DUBLIN-Bryson DeChambeau birdied the second extra hole to beat South Korea's An Byeong-hun and capture the biggest title of his career on Sunday at the Memorial.

DeChambeau, 24, thrust his arms skyward in no less than seven double fist-pumps after rolling in his winning 12-foot putt at the 18th hole at Muirfield Village. DeChambeau, An and Kyle Stanley had ended regulation play tied on 15-under par, but only after the two Americans each bogeyed the 72nd hole. Stanley, 30 was eliminated with another bogey on the first playoff hole -- the 18th.

An and DeChambeau returned to the 18th tee for the second playoff hole, with An's second shot coming to rest against a spectator's umbrella. After a free drop he found the green but DeChambeau settled things with his birdie effort, saying his second career US PGA Tour title was even more special coming in the Jack Nicklaus-hosted event. "I can't even describe it. Just to win his event is an honor," said DeChambeau, who carded a final-round 71. "He's the greatest to play. I'm speechless, honestly."

He recalled playing the Memorial two years ago, when his game "wasn't nearly good enough to win". "So it has taken me a couple of years to get to this calibre and I was fortunate enough to come out victorious on Jack's course. "This is most important win of my entire career because it happened here at Jack's course and also it is also kind of validity me being out here on tour, as well."

An, who burst onto the world stage in capturing the 2015 European Tour's BMW PGA Championship, was gracious in defeat. "I couldn't do any better with the third shot at the second extra hole but then Bryson had a good birdie look," said the south Korean, who posted a final-round 69. "I knew he would make the birdie putt and that is why I tried to chip mine in, but then he hit a good putt, so I couldn't do anything."

Tiger Woods' much-anticipated final round charge never materialized as the 14-time major champion struggled with three bogeys coming in. Much of his trouble came on the greens, but he also went out of bounds at 13 en route to an even par 72 for a share of 23rd place on nine-under par. "Well, I had some chances to shoot some good rounds this week," Woods said after his last tuneup before the US Open begins at Shinnecock Hills on June 14. "Overall my game is where it needs to be heading into the US Open and that's something that's very positive," Woods said.

Chilean 19-year-old Joaquin Niemann who went into the final round just one shot off the lead, carded a closing 73 to share sixth place with Justin Rose (79) on 12-under par. The finish was enough for Niemann, playing just his fifth event since turning pro after the Masters in April, to secure special temporary membership status on the US PGA Tour, which allows him unlimited starts for the remainder of the season.

 

Bryson DeChambeau and Jack Nicklaus pose with the trophy following the final round of The Memorial Tournament.–AFP