“I hope so,” said DeChambeau when asked if he’s ready for the next step in his career. “I have traveled across the world to gain experience, and I’ve capped it off here. The Masters was something special. So, yes, I’m ready.”
The most disappointed man on the property Sunday evening had to be reigning U.S. Open champion Jordan Spieth, who held a five-stroke lead with nine holes to play, only to make consecutive bogeys on Nos. 10 and 11 and then a disastrous quadruple-bogey 7 on 12 after hitting two balls in the water. One of five USGA champions to place among the top 10, Spieth, 22 of Dallas, shared second place with Lee Westwood, three behind winner Danny Willett, of England, who was a member of the 2007 Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup Team.
Willett’s final-round 67 matched the day’s low round with countrymen Matthew Fitzpatrick, the 2013 U.S. Amateur champion, and 1999 GB&I Walker Cup Team member Paul Casey. Fitzpatrick, playing in his second Masters, tied for seventh at even-par 288 to earn an invitation to the 2017 Masters. The low 12 scorers and ties are traditionally invited back the following year.
Danny Lee, of New Zealand, the 2008 U.S. Amateur champion, carded a 1-under 71 to finish in a tie for 17th after starting the third round just two strokes off the lead before a Saturday 79 moved him out of contention. Matt Kuchar, the 1997 U.S. Amateur champion, tied for 24th.
U.S. Open champions Justin Rose (2013) and Rory McIlroy (2011) each tied for 10th at 1-over 289, along with Brandt Snedeker, the 2003 U.S. Amateur Public Links champion. McIlroy needs a Masters win to complete the career grand slam.
Langer Finds Fountain of Youth
The Masters seems to bring out the best in its champions, regardless of age. This year, it was 1985 and 1993 champion Bernhard Langer, 58, of Germany, who once again rekindled his success at Augusta National Golf Club. Six years removed from capturing the 2010 U.S. Senior Open, Langer carded six birdies in shooting a 2-under 70 in Saturday’s third round. It put him just two strokes behind 54-hole leader Jordan Spieth and in the penultimate pairing on Sunday with Hideki Matsuyama. Langer was trying to surpass Julius Boros as the oldest major champion. Boros, a two-time U.S. Open champion (1952 and 1963), was 48 when he claimed the 1968 PGA Championship. The chance at history didn’t seem to faze him.
“When I play really, really well, when I bring my ‘A’ game, I can still compete, even on a very, very long golf course like this,” Langer said after his round on Saturday. “I’m not that long, but I try to make up for it in other things I do.”