By Paul Meadors, Sports Reporter
After his tee shot on the 26th hole in the U.S. Amateur Championship, a young man who couldn’t have been more than 12 years old approached Bryson DeChambeau and with a mighty rush of exuberance yelled, “You’re killing it!”
DeChambeau returned the compliment with a high five as he made a beeline with laser-like focus to his next shot. And just a few holes later, the former Clovis East High School grad wrapped up one of the most impressive golf years in the history of the game after winning both the NCAA individual golf championship and the U.S. Amateur Championship, become the fifth member of an elite club that includes Jack Nickolas, Phil Michelson, Tiger Woods. Killing it indeed!
The 21-year-old SMU senior by way of Clovis East dominated the week and final match play at Olympia Fields Country club just outside Chicago, winning 7 and 6 over Derek Bard, the largest margin of victory in 16 years.
“It’s an incredible honor, I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would be able to win this tournament,” said DeChambeau after receiving the Havemeyer Trophy. “With all the dedication and hard work I’ve put into making this possible it’s finally realized. I’m so excited and so honored to be the U.S. Amateur Champion.”
And one would think after becoming only the fifth player in the history of golf to pull off such a feat, DeChambeau would quickly get caught up in all the hub-bub and glory surrounding his titles and fame.
But not the Clovis kid who was raised right in Clovis, brought up to respect the game honoring those who have been alongside him all the way. Quick to give credit and divert praise to others, DeChambeau is already a young man who has a grip on life’s priorities, and where his strength comes from.
“Honestly, from God,” said DeChambeau on national TV after his victory. “He’s helped me understand that golf isn’t the most important thing in my life and if I’m able to do my best for Him that’s all I can do.”
Experts and pundits are already calling DeChambeau’s golf game “revolutionary” and “part-mad scientist and part-artist.” And with his win, the golfer who is as meticulous (he uses a custom club set where every club is the same length) as he is fashionable (Ben Hogan-style hat), receives invites to the 2016 British Open and the grand-daddy of them all – the Masters.
Here’s to hoping DeChambeau keeps killin’ it in 2016.