Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 22 September 2020

Bryson DeChambeau ready to 'bring it' in attempt to defend Omega Dubai Desert Classic title

The world No 17 will need to overcome illness, weather, and rivals if he is to retain the trophy

Bryson DeChambeau tees off on the par four 8th hole during the third round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Getty Images
Bryson DeChambeau tees off on the par four 8th hole during the third round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Getty Images

Bryson DeChambeau will have to battle illness, the elements, and a two-shot deficit if he is to defend his Omega Dubai Desert Classic title. His response to being faced by that prospect? “Bring it.”

The world No 17 did not advance his case too far on moving day at the Majlis Course, as he carded a 2-under par 70 to reach 9-under for the tournament.

That left him in a three-way tie for third, alongside Tom Lewis and Kurt Kitayama, and two strokes behind leader Ashun Wu, ahead of Sunday’s final round.

Round 3 brought with it the most benign weather of the week so far, but if the forecasts prove correct, the final round could be the most challenging of all.

According to weather.com, Emirates Golf Club is set to be buffeted by gusts of up to 40km on Sunday.

With the course already set up to be far more taxing than in the recent past, the players could find scoring tough as they go in search of the Dallah Trophy.

DeChambeau, though, is up for the challenge. “Let's bring it,” the defending champion said. “I love it.”

If he is to retain a title for the first time in his career, the 26-year-old Californian will have to find greater favour on the greens than Saturday brought – and hope his lingering illness dissipates.

“I'm worse today,” DeChambeau said. “I couldn't hear anything out of my right ear until No 13. It finally popped and that was helpful a little bit, but, boy, was it a struggle out there for me on the greens today.

“That's OK, I'm going to go work on it a little bit. I didn't feel like I was putting bad it just seemed like putts were going weird ways and ways they shouldn't. But I'm going to work on that and hopefully have that ready to go for tomorrow.”

DeChambeau has been effusive in his praise for Dubai both last year and this, and he says the idea of defending his title tomorrow would be a “tremendous honour”.

“It would be incredible,” he said. “Being under the weather and fighting through some of the stuff that happened last week [when he missed the cut at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA] and persevering this week would be a tremendous honour.”

Updated: January 25, 2020 05:53 PM

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