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Ryder Cup: Bryson DeChambeau helps U.S. take commanding 11-5 lead over Europe

Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Golf

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. — One of the big questions for Team USA heading into the Ryder Cup: Who could possibly click with Bryson DeChambeau?

The long-driving lug was too polarizing, too combustible, too self-absorbed to conform to team play. His history of run-ins with fellow golfers and rules officials didn't help. It was a quandary.

As it turns out, not only does DeChambeau have a college physics degree, but he can pass a critical chemistry test too.

One down to Europeans Tommy Fleetwood and Viktor Hovland after 13 holes at Whistling Straits, DeChambeau and Scottie Scheffler tore off four consecutive birdies — each contributing two — to win the four-ball match three and one.

That gave the U.S. an 11-5 advantage heading into Sunday's singles matches, and neither side has ever overcome a deficit that large on the final day of competition.

In recent history, two teams have come back from 10-6 deficits: Europe in 2012 at Medinah, and the U.S. in 1999 at Brookline.

 

"We would have liked to have won the session, eaten into that lead," European captain Padraig Harrington said. "Six points is a tough one to make up tomorrow, but I think we were a half-point short of that in the Miracle at Medinah on Sunday, so we're just going to have to push for that."

Like one of DeChambeau's stratospheric drives, he and Scheffler likely put the cup out of reach for the Europeans, who have won four of the last five.

"It's just a big momentum swing from our match going one down and going into 14 and the potential of it being 10-6 again like it was at Medinah," Scheffler said. "For us to be able to flip that match was huge."

The teams played alternating shots Saturday morning, with the Americans winning 3-1. It was 2-2 in the afternoon for four-ball play, in which each member of the two-man team plays his own ball and each team counts the lowest of its two scores on the hole.

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