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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 16 February 2019

Methodical Bryson DeChambeau dismantles Majlis Course to win Omega Dubai Desert Classic

World No 5 shoots a final-round 64 to finish 24-under par, seven shots clear of runner-up Wallace

Bryson Dechambeau poses with the winner's trophy while celebrating his victory in the the Dubai Desert Classic at Emirates Golf Club. AFP
Bryson Dechambeau poses with the winner's trophy while celebrating his victory in the the Dubai Desert Classic at Emirates Golf Club. AFP

If Bryson DeChambeau only has his golf game 60 per cent figured out, as he suggested last week, then what chance for the rest of the world when he finally figures it all out?

The 25-year-old Californian obliterated the field as he won the 2019 Omega Dubai Desert Classic with a final-round masterclass. It was golf not as most recognise it, but – perhaps – a glimpse of the future of the sport.

Given his method relies so deeply on the appliance of science, he is well used to crunching numbers. His on-board computer has plenty more information to digest following his rout around the Majlis.

DeChambeau’s 64 was the lowest score ever by a winner in the final round of the Classic. The seven strokes that separated him and second-placed Matt Wallace was the biggest winning margin in the 30-year history of the tournament. And 24-under par was a new record low score. Remarkably, it was also his fourth win in his past nine starts.

He started the week No 5 in the world. Given his form, surely a rise to No 1 is merely a matter of time.

“If it happens, it happens, if it doesn’t, no biggie – I’ll just keep working harder,” DeChambeau said of making it to the top of the world.

His final-round playing partner, Haotong Li, set the record for the lowest score at the Classic when he won ahead of Rory McIlroy last year. The Chinese champion, though, never had a chance.

On Saturday evening, nursing a one-stroke lead at the time, DeChambeau said he did not think about who he was up against – it was the course he aimed to dominate.

And the course was just as defenceless as the rest of the field, as he helped himself to seven birdies and an eagle in his final round.

The only time he looked like giving everyone else a chance was on the par-4 12th, where he found a bush, hit to the wasteland on the other side of the fairway, and eventually made bogey.

It was a brief show that he was human rather than a golfing machine. And it didn’t last.

DeChambeau said he felt his run of success has been “vindicating” for his unique mode of playing the game, which has often been met by scepticism.

“I'm not going to predict the future, but I know, with how hard my caddie Tim Tucker works, and how hard I work, I think we'll figure stuff out that nobody's figured out before,” DeChambeau said.

“It makes a difference, it really does. It does make an impact. I think more people are going to start taking into account, and think, ‘Oh, my gosh, this is actually not a joke’. This is legitimate science.”

Seven shots back, Wallace signed off with a 68. “I really wanted to put some pressure on Bryson,” Wallace said.

“Credit to him, he's played great today from what I hear, and is a worthy champion of this week. It's great to have him here. But I'll try and get him next time.”

Li, Sergio Garcia, Alviro Quiros, Ian Poulter and Paul Waring were a shot behind Wallace, sharing third-place on 16-under.

“It is special,” Garcia said of DeChambeau’s feats. “He's playing really well, and it just feels like every putt he looks at, it's going in, or if it's not, it's burning the edge.”

Updated: January 27, 2019 08:00 PM

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