OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill. – SMU senior Bryson DeChambeau won the U.S. Amateur on Sunday to become the fifth player to win the tournament and NCAA individual title in the same year.
DeChambeau, from Clovis, California, beat Virginia junior Derek Bard of New Hartford, New York, 7 and 6 in the 36-hole final at Olympia Fields.
''I can't believe what I just did,'' DeChambeau said. ''I'm in golf history. I don't understand it yet. It's an honor to be in that field.''
It was the widest margin in a title match since Byeong-Hun An's 7-and-5 victory over Ben Martin in 2009.
''I didn't make anything and he made all the putts he had to,'' Bard said.
Bard didn't make a birdie after the sixth hole of the morning round, while DeChambeau had nine birdies in the 30 holes and was 20 under in six matches.
DeChambeau had a 2-up lead after the morning round. He lost the 19th hole after snap-hooking his drive and making a bogey 6.
''I thought, 'Keep pressing the pedal to the metal now, play Bryson golf,''' DeChambeau said.
DeChambeau won the next three holes with birdies and seven of nine holes.
A par-saving 20-footer on the 25th hole of the match, the par-3 seventh, allowed DeChambeau to salvage a halve after Bard had already made par.
''He didn't have the same step,'' DeChambeau said about Bard after the par-saving putt. ''I just made everything.''
Even a caddie switch didn't bother DeChambeau. Regular caddie Mike Schy complained of blisters and plantar fasciitis, so was replaced for the afternoon round by Brooke Price, a former teammate at SMU.
''He was positive, encouraging the whole time,'' DeChambeau said.
Bard believed the turning point was DeChambeau's chip-in for a birdie on the eighth hole in the morning, shortly after a one-hour thunderstorm delay.
''It was cool to watch,'' Bard said. ''From that point, he took control. I was still 1 up, but I played No. 9 poorly, as I did all week.''