European Tour,” said the world number five. “Today I was happy with my game. I executed a lot of great shots.
“It was obviously a lot of fun to be able to finally hoist an international trophy, I’m so happy about that. I was trying to shoot 25 under today and missed it by one, but I’m happy with the results for sure.”
DeChambeau joined Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods and Ryan Moore in winning the NCAA and US Amateur titles in the same season in 2015, while his opening 64 in Abu Dhabi the following year had playing partner Chris Paisley labelling him as “quite possibly the most impressive player I have ever seen”.
The physics graduate describes himself as a “golfing scientist” and famously plays with a set of irons all cut to the same length, while he is also known to float his golf balls in Epsom salts to check if they are perfectly round.
“It’s a lot of hard work with my caddie, just really grinding and trying to figure out how to take account of all the variables out there,” DeChambeau said of his approach to the game.
“Whether it’s air pressure, firmness values, mph on the ball speed, spin rates…we’re trying to figure out as much as possible so I can be as consistent as possible and obviously it’s showing.
Absolutely unreal golf being played by @b_dechambeau right now. Congrats on another W to him and his team. Maybe I should’ve paid more attention in science class 🤔— Justin Thomas (@JustinThomas34) January 27, 2019
“I think it’s a little bit vindicating that I’m able to come out and have such success like this on multiple tours, so I’m very proud, happy and thankful as well.”
Although DeChambeau will not move up in the world rankings on the back of this win, he will close the gap on the four players above him and has his sights set on Justin Rose in top spot.
“I’ve got to keep working on my game and focus on what I can do out there and what I can improve on,” he added. “If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it’s no biggy. I’ll just keep working harder.”
Defending champion Li Haotong initially appeared to have finished in a tie for third after a final round of 71, only to be handed a two-shot penalty for breaking rule 10.2b(4), one of the rules amended at the start of 2019.
A statement from the European Tour read: “Li Haotong’s caddie was on a direct line behind the ball when he began to take his stance on the 18th green.
“The player’s caddie must not stand behind the player for any reason when a player begins taking a stance. Haotong could have avoided the penalty if he had backed off the stroke and retaken his stance. He did not, hence a two-stroke penalty applied to his score on 18.”
The penalty dropped Li from tied third to tied 12th and cost him more than 80,000 euro, – he won 45,234 euro, instead of 125,768 euro.