Byron DeChambeau didn’t feel any differently at Hilton Head as the previous 12 professional events he played, even with the $259,600 he earned in his pro debut.
The NCAA and U.S. Amateur champion has been preparing for this moment. The RBC Heritage was his eighth tournament dating to a runner-up finish in the Australian Masters last year. The ex-Clovis East High and Southern Methodist star has yet to miss the cut during that stretch, so going from a tie for 21st in the Masters to a tie for fourth at the RBC Heritage was simply progress.
The whole reason we had this internship, per se, is so that I could feel comfortable through the transition.
Bryson DeChambeau, the former Clovis East High star on playing as an amateur in a number of professional tournaments ahead of actually turning pro
“The whole reason we had this internship, per se, is so that I could feel comfortable through the transition,” DeChambeau said. “And I think we’ve done that beautifully.
“It was nice to finish it off pretty well here and get a top-10 finish.”
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DeChambeau gets seven sponsor exemptions to earn the equivalent of 150th on the FedEx Cup last year (361 points). That would earn him special temporary membership and unlimited exemptions. He would need to finish equal to the top 125 this year to earn a full card for next season.
He would have earned 122.5 points from Hilton Head, putting him one-third of the way toward unlimited exemptions. Plus, his top 10 meant he doesn’t have to use one at the Valero Texas Open this week.
VALERO TEXAS OPEN
- Thursday-Sunday: At 7,522-yard, par-72 PC San Antonio (AT&T Oaks) in San Antonio
- Purse: $6.2 million (First prize: $1.16 million).
- Television: Golf Channel (Thursday-Friday, noon to 3 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m. 11:30 a.m.), KGPE-47.1 (Saturday-Sunday, noon to 3 p.m.)
- Defending champion: Jimmy Walker.
- Last week: Branden Grace of South Africa won his first PGA Tour event at the RBC Heritage.
- Notes: Dallas native Jordan Spieth is missing his first Texas event since he turned pro at the end of 2012. Spieth was runner-up to Jimmy Walker last year when the Texas Open was held two weeks before the Masters. … Oklahoma freshman Brad Dalke is making his PGA Tour debut. … Patrick Reed at No. 13 is the highest-ranked player in the field. … Phil Mickelson decided last week to play the Texas Open for the third time. Matt Kuchar and Ernie Els decided late to play. … Ex-Clovis East High star Bryson DeChambeau was able to save a sponsor’s exemption by tying for fourth in Hilton Head last week. His exemption for the Valero Texas Open went to former University of Houston player Curtis Reed.