NCAA champion Bryson DeChambeau cruised to victory in the opening round of match play at the U.S. Amateur on Wednesday.
The former Clovis East High star, who’s entering his senior season at SMU after winning the NCAA individual title this past spring, defeated Robby Salomon of Monterey 8 and 6 at Olympia Fields Country Club in Olympia Fields, Ill.
DeChambeau won six consecutive holes – Nos. 5 to 10 – to go 7 up before closing the match with a birdie on No. 12. It was his fifth birdie of the day, with no bogeys.
“I had a great day out there. For some reason, everything was clicking, and I was hitting the ball great,” said DeChambeau, who had twin rounds of 70 while qualifying 23rd in stroke play. “I’m a guy that starts to get comfortable on the golf course over time. I never really play well the first day or even the second day, but lo and behold, the third and fourth day comes around and I start getting used to the golf course, used to my golf swing, what I can and can’t do with my swing, and today it was awesome.
“I hit driver down the middle, irons on the green and made a couple putts. Made it simple today. Never let him have the opportunity to take a hole, which was great.”
Second- and third-round matches are scheduled for Thursday, followed by quarterfinals Friday, semifinals Saturday and the championship Sunday.