Bryson DeChambeau finishes U.S. Open third round two shots out of lead

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Bryson DeChambeau reacts on the 18th green during the third round of the 120th U.S. Open Championship on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York. - Jamie Squire/Getty Images North America/TNS

MAMARONECK, N.Y. — He has stuck with his game plan all week and while it has gotten him into some trouble on some holes, it also has Bryson DeChambeau two shots out of the U.S. Open lead going into the final round, when he will match bombs with Matthew Wolff.

DeChambeau hung in there after a tough start with bogeys on his first two holes and on a day when he hit only three fairways.

“The round today was a huge battle,” he said, before heading off to the lighted practice range to work on his driver. “I was proud of the way I persevered out there. It was difficult, especially when you’re not hitting it straight in the fairway. It felt like I kept myself in it. I scrambled really well.”

DeChambeau managed to hit 11 greens in regulation and was 11th in the field in strokes gained putting. He battled the hooks all day, which stung him on the first two holes. He drove it so far left on No. 2, he was in the adjacent fairway.

But he settled down and got one shot back on the seventh.

“It’s staying focused on every single shot that you have,” he said, explaining how he put the bad start aside. “Even though the momentum was not going the right way, I knew I had holes coming up that I could birdie, give myself chances for birdie. I did that on six, didn’t make it; seven, made a great birdie; eight, made a great par; and nine, I gave myself a chance for birdie.

“I felt like after that stretch I was starting to get a little more comfortable into the round,” he said.

DeChambeau actually closed within one shot of Wolff after birdies on 16 and 17 and could have tied for the lead with a birdie on 18, instead of a disappointing bogey.

“Tomorrow I’ve just got to make sure my speed is a little bit better than it was starting out the round and hitting the driver in the fairway. Today was pathetic and it needs to be better than that to win a U.S. Open.”

In any event, DeChambeau feels that his performance and at the PGA Championship, where he tied for fourth with Wolff, validates his decision to bulk up and attack golf courses.

“Absolutely,” he said. “I think the past two majors I’ve played in I’ve been right in contention. It’s definitely validating, albeit there’s a lot more to go. I’ve got to figure out a lot more. I am excited to be in this position for sure. There’s no better place to be.

“It’s if I can do it,” he said. “It’s always the case for me. It’s one of those things that we’ve worked so hard, I feel like I know the golf swing as good as anybody, but if I can do it, it’s a whole different question. There’s nerves, pressure, all that, so I’ve got to make sure everything is in check tomorrow.”

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