When it comes to physical tools, Ryan Brehm has buckets full.
He’s 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds of pure, Midwest power. The kind of guy that answers a question about his swing speed with, “Well, how fast do you want it to be? And I can do that for ya.” (For the record, even at age 35, Brehm games it around 123 mph – with plenty left in the tank – and produced an average ball speed, 183.3 mph, that ranked behind just five players last season on the PGA Tour.)
And don’t even think about crowding the plate when he throws an inside fastball on the pitcher’s mound.
“There is not one other athlete on the PGA Tour as talented as Ryan Brehm,” said Mike Dunphy, player development manager of Srixon/Cleveland Golf, who has known Brehm for nearly two decades. “How many other guys out there can hit it 360 and throw a 91-mph fastball?”
That’s why, in Dunphy’s mind, there’s no player he’d rather have with the ball in his hands facing the type of situation that Brehm was tasked with this week in Puerto Rico.
In this case, though, Brehm needed to hit a home run.
Brehm received his spot in the field at Grand Reserve Golf Club after cashing in the only start from a minor medical extension, which was granted to him after he tested positive for COVID-19 and missed last year’s Zurich Classic, where he was supposed to team with Joel Dahmen. While a solo second would allow Brehm to keep his Tour card and play out of the FedExCup Nos. 126-150 category for the rest of the season, it was essentially win or go home – or, in golf speak, back to the Korn Ferry Tour.
“It sounded like I had a bunch of pressure, but there really wasn’t,” Brehm said. “This was an opportunity for me to swing for the fences and see if we could win.”
Touch ‘em all.
With his wife, Chelsey, on the bag, Brehm cruised to a six-shot win Sunday at the Puerto Rico Open to not only retain his card but lock it up for two more years.
When the last putt fell, the capper on a fourth straight sub-68 round and one-bogey week, Brehm raised both hands in the air, hugged and kissed his wife, and then said, simply, “Wow.”
“I don’t know what to say,” Brehm told Golf Channel on the final green. “We had our head down and just tried to make great golf swing after great golf swing, got a few putts to roll in and I don’t know – I’m a little bit …….