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AP photo by Charles Krupa / Bryson DeChambeau celebrates after sinking a par putt on the 18th hole at Winged Foot Golf Club to complete a final round of 67 and a six-stroke win Sunday at the U.S. Open in Mamaroneck, N.Y.

MAMARONECK, N.Y. — What was supposed to be a typical U.S. Open produced a most unconventional champion.

Bryson DeChambeau was not the least bit concerned by the narrow fairways or the ankle-deep rough that shape the West Course at Winged Football Golf Club into, historically, the toughest site of all U.S. Opens. With the 40 pounds of mass he has gained since last fall, he wanted to pound it into submission with his driver, even if his errant shots were buried in deep grass.

That's how he plays the game. And for skeptics who said that type of muscle wouldn't work in a U.S. Open at Winged Foot, just look at that shiny silver trophy he kissed and the record score he posted Sunday in a six-shot victory — one that was about validating his out-of-the-box approach to the royal and ancient game.

"100%, no doubt," DeChambeau said. "For me, it's about the journey of can I execute every shot more repeatable than everybody else. I was able to do that this week. That's why I won by six."

Part of this course's fame is the "Massacre of Winged Foot" in 1974, when the winning score was 7 over.

This was a massacre, all right.

DeChambeau rolled in a seven-foot par putt and thrust those powerful arms in the air when he capped a 3-under 67 on a course that didn't allow another final round under par. Two shots behind Matthew Wolff at the start of a chilly September afternoon, he caught him in four holes, passed him in five and pulled away along the back nine.

From the fairway. From the rough. It didn't matter.

"I don't really know what to say because that's just the complete opposite of what you think a U.S. Open champion does," said Rory McIlroy, a four-time major winner who came out on top in record-setting fashion at the United States Golf Association's big event nine years ago at Congressional Country Club, winning at 16-under 268.

"Look, he's found a way to do it," continued McIlroy, whose own U.S. Open win was by eight strokes. "Whether that's good or bad for the game, I don't know, but it's just not the way I saw this golf course being played or this tournament being played."

Call him a mad scientist in a tam o'shanter cap. Call him a game changer in golf. Any description of DeChambeau now starts with U.S. Open champion.

Wolff, trying to become the first player since Francis Ouimet in 1913 to win the U.S. Open in his debut, closed with a 75. He made a 10-foot eagle putt on the par-5 ninth to stay within one shot. That was his only hole under par Sunday. Wolff finished at 280, a 72-hole par score that would have won four of the previous five U.S. Opens at Winged Foot.

It didn't stand a chance in this one.

"You can't take Bryson out because obviously he won, but shooting even par for four rounds at Winged Foot is pretty exceptional," Wolff said.

That describes DeChambeau the past four days. It was a breathtaking performance, four rounds at par or better, the first player to manage that at Winged Foot.

His victory really began last October, when after a tournament in Las Vegas he said with a mischievous grin, "I'm going to come back next year and look like a different person." He added 40 pounds through intense workout and a diet of 6,000 calories a day.

The COVID-19 pandemic shut down professional golf for three months, leading to the U.S. Open being postponed from June to September. It also gave DeChambeau more time to execute his plan of swinging faster and harder, stretching the limits.

His work ethic borders on insanity, and the eve of the final round was no exception. Unhappy with how he played Saturday, hitting only three fairways, DeChambeau had the lights turned on so he could stay on the range well past 8 p.m., pounding driver, searching for the right swing. Temperatures were in the 40s. He was in a short-sleeve shirt.

He didn't find fairways, but he seemed to miss in the right spots. That was key for a player who hit only six fairways on Sunday and 23 out of 56 for the week. Skepticism turned into admiration, with a healthy dose of disbelief.

"It's a game we've never really seen before," said Baylor School graduate Harris English, who closed with a 73 and finished fourth at 3 over, a stroke behind third-place Louis Oosthuizen, who birdied the 18th for his own 73. "I guess John Daly changed it a little bit during his time, Tiger (Woods) changed it, and I think Bryson is now changing it again. So it's impressive to see. Hitting the ball in the rough out here and trying to get it on the green is really hard, and it's really impressive what he's doing."

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AP photo by Charles Krupa / Harris English tees off on the second hole of the West Course at Winged Foot Golf Club during the final round of the U.S. Open Golf on Sunday in Mamaroneck, N.Y. English closed with a 73 and finished fourth, nine shots behind winner Bryson DeChambeau.

English, 31 and coming off a strong 2019-20 PGA Tour season, earned $603,903 in his first event of 2020-21 and his 17th major tournament. His previous best finish in a major was a tie for 15th at the 2013 British Open, and his only other top-20 result in one of golf's biggest four events was a tie for 19th at the PGA Championship last month.

The former University of Georgia standout was in the top 10 after each round at Winged Foot.

"Being in the hunt on a Sunday in a major, that's what everybody wants, English said. "That's what I practice for. That's what I prepare for. I feel like the more and more times I can do it, the better off I'm going to be, and the more experience I'm going to get.

"I knew coming into it it was going to be hard. It's what you want on Sunday. I enjoy that. I enjoy the firmness, the fast, the crazy pins. I thought it was awesome. Going to learn a lot from it and be ready for it at Torrey Pines next year."

Stephan Jaeger, a standout at Baylor and then the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, closed with a 72 and tied for 34th at 13 over.

In six U.S. Opens at Winged Foot among 894 competitors, DeChambeau is only the third to finish a tournament under par. His 6-under 274 was the lowest score, and no one saw it coming on this course.

Said Oosthuizen: "I don't think they can set it up for (DeChambeau to be challenged), to be honest. I don't know what they can do really, because he's hitting it so far. He's so strong out of the rough. And he's probably one of the best putters out there, which a week that he really putts well, you're going to have a lot of trouble."

Wolff, the 21-year-old Californian who can drive it past DeChambeau with a lower flight and more roll in the fairway, gave him a good run in his quest to become the youngest U.S. Open champion since Bobby Jones in 1923.

The U.S. Open was still up for grabs for a fleeting moment around the turn Sunday. DeChambeau and Wolff each got out of position on the eighth hole and made bogey. DeChambeau was at 3 under, one shot ahead of Wolff. Ahead of them, Oosthuizen and Xander Schauffele were lurking at par.

Still to play was the back nine, where so much has gone wrong at Winged Foot over the years.

Not this time. DeChambeau and Wolff blasted drives down the fairway on the par-5 ninth. DeChambeau rolled in a 40-foot eagle putt with perfect pace. Wolff, who had pitching wedge for his second shot, matched his eagle with a 10-footer.

Just like that, it was a two-man race. And then it was a one-man show.

Wolff's tee shot on the par-3 10th rolled left into the thick collar of the bunker, a spot so precarious he had to stand in the deep bunker and grip halfway down the steel shaft of his sand wedge. He chipped 10 feet by the hole for a bogey to fall two shots behind.

From the fairway on the 11th, however, Wolff hit a wedge shot that was chunky and went into the right rough, and he had to scramble for par instead of setting up a reasonable birdie chance. DeChambeau from the right rough came up short, but he used a putter from off the green for a birdie from 15 feet away.

With a three-shot lead, DeChambeau kept blasting away as if he were chasing, not leading, just like he said he would. He saved par from the left rough on the 14th and a perfect pitch from deep grass behind the green. He downed another protein shake walking down the 15th, marching along to a major title that affirms his position in the game as a pioneer.

Imagine the USGA, which has been studying the impact on distance, getting together for a debriefing after this performance. What would they say?

"He's hitting it forever," DeChambeau said with a laugh.

The last laugh.

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