Rough back nine derails DeChambeau’s hopes of going back-to-back

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Bryson DeChambeau reacts to his shot after chipping from the rough onto the 13th green during the final round of the U.S. Open Golf Championship, Sunday, June 20, 2021, at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Sunday at Torrey Pines Golf Course, Central Valley native Bryson DeChambeau was trying to become only the eighth golfer to ever win the U.S. Open in back-to-back years.

DeChambeau, who started the day two shots back of the leaders, played the front nine in 2-under par, and the Clovis East alum had a one-shot lead as he started his back nine.

But Bryson’s final eight holes would turn into a nightmare. It began with back-to-back bogeys on 11 and 12, followed by a double-bogey on the par-5 13th.

“Unfortunately, had bad break after bad break happen,” said DeChambeau. “I played two little shots next to the green, both weird lies, both trying to get cute with them and messed up on 13.”

Things got worse on the par-4 17th, when he drove it left in the penalty area, and then shanked a chip from an awkward stance near the green, on his way to a quadruple-bogey 8.

“I didn’t get off the rails at all. It’s golf,” said DeChambeau. “People will say ‘I did this or did that,’ and it’s just golf. I’ve had plenty of times where I hit it way worse than today and I won. It’s just one of those things where I didn’t have the right breaks happen at the right time.”

DeChambeau posted an 8-over 44 on the back nine, on his way to a final-round 77. The late stumbles moved him down to a tie for 26th on the final leaderboard.

Despite the tough finish though, the world’s sixth-ranked golfer says he won’t have a tough time putting this disappointing Sunday behind him.

“Right now, I don’t even care,” said DeChambeau. “I’ve changed a lot, attitude-wise and everything. Yeah, it’s frustrating in the moment when it’s happening. But afterwards, for me now, I don’t really care as much, I’ve already won it (the U.S. Open).”

There was one piece of good news to come out of Sunday for Bryson, as he officially clinched one of four available spots on this year’s men’s United States Olympic golf team.

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