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PGA runner-up effort boosts DeChambeau's major confidence

Bryson DeChambeau, left, shares a fist bump on the first tee at Pinehurst with fellow American Xander Schauffele, who edged him for last month's PGA Championship victory at Valhalla (ROSS KINNAIRD)
Bryson DeChambeau, left, shares a fist bump on the first tee at Pinehurst with fellow American Xander Schauffele, who edged him for last month's PGA Championship victory at Valhalla (ROSS KINNAIRD)

Bryson DeChambeau believes he is ready to challenge for more major titles again following his runner-up finish at last month's PGA Championship.

The 30-year-old American, whose lone major victory came at the 2020 US Open, lost to Xander Schauffele's birdie on the 72nd hole at the PGA Championship but his seven-under-par 64 charge in the last round at Valhalla turned a runaway into a thriller.

"I feel a lot more comfortable under the gun in major championships being able to get the job done, even though I didn't," said DeChambeau, among 13 LIV Golf players in this week's 124th US Open at Pinehurst.

"I feel like I'm right there. It has given me that confidence to say, 'OK, next step is to complete the task.'

"What I took out of Valhalla was, I would say personally, the confidence that I can do it again."

DeChambeau fired a LIV Golf record 58 last August at Greenbrier, matching the US PGA Tour low-round record set by Jim Furyk at the 2016 Travelers Championship.

"I'm just trying to get the Greenbrier feel that I had back when I shot 61-58 on the weekend, and I feel pretty close to that," said DeChambeau.

That course offered nothing like the test Pinehurst provides this week, with domed greens, sandy native areas and wiregrass for errant shots.

"My game is in a pretty good spot," DeChambeau said. "I'm excited for the week and got some good mojo going forward.

"Looking forward to a tough test of golf out here. Pinehurst is no joke. This is a ball striker's paradise. You have to hit it in the middle of the greens.

"You're putting and wedging has to be pristine in order to compete at this major championship."

Those haven't been the areas that DeChambeau is best known for, but the distance-powered ball smasher has changed his game since switching clubs and dropping size in the past few years.

"I'm a pretty solid chipper and putter around the greens. If I get my irons in a place where I'm hitting it in the middle of the greens and just playing boring golf, that's the goal for me this week -- play as boring a golf as possible," he said.

"Definitely not comfortable just bombing driver everywhere out here. You can get in some big trouble. You've got to take what the course provides you."

It's not the same DeChambeau who blasted shots without regard to landing areas on his way to winning at Winged Foot in 2020.

"Ever since I got the equipment change last year, my whole life dramatically changed. My dad passing gave me a great perspective on life. Just everything in general has changed," DeChambeau said.

"I'm a completely different person than I was back at Winged Foot. There's remnants. I've still got a lot of the same cells, but I'm definitely different in the brain for sure."

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