Bryson DeChambeau misses short putt for a 59 at the BMW Championship

Bryson DeChambeau was all set to join an elite class of golfers on Friday afternoon at Caves Valley in Baltimore.

Yet on the 18th green, with a short 6-foot putt left to secure a 59, DeChambeau was just off the mark.

He had to settle for 60.

“I thought I hit it on the line. Just misread it,” DeChambeau told SiriusXM, via Golfweek. “We played it two and a half, three inches out, and it clearly didn’t break that much, but I had good speed on it and I’ll go look afterwards and see if I pulled it or not and work on ways to mitigate that.”

DeChambeau cards career-best 60

Now, it’s hard to complain about his round.

DeChambeau had eight birdies and a pair of eagles on Friday en route to his 60, which gave him the solo lead at the BMW Championship headed into the weekend.

He had an incredible eagle at No. 16, too, which set him up perfectly for the 59 attempt.

Yet even though he was a perfect 16-of-16 from inside 12.5 feet during his round, DeChambeau couldn’t get the last one to fall. It would have made him the 12th golfer in PGA Tour history to break 60.

“A lot of putts went in. A lot of things went right,” DeChambeau told SiriusXM, via Golfweek. “We got a lot of great numbers out of the rough today, and I played my butt off and never thought too much about anything until the last few holes, and I striped a 9-iron on 17, striped a drive, striped a wedge on 18 and just wasn’t able to clutch those putts up.

“But I stroked it pretty well today.”

DeChambeau projected No. 1 in FedExCup

Though the BMW Championship is only halfway through, DeChambeau is now projected to enter East Lake for the Tour Championship next week atop the FedExCup standings.

That’s quite the turnaround for DeChambeau, who has had nothing short of a turbulent past few months.

The 27-year-old has won twice this season, once at the rescheduled U.S. Open and again at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He’s also dealt with a very public feud with Brooks Koepka, split with his longtime caddie, and had to withdraw from the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for COVID-19, among other things.

He’s now appearing to boycott interviews with most media outlets — other than NBC, SiriusXM Radio and Sky Sports on Friday — after making controversial and incorrect comments about the coronavirus vaccine last month. DeChambeau said that he was healthy and didn’t need a vaccine, and that he didn’t want to take one away from someone who needed it more than him — something that isn’t a problem in the U.S. anymore.

But on Friday, none of that seemed to matter to DeChambeau or even the fans at Caves Valley.

“It seemed like everybody was pulling for him,” Harris English said, via Golfweek. “You’d hear the random negative comments, but it was nice to see a bunch of positive energy out there, and he obviously feeds off that.

“It was really cool. Jordan [Spieth] and I were talking about it yesterday. If he keeps driving it the way he is he can shoot whatever he wants to shoot. I haven’t seen him drive it this well since I’ve played with him. I’ve played with him probably 10 or 12 times out here, and he’s driving it incredible.

“He can bring [Caves Valley] to its knees, and he did it today. The way he’s putting, I can see him going out the next two days and scaring 59 again.”

Bryson DeChambeau at the BMW Championship
Bryson DeChambeau nearly posted a 59 on Friday at the BMW Championship. (Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)