DORAL — Bryson DeChambeau is the ultimate showman. He has entertained on the golf course like nobody else in recent years.
No matter the tour. No matter the body transformation.
The stage may not have been as big, the spotlight not as bright. But what DeChambeau did on No. 16 at the LIV Golf team championship at Doral Sunday was as fascinating as anything we’ve seen on a golf course.
DeChambeau’s drive on the 330-yard, par-4 No. 16 flew the green, bounced off the roof of the hospitality suites and over the second green. It stopped on the front fringe, 109 yards from the 16th hole.
DeChambeau thought about taking a drop, but said the lie was too good. So he hit a wedge back over the suites – appropriately called Birdie Shack – to just outside 20 feet.
The birdie putt essentially sealed the team championship for DeChambeau’s Crushers.
Even Jan DeChambeau, Bryson’s mother, was impressed. And Jan has seen her son play a lot of golf.
“That shot over 16 Birdie Shack, I’ve never seen anything like that before,” Jan said.
DeChambeau, Paul Casey, Charles Howell, Anirban Lahiri celebrate the win
It took two holes to make it official, but DeChambeau’s putt on No. 18 set off a champagne celebration with teammates Paul Casey, Charles Howell and Palm Beach Gardens’ Anirban Lahiri. The Crushers led most of the way Sunday, finishing two shots ahead of Bubba Watson’s RangeGoats.
“Not only is he the most dynamic player on the planet,” Casey said about DeChambeau. “He’s also been a great captain.”
DeChambeau shot a 67, two behind Lahiri, whose second-place finish not only equaled his best of the season but came at the perfect time. The Crushers will cash the $14 million winners check, $8.4 million of it going into the team fund and each player earning $1.4 million.
“We’ve been wanting to win this for a long time,” DeChambeau said. “I can’t be happier with this team. They worked their butts off. I’m so ecstatic.”
Said Howell: “I’m just thankful every time I looked up and saw Bryson and Ban making another birdie.”
But it was DeChambeau who was the catalyst, all season and Sunday. While Lahiri helped the Crushers jump out with three consecutive birdies on the front nine, DeChambeau’s red hot putter on the Blue Monster kept the distance down the stretch.
“Beyond human words,” LIV commissioner and CEO Greg Norman said. “15, 16, 17 he made 120 feet of putts. 16 will be talked about for a long time.”
DeChambeau, who has eight PGA Tour wins including the 2020 U.S. Open, admitted to having nerves with the team championship on the line. That caused him to start “overcooking” his drives.
Like on 16.
“Finishing off I was super nervous,” he said.
DeChambeau has embraced the business end of LIV Golf as one of 12 team captains responsible for marketing a franchise and building a brand.
While the prospects of using a large portion of the prize money (the $14 million won Sunday pushed the Crushers’ season team winnings to $23.5 million) for the overall team budget, and enhancing the team brand was on DeChambeau’s mind entering Sunday, DeChambeau also had a personal score to settle.
DeChambeau was looking at a $4 million bonus for finishing third in the individual standings before the final individual event of the season in Jeddah when Brooks Koepka forced a playoff with Talor Gooch and then won on the second extra hole.
That victory pushed Koepka past DeChambeau to third place in the final points standings. With it came that hefty bonus, but for Koepka.
“Terrible,” DeChambeau said about that ending.
But Sunday made up for all of that, and more.
“Anytime you get a win for a team that’s more important than any individual stats,” he said.
“And if you have the team you want, players are going to show up day in and day out.”
This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: How Bryson DeChambeau’s Crushers GC won the LIV Golf team championship