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DeChambeau triumphs in Northern Trust


Bryson DeChambeau, the 24-year-old American who has light-heartedly been referred to as 'the mad scientist of golf', once more showed that his method and hard graft do work when he cruised to a four-stroke victory in the Northern Trust, the first of the four FedEx Cup playoffs. 

His win at the at Ridgewood Country Club is the third of his career, his second this year following his victory in The Memorial in May, and moved him past the world No 1 Dustin Johnson to the top of the FedEx Cup standings.

DeChameau, whose irons all have the same length shafts and whose swing differs greatly from most modern day stars, briefly saw his lead reduced to two shots when he bogeyed the ninth hole, but he immediately responded with unmatched back-to-back birdies coming down the closing stretch to finish with a 2-under 69 and an 18-under 266 total.

It left lanky fellow-American Tony Finau (68) in second place at 14-under and Australian Cameron Smith (69) and former FedEx Cup champion Billy Horschel (68) in a tie for third a further shot back.

"It was getting a little close and I a little tight there mid-round, so to be able to hold the lead, and to keep the lead for the whole time and to be able to push forward there and make a couple of putts, was great," a beaming DeChambeau told CBS Sports in an on-course interview afterwards.

"Now I'm looking for consistency. If I can keep playing the way I am, I think I can do some great things."

One of those things might well be representing the United States in next month's Ryder Cup outside Paris. 

DeChambeau, who just missed out on earning  one of the eight automatic spots, still has a good chance getting one of US captain Jim Furyk's four wild-card picks - especially after this important victory that saw 125 of the World's best fighting it out to be among the 100 that go through to next weeks second FedEx Cup Playoff.

"Whatever happens, happens," DeChambeau said. "I'm going to go try to play my best next week and see what happens after that."

DeChambeau, who teed of on Sunday with a four-stroke lead, came out with all of his unconventional guns blazing and birdied the first two holes, but found his lead pegged back to two when Aaron Wise, playing in front of him, sank his sixth birdie of the day at the par-four 14th.

That situation didn't last for long, however. Wise next stumbled with back-to-back bogeys at the same time as DeChambeau was hitting back with consecutive birdies of his own at the 12th and 13th holes and would never be troubled again.

Keegan Bradley, who shot a 62 on Saturday and was playing alongside DeChambeau, had a terrible day as he crashed to a 78 to finish all of 13 strokes off the pace.

It wasn't bad enough, though, to knock him out of this week's second playoff, the Dell Technologies Championship at the TPC Boston.

Two-time FedEx Cup winner Tiger Woods will also be there despite a modest, mid-field finish in his first Playoff in five years.

"Today I felt great from tee to green. I felt great over the putter too, but they just didn't go in." Woods said after closing with a one-under 70 to finish with a four-under 280 - 14 shots off the pace. 

Woods estimated he had seen five putts lip out on a day when he had two birdies and a bogey.

Europe's Ryder Cup certainties Justin Rose, Jon Rahm, Francisco Molinari and Alex Noren were among some of the big guns who failed to make the cut on Friday, but all went safely through to TPC Boston.

Those that didn't and lost their places inside the 100-strong bubble to Jhonattan Vegas, Scott Stallings, Danny Lee, and Brian Stuard included former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, Trey Mullinax, Brandon Harkins and Patrick Rodgers.

Former PGA Champion Jason Dufner tumbled 10 places in the standings but sneaked in at No 100.

(Par 71 - US player unless stated)

266 Bryson DeChambeau 68 66 63 69
270 Tony Finau 69 67 66 68
271 Billy Horschel 69 69 65 68, Cameron Smith (AUS) 69 68 65 69
272 Adam Scott (AUS) 69 64 70 69, Aaron Wise 70 68 67 67, Ryan Palmer 68 67 72 65
273 Justin Thomas 69 67 69 68, Brooks Koepka 67 65 72 69, Patrick Cantlay 69 67 68 69
274 Dustin Johnson 67 67 72 68, Nick Watney 69 68 68 69, Bronson Burgoon 68 73 67 66, Adam Hadwin (CAN) 71 65 68 70
275 Hideki Matsuyama (JPN) 67 73 67 68, Jhonattan Vegas (VEN) 67 68 72 68, Kevin Na 67 75 66 67, Daniel Berger 69 70 68 68, Phil Mickelson 68 68 68 71
276 Tyrrell Hatton (ENG) 69 70 73 64, Tommy Fleetwood (ENG) 67 68 73 68, Charley Hoffman 69 70 67 70, Jason Day (AUS) 71 66 68 71, Chez Reavie 71 66 67 72
277 Brian Stuard 68 71 68 70, Patrick Reed 69 71 67 70.

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Neville Leck

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