The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Dechambeau helps lead US team to victory

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Dechambeau visually measures his putt. (Courtesy of SMU Athletics)

SMU golfer Bryson Dechambeau was a key player in his team’s success last season. As a sophomore, he won the individual American Athletic Conference Championship which helped propel the Mustangs to the AAC title. SMU also secured a berth in the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2005.

This past weekend, Dechambeau kept shining. He led the United States team to victory at the World Amateur Team Championships in Karuizawa, Japan, sinking a nine-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to secure a two-stroke win over Canada at the Karuizawa 72 Golf East course. Dechambeau described the feeling of clinching the title as “complete elation.”

“I said, ‘Look, all I can do is do my best, and if I give it my all that’s all I can ask for,’” Dechambeau said. “I hit the putt and it rolled over a ball mark and went right into the hole. I was super excited, not only for myself, but also for Team USA. We played great all week and everyone contributed.”

Dechambeau’s most impressive performance at the WATC came last Friday. He shot a single-round record 10-under 61, including 29 on his first nine holes. He made six straight birdies as part of his 11 birdies on the day. The United States team set a record score of 534 (38-under par) for the event and has now won two consecutive WATC titles.

“I was fortunate enough to represent the U.S. at the Palmer Cup, but this one felt a little different,” Dechambeau said. “It was with the USGA, and it was only three guys this time, so it was more of a prestigious invitation to get. It’s such an honor. I can’t explain it any other way, and it’s something I’ll remember forever.”

The tournament came right down to the wire. The Americans were tied with Canada at 37-under par before Dechambeau and Canada’s Corey Conners hit their drives from the 18th tee. Dechambeau hit his approach shot with a 50-degree wedge from 110 yards out and nailed the putt that sealed the win.

“As I walked up [to the 18th tee], I saw that we were tied, both at 37-under,” he said. “I knew that both of our scores were counting, because I knew [teammate] Beau [Hossler] hadn’t that played that well that day, and I knew some guys on Canada hadn’t played that well that day.”

If two teams are tied at the end of 18, the team whose third player shot the better round wins. Hossler, the third player for the U.S., shot a 75, while Canada’s third player, Taylor Pendrith, shot a 70. Dechambeau knew that if the two teams were tied after 18, Canada would have won because of Pendrith’s lower score.

“I knew going down 18 that I had to beat [Conners] outright for us to win,” he said. “I stepped up on the tee and knew I had to make a birdie.”

Fellow U.S. team member Denny McCarthy, who golfs for the University of Virginia, posted the United States’ top score in the final round with an 8-under 64 and event-record 28 on the front nine. Dechambeau tied for eighth individually at 16-under par for the tournament.

SMU men’s golf started its season Monday at the GolfWeek Conference Challenge in Burlington, Iowa. Dechambeau was forced to miss the event because of his participation in the WATC. The Mustangs finished in second place in the event. They compete next in the Erin Hills Intercollegiate in Erin, Wisconsin in early October.

The golf team endured some trouble over the summer despite last season’s success. Then-Head Coach Josh Gregory resigned in July amid allegations of recruiting violations. Jason Enloe, an SMU assistant at the time, was named head coach shortly after.

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