Patrick Cantlay edged out Bryson DeChambeau at the BMW and Rasmus Hojgaard rallied to win at Crans. Steve Rawlings looks back at all the drama here...
"Long odds-on backers got their fingers burnt on Bryson at just 1.021/50 but it’s on the European Tour where we usually witness such carnage week after week and we’ve seen odds-on shots beaten in each of the last six regular events there."
Bryson DeChambeau and Dave Tindall's each-way pick, Patrick Cantlay, went into the final round of the BMW Championship tied for the lead and the two traded blows throughout the final round.
Cantlay, who was generally a 27.026/1 chance on the exchange before the off, made the faster start, birdying four of the first five holes and he was matched at 1.4840/85 before Bryson got back to within a stroke with a birdie at the sixth.
The pair were back tied after Cantlay bogeyed the ninth and Bryson edged ahead after the turn with three birdies in-a-row, but they were level again when Cantlay followed birdies at 11 and 12 with another at 14.
It was a ding-dong affair all day until they reached the 17th when it looked like DeChambeau, who was a well-backed 21.020/1 chance before the off, was about to claim the spoils. Having birdied the par five 16th, Bryson had hit the front, and after a safe tee-shot on the par three 17th, he hit a low of 1.021/50 when Cantlay's tee ball found the water.
With a one-shot lead and Cantlay wet, it looked like a done deal but DeChambeau made a mess of getting up-and-down from the greenside rough for par and Cantlay made an eight footer for bogey after a great shot from the drop zone. Having been matched at a high of 50.049/1, Cantlay went to the 72nd hole trailing by just one.
DeChambeau was still a long odds-on favourite to take the title after hitting his approach on 18 to 14 feet but in true match play fashion, the odds of him making the birdie putt rocketed once Cantlay had drained his from 22 feet to draw level again. Bryson's putt never looked like dropping and, incredibly, we were into extra time.
Bryson looked like winning at the first and second extra holes. Cantlay got up-and-down for par from the rough on the 18th at the first time of asking and DeChambeau missed a birdie putt from six feet on the second occasion they played the hole.
Then, after regulation par threes at 17 (the third extra hole), DeChambeau made a brilliant par at 18 after finding water off the tee. Both men made birdies at the 17th at the fifth extra hole (Bryson from six feet and Cantlay from just two) before the tournament was finally settled at the sixth extra hole when DeChambeau missed his birdie attempt from eight feet after Cantlay had holed his from 17.
Will the Bryson abuse ever stop?
There's no doubt about, Bryson DeChambeau doesn't help himself and whether you believe him to be in the right or in the wrong here, it's fair to say he lost more fans than he gained when he asked Cantlay to stop walking as he prepared to play his shot here yesterday.
Bryson DeChambeau: Patrick, can you stop walking?? The Plugged Lie (@PluggedLiePod) August 29, 2021
Patrick Cantlay: Walks in birdie putt.
Here for it. pic.twitter.com/tWyaLe0cdc
He certainly divides opinion and more dislike him than like him but the abuse he receives on the course from the so-called fans is getting out of hand now.
Kevin Van Valkenburg's excellent piece here goes into detail about the abuse he received yesterday and about how distastefully the DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka's rivalry has developed but it's interesting to see where we go from here.
I felt sorry for DeChambeau yesterday as he really was an unlucky loser yesterday and he badly needs a victory to move on and put some of the abuse behind him.
Rasmus rallies to rack-up the hattrick
Over on the European Tour, 20-year-old Dane, Rasmus Hojgaard, won his third European Tour event as the leaders all struggled on another tough day at Crans.
Frenchman, Antoine Rozner, showed what was possible when he moved up from 56th to 13th with a sensational eight-under-par 62 early on and Henrik Stenson fired a 63 from off the pace to post a respectable target but after steady starts by 54-hole leader, Renato Paratore, and England's Ross McGowan, who had begun the final round tied for third and just one off the lead, it looked like we might see one of the frontrunners land the spoils but it wasn't to be.
Paratore, a pre-event 280.0279/1 chance, was matched at a low of 3.55 after he'd birdied the fifth, and McGowan, who was matched at 1000.0 before the off, hit a low of 2.226/5 after he played the front-nine in four-under, but both lost their way on the back-nine as Austria's Bernd Wiesberger assumed command.
After eagling the par five 14th to go two clear of the field, Wiesberger messed up the par five 15th to make a bogey six but he bounced back brilliantly, recording a birdie two at the tough par three 16th.
Playing ahead of Wiesberger, pre-event 55.054/1 chance, Hojgaard, who only two weeks ago was matched at a low of 1.75/7 before he blew a three-stroke 54-hole lead at the Cazoo Classic, played his last six holes in five-under-par to edge ahead of Stenson but with Wiesberger parring 17 and requiring a par for the win on 18, it still didn't look enough.
Pre-event 27.026/1 chance, Wiesberger, who would have moved into the automatic qualification places for the European Ryder Cup team had he won, was matched at just 1.121/8 in-running but with so much on the line, he made a complete mess of the final hole, finding a bunker off the tee and the water hazard with his second, before eventually recording a double-bogey six to lose by one. It was painful to watch.
It hasn't been a great week but having been away on holiday, I didn't really get too involved, and I didn't trade either event with any sort of determination either.
I probably should have got something out of my in-play pick, Paratore, but after he's birdied five, I thought he'd move further forward with easy holes, six, seven and nine ahead of him. Unfortunately, after taking an iron off the tee on six for safety, he stymied himself behind a tree and bogeyed the hole and he just slid away after that.
Laying the odds-on shots in Europe is the way to go
Long odds-on backers got their fingers burnt on Bryson at just 1.021/50 but it's on the European Tour where we usually witness such carnage week after week and we've seen odds-on shots beaten in each of the last six regular events there.
As already mentioned, last week's winner, Hojgaard, blew a big lead at the Cazoo Open and Wiesberger's wobble came just one week after Tapio Pulkkanen choked at the end of the Czech Masters. The Finn was matched at a low of 1.384/11 before he played the last two holes in three-over-par to lose by two.
In the three events prior to the Cazoo Open we saw Nacho Elvira win a playoff at the Cazzo Classic after trading at 1.011/100 in regulation. Finland's Mikko Korhonen had hit a low of 1.695/7 before not even getting into the playoff there and the man Elvira beat in extra time, Justin Harding, was the odds-on favourite before the playoff began.
Jordan Smith hit a low of 1.51/2 and David Horsey was matched at 1.454/9 before both men blew their chances to win the ISPs Handa Invitational and James Morrison was caught and passed by Grant Forrest at the Hero Open having been matched at 1.341/3.
The standard of the European Tour appears to be sliding and that was demonstrated perfectly with how poorly all the leading contenders performed yesterday.
The top-eight with a round to go played round four in a combined ten-over-par, with none of them bettering one-under-par and of the top-14 before round four, only two players managed to beat that score. Wiesberger shot five-under-par and Marcel Siem -2 but there were some terrible performances in-contention with half of the top-14 shooting over-par rounds.
Laying anyone that goes odds-on during the final round is a strategy to continue to follow.
*You can follow me on Twitter @SteveThePunter