SILVA – (Special to Digital Sports Desk by The Sports Xchange) – Bryson DeChambeau capped a sizzling back nine with birdies on the final two holes to win the John Deere Classic on Sunday at Silvis, Ill. DeChambeau charged up the leaderboard with seven birdies over his last 11 holes to earn his first career victory, edging third-round leader Patrick Rodgers by one stroke at TPC Deere Run.
DeChambeau shot a 6-under-par 65, including a 30 on the back nine that featured six birdies, after starting the day four shots off the lead. He finished at 18-under 266.
“It feels like it’s been a long time coming even though I’m 23 (years old),” an emotional DeChambeau said. “It’s pretty special to win here at the John Deere. Didn’t know that Payne Stewart’s first win was here, and that broke me. It was pretty special. … He’s done some amazing things for the game of golf, and I hope I can do something similar down the road.”
DeChambeau, who earned a spot in the British Open with the victory, nearly knocked himself out of the tournament with a 1-under 70 on Saturday.
Despite making four birdies between No. 10 and No. 14, he still trailed Rodgers by two shots with two holes to play.
At the par-5 17th, DeChambeau reached the green in two and cut Rodgers’ deficit in half with a two-putt birdie. DeChambeau earned a share of the lead when his birdie putt at No. 18 just caught the right edge of the cup and dropped in, setting off a fist-pump, double-clutch celebration.
“I knew that I was playing really well and I was fortunate enough to come out with the win this week, and that kind of helps with the (FedEx Cup) standings,” said DeChambeau, who moved up 80 places to 34th in FedEx points.
Rodgers, who led by two shots after both the second and third rounds, lost his share of the lead when his short par putt at the 17th lipped out. He drove over the green at 18, and his chip to tie barely missed the hole.
“Patrick’s a great competitor, I played a lot of golf with him in college,” DeChambeau said. “I was kind of shocked to see he bogeyed 17. I thought I was going to be in a playoff making that putt, but it was enough, fortunately enough, to win here.”
Rodgers wound up with a round of 70 to finish a stroke ahead of Wesley Bryan (64) and Rick Lamb (66), who tied for third place.
Steve Stricker, a three-time winner of this event, was among five players to finish at 269. Stricker shot 65-64 over the weekend to earn his eighth top-10 finish in the tournament.
Zach Johnson (67), a local favorite who was born in nearby Iowa City, joined Stricker, Jonathan Byrd (67), Scott Stallings (70) and Daniel Berger (70) in the tie for fifth place.
Brian Harman (67) and J.J. Henry (69) shared 10th place at 270