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Bryson DeChambeau Impresses in Pro Debut

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While Bryson DeChambeau made his professional golf debut this week on the PGA Tour, the former SMU standout was hardly your average amateur.

Prior to this past week’s RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links, DeChambeau had made a few starts on the PGA Tour in 2015 and had been taking the amateur and college ranks by storm for quite some time. He became just the fifth golfer ever in 2015 to win both the NCAA title and U.S. Amateur title in the same year, joining Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Ryan Moore. After learning he wouldn’t be able to defend his NCAA title in 2016 due to sanctions against SMU, DeChambeau forwent his senior season and set out to become a “professional amateur”, jet setting all around the world to play in tournaments in preparation for his professional debut after using his Masters exemption which he got for winning the U.S. Amateur.

All that preparation clearly played off, as the new pro golfers finished in a tie for fourth at the RBC Heritage. The mad scientist, dressed head to toe in Puma gear and playing Bridgestone balls and playing with his now famous iron set that is all the same length fired rounds of 70, 69, 72, and 68 to take home $259,600 and 123 FedEx Cup points in his first tournament where he could cash a paycheck.

Dating back to February, DeChambeau has finished in the top 30 of every tournament he has competed in on both the PGA and European Tour, including a T21 finish at Augusta in his final start as an amateur. Still though, it was business as usual for DeChambeau after he finished his round Sunday. Instead of talking about the fact that he finally cashed a check or talking about how big the moment was, Bryson was talking about his game and how he felt he played like a grizzled old vet.

“I putted a lot better than the last few days,” DeChambeau said. “Unfortunately my driver was kind of giving out today. I’ll definitely work on that for next week. It was definitely fun to see some putts go in.”

Next week, DeChambeau had already been scheduled to play the Valero Texas Open on a sponsors invite. He can now pocket hat invite as the top 10 finish qualifies him for the event, meaning he now has additional sponsors invite he can cash in as he tries to earn his PGA Tour Card for next year. DeChambeau has 7 sponsors exemptions as well as as many events he can get into via top 10 finishes to earn the 361 FedEx Cup points needed to get special temporary membership that would bring with it unlimited sponsor invites for the rest of the season. To earn a full card for next season, he’ll need to equal the points or earnings of No. 125 on the season-long standings, which last season meant a cutoff of 458 points or $747,899 in earnings.

After the Valero Texas Open, DeChambeau is already planning to play the Wells Fargo Championship, AT&T Byron Nelson, and Dean & Deluca Invitational as he continues to work his way to a PGA Tour card. Despite his newly minted status as a pro though, he’s just trying to keep his head down and play, with the ultimate goal not being money, but getting his card and winning tournaments.

“It’s been quite a journey so far, these past couple weeks,” he said. “It’s an honor to be playing out here with these big boys, trying to do my best. Hopefully I can keep competing out there and hopefully I can get a couple of wins out there.”

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About Dan Hauser

As an avid golfer and sports enthusiast, Dan has had a passion for sports starting at a very young age. Dan’s other passion has always been writing. Since the time he could write, he has always enjoyed sharing information with people and telling stories through writing. In middle school he combined his two loves by joining the school newspaper in the sports department.

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