SAN DIEGO – Matthew Wolff leaned forward and tees off the driving range of the Torrey Pines Golf Course. It was Wednesday afternoon. Directly to his left, Bryson DeChambeau reared and whistled an elongated driver. Wolff pulled back and punched you in his direction.
It’s been eight months since Wolff and DeChambeau dueled at Winged Foot at the US Open this fall. This weekend everything felt like a grand opening act. Wolff fired 5 under 65 in the third round, the best result ever in a major at Winged Foot. He had a two-shot lead over DeChambeau and was 18 holes away from becoming the youngest US Open champion since Bobby Jones in 1923. Sunday, well, that didn’t go as planned. A 5 over 75 left Wolff six shots behind DeChambeau, the champion, but Wolff was a 21-year-old on a missile ship. The 2020 US Open felt like an early footnote to something so much bigger.
It turned out to be, but not for the reasons we thought it was.