Illinois, United States: Southern Methodist University senior Bryson DeChambeau became the fifth player to win the NCAA championship and the US Amateur Championship in the same year when he claimed the Havemeyer Trophy with a 7-and-6 decision over the University of Virginia’s Derek Bard at Olympia Fields Country Club.
“Having my name etched on this trophy with the great Bob Jones as well as Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, all those guys, it’s incredible,” said the 21-year-old Californian, who wears a Ben Hogan-style cap. “I can’t even imagine what I just did. It won’t sink in, I’m sure, for the next couple days. But I’m honoured.”
The 2015 United States Walker Cup team member, who took individual honours at the Concession Club in May for the NCAA title, joins Nicklaus (1961), Mickelson (1990), Woods (1996) and Ryan Moore (2004) in winning both championships in the same year.
“I’m in golf history,” said the SMU first-team All-American, who is seventh in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. “That’s pretty incredible. I don’t understand it yet. I had a little bit of an understanding of what I just did, but I haven’t felt the impact of it yet. That’s an honour to be in that field.”
DeChambeau, who was two-down through seven holes, swung the match on the next hole when he chipped in for a winning birdie from deep greenside rough to reduce his deficit to one hole.
“I think the turning point of the whole day really is he when airmails the green on eight and flops it in,” said 20-year-old Bard. “You have to pull off shots like that if you want to win a championship like this. It’s one of those signature shots. It was pretty cool to watch. He hit a perfect shot up there and tumbled in. Like I say, he deserves it and from that point on, he really took control.”
The finalists receive exemptions into the 2016 US Open at Oakmont Country Club, three years of exemptions into the US Amateur and a likely invitation to the 2016 Masters Tournament. The champion also receives an exemption into the 2016 Open Championship at Royal Troon.