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DeChambeau wins Rocket Mortgage Classic by 3

Bryson DeChambeau drives on the 12th tee during the third round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic golf tournament, Saturday, July 4, 2020, at the Detroit Golf Club in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

By LARRY LAGE

AP Sports Writer

DETROIT– Bryson DeChambeau pounded protein shakes and lifted iron to transform his body, adding 40 pounds of mass, and changed his game to put a premium on power.

The plan is working.

With jaw-dropping drives and some clutch putts, DeChambeau won the Rocket Mortgage Classic by three strokes Sunday for his first victory of the season and sixth overall.

He became the first PGA Tour player since 2004 to lead a tournament in driving distance, along with shots gained off the tee and putting.

“This is a little emotional for me because I did do something a little different,” the 26-year-old DeChambeau said. “I changed my body, changed my mindset in the game and I was able to accomplish a win while playing a completely different style of golf. And, it’s pretty amazing to see that. I hope it’s an inspiration to a lot of people.”

DeChambeau shot a 7-under 65 at Detroit Golf Club, birdieing four of the first seven holes and closing with three straight. He finished at a career-best 23-under 265.

Matthew Wolff (71) was second. He started the day with a three-shot lead and hurt his chances with five bogeys over his first 10 holes.

Kevin Kisner (66) finished another stroke back as part of a relatively weak field that continued to trend of exceptional play since the PGA Tour restarted.

“The level of play on tour in these first four weeks has been incredible, cuts at 4 and 5 under every week,” Kisner said.

With a strong finish, DeChambeau removed all doubt that he would win the second Rocket Mortgage Classic.

He made a 30-foot birdie putt at No. 16, which he said was his shot of the day. He also had a short putt for birdie on the next hole. And finally, he uncorked a 367-yard drive to set up another short putt at 18.

DeChambeau came into the week with six straight top-eight finishes and was the only player with top 10s in the first three events after the restart from the coronavirus pandemic.

He won for the first time since the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in November 2018.

DeChambeau has dramatically altered his body, packing about 240 pounds on his 6-foot-1 body, and took advantage of the extra time he had to work on his physique during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“He understands what is the key to gaining the biggest advantage and that’s distance, and mega distance,” Kisner said. “He just has too much time on his hands. He needs to start getting married and having kids and feel like the rest of us.”

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