DeChambeau edges McIlroy to win 2nd U.S. Open

Golf

PINEHURST, N.C. — LIV Golf League captain Bryson DeChambeau is a U.S. Open champion again.

Meanwhile, PGA Tour star Rory McIlroy‘s nearly 10-year drought without a major championship victory will go on, after he endured the most painful of all his near-misses in the final round of the 124th U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 on Sunday.

After McIlroy missed a short par putt for the second time in the final three holes on No. 18, DeChambeau hit a difficult second shot out of the native grass — and near a tree root — across the fairway into a bunker. From 55 yards away, he chipped to about 4 feet and sunk a par putt to finish 6 under, 1 shot better than McIlroy.

“I can’t believe that up and down on the last. Probably the best shot of my life,” DeChambeau said.

With DeChambeau and McIlroy tied at 6 under — and McIlroy playing in the group in front of the final one — both players pulled their tee shots into the unpredictable native area near the grandstand on the left of the fairway on No. 18.

McIlroy’s ball came to rest behind a large clump of wiregrass about 123 yards from the hole. His only option was to blast the ball through the grass and up the fairway. His approach stopped just short of the green. He chipped to 4 feet and missed the par putt. He made a short bogey putt and could only watch DeChambeau finish.

DeChambeau, the 2020 U.S. Open champion at Winged Foot Golf Club in New York, started the final round with a 3-stroke lead. He briefly lost the lead to McIlroy on the back nine before pulling it out in the end.

DeChambeau carded a 1-over 71 in the final round. He is the first U.S. Open champion to record a round over par in the final round since Lucas Glover in 2009.

McIlroy posted a 1-under 69 and finished runner-up in a major for the fourth time in his career.

Tony Finau (3-under 67) and Patrick Cantlay (even-par 70) tied for third at 4 under. Matthieu Pavon, who was attempting to become the first golfer from France to win the U.S. Open, was fifth after posting a 1-over 71 on Sunday.

The first U.S. Open played at Pinehurst No. 2 in a decade will be remembered as much for McIlroy’s collapse as DeChambeau’s victory. McIlroy was trying to win his first major championship since the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky.

After finally wrestling the lead from DeChambeau with birdies on Nos. 9, 10, 12 and 13 to become the first golfer to get to 8 under, McIlroy had one of the most forgettable finishes of any final-round leader in a major.

McIlroy carded bogeys on Nos. 15, 16 and 18 to fall back to 5 under. On the par-3 15th, he blasted his tee shot over the green and couldn’t get up and down for par.

After DeChambeau missed a 4-foot par putt on No. 15 to give McIlroy a 1-shot lead, McIlroy inexplicably hit a 2 ½-footer for par on No. 16 too hard and it lipped out. He hadn’t missed a putt inside 3 feet all season.

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