Bryson DeChambeau saw signs of greatness last season on the PGA Tour when he won three times against the strongest fields this side of the majors.
He started a new season headed down the same path.
In his only fall start, DeChambeau never shot worse than 66 over four days in Las Vegas, holed an eagle putt from just inside 60 feet on the 16th hole and closed with smart play for pars to win the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on Sunday by one shot over Patrick Cantlay.
“I was coming out here to try and kick rust off and was able to play some good golf,” DeChambeau said. “I’m happy to get it done.”
The eagle putt took him from a one-shot deficit to a two-shot lead when Cantlay made bogey from a deceptive lie in the bunker ahead of him on the 17th hole. DeChambeau won for the fourth time in his last 12 starts on the PGA Tour and moved to No. 5 in the world ranking.
He had to survive a wild back nine at the TPC Summerlin in which four players had a share of the lead at some point.
Cantlay, trying to become the first player to win back-to-back in Las Vegas in nearly 20 years, made a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-5 16th hole to take a one-shot lead. But from a bunker right of the green on the par-3 17th, Cantlay was fooled by the amount of sand under his ball and flubbed the shot.
DeChambeau wasn’t entirely sure where he stood. He could see Cantlay made the putt on the 16th hole and had to ask if it was for birdie or eagle. DeChambeau easily cleared the water, and his ball went just over the back of the green. He thought he hit it perfectly. Then, he thought he might have hit it too hard. It held its line at the end, and DeChambeau responded with a big uppercut.
“I haven’t given a reaction like that in a while,” he said.
Cantlay birdied the 18th for a 65, but it wasn’t enough when DeChambeau played the final two holes conservatively for pars to finish at 21-under 263.
DeChambeau won for the third straight season, and fifth time overall on the PGA Tour.
The 25-year-old American began his big run with a playoff victory at the Memorial, then won consecutive FedEx Cup playoff events in New Jersey and Boston. He was playing Las Vegas to shake off a little rust, and it turned into another victory.