IN-FORM DECHAMBEAU EXCITED ABOUT CRUSHERS' DOUBLE-TRIUMPH POSSIBILITY
The Crushers, and their Captain Bryson DeChambeau, are on a roll, but they are taking nothing for granted on the eve of LIV Golf Jeddah, presented by ROSHN.
With second-place finishes in the team championships in Greenbrier and Bedminster, followed by a dominating win in Chicago, Crushers are virtually assured a place in the top-four at the Team Championship in Miami next week. They are currently second with 178 points, and in with a chance to overtake 4Aces (188 points) at the top.
And the red-hot DeChambeau is the man to watch in the individual championship. He has won twice in his last three starts, including that magical weekend in Greenbrier where he completed his last two rounds in just 119 shots and shot a 58 on Sunday.
The 30-year-old Texan then went on to win LIV Golf Chicago with a blistering final-round 8-under 63.
DeChambeau was excited about the prospect of achieving a double – win the overall Individual Championship for the season with a good performance this week, and the chance to overtake 4Aces at the top going into next week’s Team Championship.
However, the 2020 US Open champion was not willing to get swayed by his own form.
“I am playing well, but you must respect the field. It is incredibly talented. You have 48 of the best players in the world and it’s always a grind out here. I think that’s a testament to how good these guys have played and how consistent they’ve played throughout the year,” said DeChambeau in a joint press conference with Cameron Smith and Talor Gooch, the two men standing in his way to the Individual Championship
“Sure, I’m playing well, but again, you’ve got to be set up for success each and every week. This golf course sets up really well for me, but you can still wedge your way around it out here and make some nice putts, and that changes things.
“You’ve always got to be careful and just work as hard as you possibly can because these guys are incredibly good out here.”
On the possibility of Crushers finishing on top of the Team standings and winning in Miami, DeChambeau added: “That would mean the world. That’s what we’ve all fought for. Charles (Howell III) started off really good this year, and he’s been consistent. Baan (Anirban Lahiri) has played incredibly well, and Paul (Casey) is picking it up, and I’m excited for the team come Miami.
“We lost to the Stingers and it was a big sting, no pun intended, but we want to change that narrative.”
Crushers have had a fantastic season so far. Apart from the two wins, they have secured four podium finishes – two seconds and two thirds.
DeChambeau touched up on the team aspect and the role he has played as a leader.
“I think the team part is a big deal. It’s the reason why I’m here (in individual standing). I love having guys to rely on. I’ve struggled in the past, and having those guys as a support system is huge. I wouldn't have been able to get through a lot of what I got through without them,” he explained.
“Having them use their resources to help me be better is something that can’t be overstated enough. It is the most important thing that has happened for me this year. Even if you are out of contention in the third round, you still want to play well for the team. So, in a sense, it has almost made me play a little bit better.
“The team mood is just having fun, enjoying what we’re doing out here, and letting my boys do their thing. They’re an incredible team. They’re great golfers. They’ve done a lot in the world of golf. I’m just going to let them go. I put wiser people around me for a reason. I want them to give me input to see how I could be a better leader, a better facilitator of good golf.
“That’s the way I try to lead, just say, you be you. I am such a unique player, and for me to have any precedence over the way someone plays, it’s ridiculous.
“My college golf coach, Josh Gregory, was good at leading us. He won two national championships with Augusta State, and luckily, he was able to talk to me about the way he ran his team, and it’s actually bled over in a positive way into how I try to facilitate good golf for them. I just let them be, add to it where I can, and just let them go, let them run.”
In individual standings at the start of Jeddah week, Lahiri, who finished second in Bedminster and tied second in Chicago, is placed 10th (99 points); Howell, the Mayakoba champion, is 13th (90) and Casey is in 36th place.