Bryson DeChambeau continued his breakthrough 2018 campaign by winning the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas, giving him his fourth win in his past 12 starts on the PGA Tour.

Bryson DeChambeau Vegas win
Bryson DeChambeau won the 2018 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas, moving him up to fifth in the world golf rankings. (Image: Getty)

The one-shot victory moved DeChambeau up to fifth place in the Official World Golf Ranking, an impressive rise for a player who ended 2017 ranked 99th in the world.

Dramatic Eagle Putt Gives DeChambeau the Lead

After falling one shot behind Patrick Cantlay, DeChambeau drained a 60-foot eagle putt on the 16th hole to take the lead. A bogey by Cantlay extended DeChambeaus lead, allowing him to survive a wild back nine and win his first tournament of what is officially the 2019 PGA Tour season.

The win was the fifth of the Americans PGA Tour career, with all of those titles coming in the last 18 months.

I was able to play some great golf, DeChambeau told reporters. Im happy to get it done.

DeChambeau came to the attention of even casual golf fans during this years FedEx Cup Playoffs, when the 25-year-old went on a tear, winning two consecutive events. DeChambeau has been inactive since the end of the previous season, with the Vegas event being his only planned start during the fall.

I thought I had it in me, but I didnt know if I could do it, he said after his win. Last year I saw signs of something great. I didnt know where it would lead me. But I think it led me in the right direction.

Cantlay was bidding to become the first person to win back-to-back titles in Las Vegas since Jim Furyk did so in 1998 and 1999. Birdies on the 15th and 16th holes appeared to have him in position to pull off the feat, but his tee shot on 17 slipped into the bunker. It still looked like Cantlay should be able to save par, but he was unable to find his footing on his next shot.

When I dug my left foot in, it didnt have a bunch of sand, and then obviously when I hit my shot there was more sand under the ball and didnt anticipate that, Cantlay told reporters. It was a tricky one and I hit a poor shot.

Mad Scientist Ready for New Flagstick Rules

DeChambeau has become known as the mad scientist of the golf world, due to his analytical approach to the game that is deeply rooted in math and physics. Its not an approach that would work for just anyone, but it has taken him to the top of the golfing world, so theres no reason to think hell be changing his tactics anytime soon.

A PGA Tour rule change has given him yet another chance to use his scientific approach in an attempt to gain an advantage. DeChambeau told last week that he plans to leave the flagstick in while putting in almost all cases next year, something that will be permissible starting on Jan. 1. Predictably, though, DeChambeau will decide whether to use the flagstick or not based on a number of factors.

It depends on the COR the coefficient of restitution of the flagstick, he said. In US Opens, Ill take it out. And every other tour event, when its fiberglass, Ill leave it in and bounce against the flagstick if I need to.