NORTON, Mass.— It can be easy to get ahead of yourself on the PGA Tour. If a player takes his foot off the gas for even just a shot, he can be passed by the growing number of young superstars, or the wily veterans clawing to keep their place under the Big Tent. But new FedEx Cup points leader Bryson DeChambeau is remaining focused on the task at hand.
The 24-year-old hasn’t reset his goals following his four-stroke victory at the Northern Trust last week, and he is keeping his attention on his execution.
“For me it always comes down to execution,” DeChambeau said Wednesday. “My favorite thing is to be able to execute a shot with the highest feeling of stability and control. And that's always been my goal. So when I look at it as that, that's all that matters to me. It's not necessarily where I'm in the FedExCup points list, it's more am I executing the shots up to the level I know I can.”
Given his position in the FedEx Cup standings, DeChambeau has a target on his back as players look to position themselves heading into the Tour Championship, but the SMU alum is treating this week’s Dell Technologies Championship just like any other event.
“This is a unique situation for me, I've never been in it before,” DeChambeau said. “It's a great learning experience for me. And I'm going to take it in stride and just play this week as another event and execute every shot to the best of my ability.”
After just missing out on automatically qualifying for the Ryder Cup, DeChambeau now appears to be a lock for a captain’s pick from Jim Furyk. But don’t tell DeChambeau that, as he feels there is more work to be done if he hopes to join the US squad in Paris.
DeChambeau received a congratulatory text from captain Furyk following the victory but nothing more definitive than that. With two wins and eight top-10 finishes this season, DeChambeau has put himself in a great position to be selected, but understands that it is out of his control.
“That's up to [Furyk’s] discretion. It's still one more week,” DeChambeau said. “If I go out and play well, you never know. But same point in time, if I go out and do my job and execute shots and play well and finish well, contend, I think there's a very, very good possibility I'll be picked. But you never know.”
If DeChambeau is selected, one potential pairing could be with Tiger Woods. The two have played several practice rounds together this season and DeChambeau believes they have some chemistry.
“Hopefully I get the pick. But it would be an honor to play with him,” DeChambeau said. “I think we could have some great chemistry out there and hopefully maybe intimidate some people, that would be nice. But nothing is finalized yet. And this week I'm just going to try to play my best so I can get on that team.”
Woods and DeChambeau see the game in very different ways, but Woods said he would be happy to team up with DeChambeau in Paris.
“He and I playing together would be fantastic,” Woods said. “He’s competitive, he’s fiery, he’s got everything you would want to play in a team match. I know we think about the game differently; I’m very much a feel-oriented guy and he’s a numbers guy. But for some reason we get along great and we work. I understand what he’s saying and he understands what I’m saying.”
Woods couldn’t remember the first time he met DeChambeau, but the 42-year-old recalled testing his math knowledge back at the 2016 Ryder Cup and coming away impressed.
“I remember at the Ryder Cup back in 2016 at Hazeltine he was riding in the cart with us for a little bit. We gave him a little test to see how smart he is. [We asked him] ‘With these pairings, what are the odds of us winning if we win this session?’ We gave him half a hole and he came back with the answer. So that’s one of my recollections of Bryson,” Woods said.
While DeChambeau thinks differently than every player on Tour, he appears to have won over one of the best players of all time, which can only mean good things moving forward.