Tiger Woods brings out the best in Bryson DeChambeau at Dell Technologies Championship
NORTON -- Bryson DeChambeau had never played in a PGA Tour event with Tiger Woods before. Judging on how he performed alongside Woods on Sunday, DeChambeau might want to make a habit of it.
The galleries cheered mostly for Woods at TPC Boston until DeChambeau hit his 237-yard approach to within one foot, 11 inches on 18 and tapped in for eagle to conclude an 8-under 63.
DeChambeau sits at 12 under, a shot behind Dell Technologies Championship leader Abraham Ancer. Woods carded a 3-under 68 to enter the final round on Monday at 7 under.
The 24-year-old Californian also fired a third-round 63 last weekend while winning the Northern Trust, the first leg of the FedExCup Playoffs, but he didn't play alongside Woods then.
DeChambeau had played practice rounds with Woods before, but this was the first time they played together in a tournament.
"He's my childhood idol," DeChambeau said. "I've admired him my whole entire life and to be finally able to play with him under tournament conditions, it was different. I was a little nervous, for sure."
DeChambeau said the nerves didn't disappear until after he carded his fourth birdie of the day on the par-4 seventh hole.
On the par-5 18th, DeChambeau drove the ball 295 yards, then hit his approach from 237 yards out to within one foot, 11 inches of the cup.
"I had no clue," he said, "it was that close. I heard the crowd get louder and louder and louder, and I looked up and finally saw the ball peak up over that hill. Oh, it's like a foot. Sweet."
In addition to his eagle, DeChambeau carded even birdies and one bogey. His only mistake was horseshoeing his par putt of 3 feet, 3 inches on 15, but he recovered to sink birdie putts of 5 1/2 feet on 16 and 9 feet on 17 before eagling 18.
"It's never bad to shoot 4 under on your last three holes," he said.
Woods was at 3-under for the day through seven holes, but bogeyed 13 and didn't earn another birdie until 18. He missed a few makeable birdie putts in between.
"I pulled two putts that I can recall off the top of my head right now," he said. "That's about it. My speed was a little bit off. I was trying to be a little more aggressive today on the greens and trying to make sure that I gave it a good hit. I didn't want to leave anything dying on the low side."
Jim Furyk is expected to name DeChambeau and Woods among his three captain's picks for the U.S. Ryder Cup team on Tuesday and they've both said they'd like to play together.
"He's fantastic to play with," Woods said.
DeChambeau thinks they'd be an intimidating pair.
"If he goes around and shoots 8-under par every time, that will work," Woods said.
In his first two seasons on the PGA Tour, DeChambeau has won three events and is in good position to capture a fourth on Monday.
In 2015, when he was a student at Southern Methodist University, DeChambeau became only the fifth golfer to win the NCAA Division 1 championship and the U.S. Amateur in the same year. Woods did it in 1996.
DeChambeau admitted he's thought of how he might have fared played against Woods when the latter was in his prime.
"Absolutely," he said. "I would have gotten pummeled."
"Well, look," DeChambeau said. "I was, what, 11, 12, 13 years old? So that's a reason."