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Golf-DeChambeau finds his way to strong start at U.S. Open

By Thomson Reuters Jun 13, 2024 | 8:26 PM

(Reuters) – American Bryson DeChambeau lost his yardage book but kept his cool to finish the first round of the U.S. Open two shots back from the lead on Thursday and show his 2020 major win was no fluke.

DeChambeau finished the day at Pinehurst with four birdies and a single bogey for a three-under par 67 as he tied for fourth on the leaderboard with Frenchman Matthieu Pavon despite misplacing his prized yardage book on his way to the course.

“It’s a bit of a comfort thing. It’s not a superstitious thing,” said DeChambeau, whose caddie had a backup. “I just left it in the car. Usually I’m not going into a car before playing my round. Must have fallen out when I got out. Is what it is. Luckily I got it back thanks to the officers.”

The brief mishap did not rattle DeChambeau, who started on the back nine and had a birdie on the par-four 13th before chipping one in for birdie on the 18th hole.

The hard-hitting DeChambeau used his powerful drive to hoist the trophy at Winged Foot four years ago and looked every bit the veteran as shaved two more strokes off his score with birdies on the par-four third and par-five fifth.

His only stumble of the day came at the par-four seventh, where he overshot the green for bogey.

“From a mental exhaustion perspective, this was probably the most difficult that I’ve had in a long, long, long time,” he said. “I can’t remember the last time I mentally exerted myself that hard to focus on hitting fatter parts of the green instead of going for flags. I did that quite nicely until the last few holes.”

DeChambeau, who settled for second at last month’s PGA Championship, said he would load up the dinner plate with carbohydrates in preparation for the battle ahead.

“Recovery is going to be key. I’m going to go hit a couple balls, make sure it’s all dialed in and ready for tomorrow,” he said.

(Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York. Editing by Gerry Doyle)