Tiger Woods made the game look easy Sunday at TPC Boston, which was ironic given he was walking alongside a player who approaches ball-striking like a study in quantum physics.
Playing alongside brainy Bryson DeChambeau in the third round of the Dell Technologies Championship, Woods made four birdies against one bogey to card a mostly stress-free three-under 68 on the heels of his second-round 66.
He finished the day at seven under, six back of then-leader Abraham Ancer.
Woods is likely too far back to be a serious threat Monday (his opening 72 did him no favors), but he is comfortably within the top 70 in the FedEx Cup standings, meaning he will advance to the third leg of the playoffs, the BMW Championship, next week at Aronimink.
It would not be hard to imagine DeChambeau (fire) and Woods (ice) as partners in the Ryder Cup next month (both are presumptive captain’s picks), and indeed they looked supremely comfortable together in the third round, as they strolled the fairways of TPC Boston, often chatting and smiling.
In the first six holes alone, they combined to make five birdies.
“He and I playing together would be fantastic,” Woods said earlier in the week. “I know that we think about the game completely differently. I’m very much a feel-oriented guy, and he’s very much a numbers guy, but for some reason we get along great and we work.”
If Woods managed the Gil Hanse design Sunday, DeChambeau mauled it, making seven birdies and a closing eagle. He signed for a seven-under 63 to vault him to the top of the leaderboard just a week after his win at The Northern Trust in New Jersey. The highlight of his day came at the par-5 closer, where he knocked his second shot to within two feet to set up a kick-in eagle.
The round marked the first time DeChambeau had played together in a Tour round with Woods, but the 24-year-old showed no signs of nerves playing alongside his childhood idol.
“He’s been an inspiration for me,” DeChambeau said. “To be able to play as well as I did, it’s something I’ll never forget.”
DeChambeau said the energy was electric and the crowds were so loud that “my ears were ringing.”
Just wait until Paris, Bryce.