Bryson DeChambeau’s unorthodox style of play has garnered plenty of criticism in the golfer’s career, but he put it to excellent use early in the singles match portion of the Ryder Cup on Sunday.
DeChambeau, who leads the PGA Tour with a driving average of 323.7 yards, wasted no time showing off his strength, driving all the way to the green on 373-yard, par-4 Hole 1. He made the most of his setup as well, sinking a long-distance eagle putt to take an early lead over Sergio Garcia:
As has often been the case in DeChambeau’s career, he followed up by making par on the par-5 second hole to go up 2-0 over Garcia. He also spoke with the crowd, saying, “Guys, I’m still going for the green, calm down.”
DeChambeau entered Sunday’s singles match having earned 1 1/2 Ryder Cup points; he and Scottie Scheffler tied with Jon Rahm and Tyrell Hatton in Friday afternoon’s four-ball portion, then won 3 and 1 alongside Scheffler in Saturday four-ball play.
DeChambeau’s win and tie entering Sunday’s singles match was considerably better than his previous outing in the 2018 Ryder Cup: DeChambeau, then a rookie in the competition, went 0-3-0 in the United States’ 17 1/2-10 1/2 loss to Europe. He went 0-2 in foursomes and lost his singles match.
Team USA entered Sunday’s portion of the Ryder Cup with a seemingly insurmountable 11-5 lead over Team Europe. With 3 1/2 more points — three wins and a tie — the United States would win the competition for the first time since 2016, winning it two times in three tries for the first time since consecutive victories in 1991 and 93.