Bryson DeChambeau wins another U.S. Open with a clutch finish to deny Rory McIlroy

PINEHURST, NC — Bryson DeChambeau won the US Open for the second time on Sunday with the best shot of his life for another finish on the 18th hole at Pinehurst No. 2 that won’t be forgotten – and another heavy dose of sadness for Rory McIlroy.

In a wild final hour full of more blunders than brilliance, DeChambeau capped off a week of entertainment by going up and down from 55 yards out of a bunker, making a 4-foot par putt to finish with a 1-over-71.

“That’s Payne there, honey!” DeChambeau screamed as he walked off the 18th green.

Payne Stewart famously made a 15-foot par putt on the final hole in 1999 during the first U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2, beating Phil Mickelson by one stroke. DeChambeau says he was inspired to attend SMU when he saw a mural of Stewart on campus.

The par putt wasn’t as long or as exciting as Stewart’s in 1999. The celebration was certainly part of that. DeChambeau waved his strong arms repeatedly as he shouted into the blue sky, turning in every direction toward a gallery that cheered him on all week.

McIlroy stood in the scoring room, devastated by another close call in a major.

This one will sting. As much as this US Open will be remembered for DeChambeau’s beautiful bunker shot, McIlroy played a huge role in shockingly missing two short putts. the last from just within four feet for par on the last hole. He finished with a 69.

He looked like a winner for so long on Sunday, making four birdies around the turn in a five-hole stretch. He was a model of cool, the opposite of DeChambeau’s exuberance.

McIlroy had a two-shot lead when he walked to the 14th tee. The chants grew louder: “Ror-EE! Ror-EE!” and DeChambeau could hear them.

McIlroy took bogey from behind the 15th green, but he remained one ahead when DeChambeau, playing in the group behind him, had his first three-putt of the week on the 15th when he missed from four feet.

And that’s where this US Open took a devastating turn for McIlroy.

He missed a par putt by 30 inches on the 16th hole to fall back into a tie. On the 18th hole, McIlroy’s tee shot landed behind a wiregrass bush. He hit just off the green and threw beautifully to four feet. And he missed again.

McIlroy watched from the scoring room as DeChambeau escaped a terrible lie to the left of the fairway – a tree in his backswing, a root in front of the golf ball – and hit it into the bunker. He skillfully blasted a shot from the soft sand that rolled over the crisp green to set up the winning putt.

“I still can’t believe that,” DeChambeau said as he watched a replay on the video screen during the trophy presentation. “Probably the best photo of my life.”

McIlroy spun his tires in the gravel as he drove away without comment. Since winning the 2011 US Open at Congressional, he has been in the top 10 seven times without a win. It has been over a hundred years since someone did so well without taking home the trophy.

DeChambeau becomes the second LIV Golf player to win a major, following Brooks Koepka at last year’s PGA Championship.

An image of Stewart’s famous pose was featured on the pin flag on the 18th, and DeChambeau donned a Stewart-inspired flat cap during the trophy presentation, later replacing it with his “Crushers” cap from LIV.

He finished at 6 under 274.

Patrick Cantlay hung in on this matchup all afternoon, failing to get the putts falling at the right time until he missed an 8-foot par putt on the 16th hole, ending his chances. He closed with a 70 and finished in third place with Tony Finau, who matched Sunday’s best with a 67 without ever having a serious chance of winning.

Cantlay would have needed a second place to clinch the fourth American spot at the Olympics. That goes to Collin Morikawa. Corey Conners closed with a 70 to pass Adam Hadwin and claim an Olympic spot for Canada.

DeChambeau earned $4.3 million – more than he will get if he wins an LIV event – ​​from the record $21.5 million purse.

This isn’t the same DeChambeau who set a scoring record for U.S. Opens at Winged Foot in 2020, a quiet win because it was during the COVID-19 pandemic and no fans were allowed.

In the sandhills of North Carolina, he had thousands at his side. He signed autographs during his rounds, interacted with fans and put on a great show.

And when it was over, he looked at the double-decker stands around the 18th and thousands circling the 18th green and invited them into his company.

“I want all of you somehow,” he said, pointing at them in all directions. “I want you to touch this trophy because I want you to experience what this feels like for me. You were part of this journey this week and I want you to be part of it for the after party.

He chose the perfect spot to pose with the trophy – in the bunker near and to the right of the 18th green, smiling and filling the prize with grains of sand.

DeChambeau was not flawless. He hit just five fairways, the fewest in the final round by a US Open champion since Angel Cabrera at Oakmont in 2007. He couldn’t escape trouble on the 12th, leading to a bogey that left him two shots behind.

He followed with a 3-wood to the center of the green on the 316-yard 13th hole, where the tee was moved up, and made birdie to stay in the game. And after his three-putt on the 15th, he didn’t get into trouble the rest of the way until the final hole.

That turned out to be his greatest moment, certainly the most memorable.

“The most impressive thing about Bryson isn’t that he hits the ball far. Everybody knows it,” said Matthieu Pavon, who played with DeChambeau and shot 71 to finish fifth. “I was amazed by the quality of the short game on 18. It is a masterclass.”


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