WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — With a second round 61 Saturday, Bryson DeChambeau showed he had his sights set on contending at LIV Greenbrier.
By the time DeChambeau walked off the green of the seventh hole during Sunday’s final round, he had a firm grip on the first major professional golf event at Old White Course in four years.
Less than three hours later, DeChambeau was celebrating not only his first victory on LIV, but having a piece of history at a venue that hardly lacks it. DeChambeau rolled in a putt from about 40 feet on the 18th hole to finish with a 58 — the first sub-60 round in LIV history, a new course record and only the second 58 ever between the PGA Tour and LIV.
DeChambeau finished the tournament with a three-round total of 187 to shoot 23-under par, allowing him to win the individual title by six shots over Mito Pereira.
“Going 61-58, it’s a possibility I never thought I would do at The Greenbrier, never thought I’d do it over the course of my career even,” DeChambeau said. “To even back up a 61 is really difficult. I had something special going today, and I just felt super comfortable over tee shots and was able to play the course the way it was designed, and [caddie Greg Bodine] was able to keep my head calm, and when I started to get a little nervous he kept it fun and light and we had a great time out there.”
DeChambeau’s historic round began with two birdies, and after a par on the third hole, he made four straight birdies on holes 4-7, including holing a bunker shot on No. 5.
“There was a point in time where I did think about the 54, but I kind of threw that to the wayside, like OK, just get under 60 first,” DeChambeau said.
The lone bogey of the round came on the challenging par-3 8th, but DeChambeau immediately bounced back with two consecutive birdies to move to 18-under par.
Following a par on No. 11, DeChambeau converted a short birdie effort on No. 12 — the first of two par 5s. DeChambeau recorded pars on the 13th and 14th holes, and as he came to the tee box on the par-3 15th, a steady rain began to fall. Tee times had been moved up 4 hours in an effort to play most of the round without the impact of inclement weather.
That rain, however, did little to slow down DeChambeau. Instead, he continued his masterful round with a tee to shot to 7 feet on No. 15. He converted that birdie putt and followed it with another on the par-4 16th following an ideal drive.
DeChambeau made his 12th birdie of the round on the par-5 17th, meaning he birdied all six par 5s for the tournament.
On the final hole, DeChambeau hit a quality tee shot into the par-3 18th, though it spun back into a bowl on the green, leaving him a lengthy birdie effort for the outright course record.
Fittingly, DeChambeau stroked a confident putt and that worked its way up and into the hole, setting off a frenzied celebration from DeChambeau and Bodine.
“I made the putt on 18, and he goes, what did you shoot? I’m like, 58. He’s like, 58, what? He didn’t really even know,” DeChambeau said. “It was quite a funny exchange afterwards. Probably the greatest moment in my golf career.”
Bryson DeChambeau rolls in his final putt from distance on 18 for a birdie and a final round 58 — a new LIV record and a new record at Old White. DeChambeau finishes at 23-under par for a 6-shot victory.
Mito Pereira finished solo second. pic.twitter.com/kj4rYYZFpB
— Greg Carey (@gcarey938) August 6, 2023
Pereira was DeChambeau’s closest challenger for most of the round, which he began with an eagle hole out from about 160 yards on the par-4 second hole. A member of Torque in LIV’s team format, Pereira made six other birdies, though his chances of winning took a big hit with a bogey on No. 12.
“I absolutely knew the whole day, and I saw him not letting off the pedal, and I’m like, OK, I’ve got to answer,” DeChambeau said. “When I get in that mentality, it can get pretty scary for others.”
Richard Bland, David Puig and Matthew Wolff finished in a three-way tie for third at 16-under par. Bland carded a bogey-free 65 Sunday.
Puig and Wolff, the co-leaders at 12-under par ahead of Sunday’s round, played with DeChambeau, but couldn’t quite keep up. Puig was 2-over par through his first seven holes, but played his last 11 holes in 6-under par, including an eagle on No. 17.
“It was a good experience for sure,” Puig said. “I wouldn’t say I was nervous, but for sure it cost me a little bit to start the day. I didn’t hit it very good for the first eight holes.”
Wolff was even on the par-34 front nine, before making three straight birdies to start the back. He played his last six holes in 1-under par.
Harold Varner III took solo sixth at 14-under par, while Carlos Ortiz, Dean Burmester, Branden Grace, Brendan Steele and Taylor Gooch each finished at 13 under.
Torque, comprised of Pereira, Puig, Joaquin Niemann and Sebastian Munoz, won the team championship at 49-under par. Its closest challenger was the Crushers, a team that includes DeChambeau and finished second at 46-under.
“We had the team lead all day and obviously at some point Bryson just stepped it up in the individual” Pereira said. “He was 10-under through, I don’t know, like 15 holes.
Really nice week. Happy for all four of us.”
In addition to Pereira and Puig’s top 5 finishes, Munoz was tied for 12th place at 12 under, while Niemann came in 23rd among 48 golfers at 9 under.
Torque has now won four team championships among LIV’s 10 events this season, including three of the last four. For the season, which has four events remaining, the 4 Aces lead the team standings with 168 points, followed by Torque with 161.
“It’s a running joke on this team how the Aces keep going in front even though we keep winning,” Munoz said. “Mito says the score is biased, something, there. But really it just shows how good they are, how consistent they are, how solid they are, and we are attempting to beat them. Here we are, and we’re on that quest.”