World number one Justin Rose closed out his 10th PGA Tour win with victory in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego.
The Englishman had led from the second day and headed into the final round three shots ahead of Adam Scott.
Although the Australian closed with four successive birdies Rose, who picked up two shots of his own in that stretch, had built up enough of an advantage to still win by two with a 21-under-par total.
It was not all plain sailing, however, as Rose bogeyed three of his first five holes, before a run of three birdies in four holes from the seventh restored some order.
He was helped by the fact Scott failed to take advantage after playing his opening 14 holes in level par, including one bogey and a birdie, meaning his race to the finish came too late to have any effect.
Rose, in only his second tournament after changing club manufacturer, closed with a 69 to secure his third win and 16th top-10 finish in his last 24 worldwide events.
His Ryder Cup team-mate Rory McIlroy was also three under par for his final round, leaving him in a share for fifth on 14 under.
Tiger Wood saved his best round of the week until last with a 67, which included six birdies, lifting him to 10 under and joint 20th.
Know more about Sport360 Application
When Bryson DeChambeau pared the 18th hole at Emirates Golf Club to clinch a record win in Dubai, and his fifth tournament victory in seven months, it somehow wasn’t the record itself which stood out most.
It was his longish putter which has the grip the size of a small javelin pole, different to any other putter used by a professional golfer. It could have passed for a small pickaxe for all we knew.
But DeChambeau, the man with a degree in physics, is not your average golfer. He is nicknamed the ‘Mad Scientist’ for a reason and definitely takes a scientific approach to the game.
His sizzling rounds of 66-66-68-64 en route to winning the Dubai Desert Classic were seriously impressive, with his A-game better than anyone else’s on tour at present.
What makes the American different from all others at the top level of world golf is his unique method of employing irons and wedges at the same length.
Each club measures 37.5 inches and is built with a 7-iron shaft – compared with most golf sets which get progressively shorter as the club increases.
He uses long grips the size of a long yard brush on each of his clubs and these are methods used by nobody else at the pinnacle.
If you get technical with him after a round, the Clovis resident will talk at length about his approach to sizing up for a shot or why he opts to choose certain clubs at certain times.
The 25-year-old collected four PGA Tour wins last season, including back-to-back titles in FedEX Cup play-off events.
His four-stroke victory in the Northern Trust Open in August made him only the fourth player to win the National Collegiate Athletic Association Championship, the US Amateur title and three PGA Tour events before their 25th birthday.
The others? Only three of the biggest stars to have graced courses around the world – Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Jack Nicklaus.
Despite DeChambeau’s low-key profile, he has sealed more trophies in the same time frame than Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler combined.
Although the trio may be more popular figures, the California native is slowly cementing his status at the top.
In 2018 alone, he climbed from 94th in the world to fifth and this is where he belongs. He is an elite golfer and one of the leading players. For his glittering CV to boast a first overseas victory in Dubai is a fine tonic to build on going forward.
Following him around the Earth Course for most of the weekend, he is captivating to watch and employs a very analytical approach to course management.
He consults his yardage book a lot more than your typical professional golfer. His extensive note-taking, discussions with his caddie and analytical approach makes him a unique and interesting character.
But like any professional, he does have his downsides and needs to control his emotions at times. He drops the head a lot when striking a bad shot and can often be seen as a sourpuss when things don’t go his way.
In contrast, many other players stay in check and just keep going.
After the first round of the Open at Carnoustie in July, he had a meltdown on the practice ground. He threw his clubs in despair, held his head in his hands as the demons took over his usually consistent golf swing. He would go on to finish in a tie for 51st that weekend.
At the Porsche Open the following week, he led with four holes remaining before suffering another crisis of confidence and finishing in a tie for 13th. His blunt handshake with eventual winner Richard McEvoy drew heavy criticism and he was forced to apologise.
Every star is going to make mistakes along his journey to success, but Dechambeau is learning and needs consistency to be a priority if he is to convert his sparkling form into major glory.
His driving and iron play is superb but if there was a part of his game he could improve, it is his putting.
Under the new rules which allow players to have the option of leaving the pin in while putting, DeChambeau already admits he intends to leave the flag in as his ‘research’ proves it will help him. It certainly looked that way over the weekend in Dubai.
“Pin in, is an easy one. It’s statistically proven to be a benefit in 99 per cent of situations,” he said recently.
He was 32nd in strokes gained last season – improved from 146th in 2017 – so any improvement again will make him hard to beat as the season progresses.
DeChambeau is no doubt bringing a distinctive approach to playing the game and if he can continue to improve in the same way he did in the second half of 2018, then expect him to be a force for years to come.
He has the skillset, the perfect demeanour on course, breaks down the game and assesses where his errors are after each hole. He may be described as the Mad Scientist but his formula is definitely working.
Bryson DeChambeau hailed the latest vindication of his unique method after claiming a remarkable fourth win in his last nine events with a commanding victory in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
DeChambeau carded a closing 64 at Emirates Golf Club to set a new tournament record of 24 under par and finish seven shots clear of England’s Matt Wallace.
Wallace birdied the 18th to shoot 68 and claim outright second, a shot ahead of Ryder Cup team-mates Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia, 2011 champion Alvaro Quiros and England’s Paul Waring.
Beginning the day with a one-shot lead, DeChambeau made the ideal start with a hat-trick of birdies and put the result beyond doubt with an eagle from just six feet on the 10th and another birdie on the next.
The 25-year-old briefly gave the chasing pack a glimmer of hope with a bogey on the 12th following an errant drive, but birdied the 13th, 14th and 17th to seal an emphatic triumph.
“It’s incredible to get my first win overseas on the European Tour,” said the world number five. “Today I was happy with my game. I executed a lot of great shots.
“It was obviously a lot of fun to be able to finally hoist an international trophy, I’m so happy about that. I was trying to shoot 25 under today and missed it by one, but I’m happy with the results for sure.”
DeChambeau joined Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods and Ryan Moore in winning the NCAA and US Amateur titles in the same season in 2015, while his opening 64 in Abu Dhabi the following year had playing partner Chris Paisley labelling him as “quite possibly the most impressive player I have ever seen”.
The physics graduate describes himself as a “golfing scientist” and famously plays with a set of irons all cut to the same length, while he is also known to float his golf balls in Epsom salts to check if they are perfectly round.
“It’s a lot of hard work with my caddie, just really grinding and trying to figure out how to take account of all the variables out there,” DeChambeau said of his approach to the game.
“Whether it’s air pressure, firmness values, mph on the ball speed, spin rates…we’re trying to figure out as much as possible so I can be as consistent as possible and obviously it’s showing.
“I think it’s a little bit vindicating that I’m able to come out and have such success like this on multiple tours, so I’m very proud, happy and thankful as well.”
Although DeChambeau will not move up in the world rankings on the back of this win, he will close the gap on the four players above him and has his sights set on Justin Rose in top spot.
“I’ve got to keep working on my game and focus on what I can do out there and what I can improve on,” he added. “If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it’s no biggy. I’ll just keep working harder.”
Defending champion Li Haotong initially appeared to have finished in a tie for third after a final round of 71, only to be handed a two-shot penalty for breaking rule 10.2b(4), one of the rules amended at the start of 2019.
A statement from the European Tour read: “Li Haotong’s caddie was on a direct line behind the ball when he began to take his stance on the 18th green.
“The player’s caddie must not stand behind the player for any reason when a player begins taking a stance. Haotong could have avoided the penalty if he had backed off the stroke and retaken his stance. He did not, hence a two-stroke penalty applied to his score on 18.”
The penalty dropped Li from tied third to tied 12th.