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NCGA Juniors Dominate College Golf


NCGA JUNIOR TOUR ALUM F


DeChambeau Captures NCAA National Title


our years ago, Bryson DeChambeau was the Junior Tour Player of the Year. Now he is the NCAA


Men’s National Champion. The Southern Methodist junior shot a four-day total of 8-under 280 at The Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Fla., and sweated out 90 minutes of intense TV watching and a heroic charge from University of Washington’s Cheng-Tsung Pan to win the NCAA individual title by one stroke. “I always felt like I could contend


for a national championship, but I never believed in myself that I could,” said DeChambeau, who grew up in Clovis. “From this year to last year, it was about trusting myself and my game. That allowed me to get here.”


DeChambeau took the lead in the


second round with a 5-under 67, after opening with a 70. He shot 72-71 the final two days to take the clubhouse lead—thanks to a closing nine of 3-under-par 33—but watched on TV as Pan birdied Nos. 13, 14 and 17 to pull to within one stroke. “I was sick to my stomach, that’s


for sure,” DeChambeau said. “Once I saw him birdie No. 17, that’s when I went out to hit balls. I didn’t even want to watch it, anyway.” Needing a birdie on the last to tie DeChambeau, Pan’s tying bunker shot skirted the edge of the hole, but stayed out. “I’m so honored to be the


first national champion for SMU,” said DeChambeau, who was also runner-up in the 2013 California Amateur. “There’s no better feeling.”


The unique DeChambeau is a major in physics because of his passion for golf. He’s honed his


14 / NCGA.ORG / SUMMER 2015


swing with the help of Homer Kel- ley’s technical book, “The Golfing Machine,” and has even reshaped the makeup of his golf bag so that every club from sand wedge through 3-iron is the same length—compa- rable to a 7-iron. “It’s a theoretical swing that no


one has really done,” DeChambeau told Golfweek. “It’s a theory that hasn’t really been proven yet, it hasn’t been used on the PGA Tour to any extent.”


DeChambeau is quickly mount- ing a mountain of empirical data to support it. He shot an American Athletic Conference Champion- ship record 8-under 64 this spring on his way to finishing second. He was named Conference Player of the Year, and then shot 4-under 212 in the NCAA Regionals at The Saga- more Club in Indiana to help SMU


grab a share of the team title and qualify for Nationals. The 21-year-old DeChambeau


even piped a drive 348 yards to win the Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic Long Drive Contest. In early May, the JTNC alum


reached the Round of 16 at the inaugural U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship at The Olympic Club with fellow SMU and JTNC alum Austin Smotherman of Loomis. DeChambeau’s win at NCAAs


moved him to No. 13 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings. DeCham- beau also made the PING First Team All-America team, along with fellow JTNC alum Maverick McNealy, a sophomore at Stanford who was named the National Collegiate Player of the Year. “The JTNC experience helped me get to a higher level of play, as well as a higher standard of my character,” said DeChambeau in a 2014 interview.


SMU finished 14th in the team


competition. Smotherman helped SMU qualify for the final round of stroke play with a birdie on the first playoff hole to beat the University of Washington. LSU beat USC in the match-play finals 4-1 to win the team title.


The JTNC experience


helped me get to a higher level of play, as well as a higher standard of my character.


– Bryson DeChambeau


BY KEVIN MERFELD


PHOTO: USGA


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