At Pinehurst No. 2, Bryson DeChambeau emerged victorious from the US Open for the second time, extending Rory Mcllroy’s agonizing ten-year wait for a fifth major championship by at least one more round.

One of just twelve players from the rebel LIV Golf series in the 156-player field, the 30-year-old American frittered away a three-shot overnight lead before mounting a dramatic comeback from two strokes behind. He held his composure in a match of intense psychological competition that left McIlroy regretting a string of unforced errors in the closing minutes.

Over the final three holes, McIlroy missed two easy putts from inside three feet, including one from 26 inches for par on the 72nd, which left DeChambeau with just a four-stroke requirement to win the championship. 

With his win, DeChambeau declared: “I still can’t believe that up-and-down… Probably the best shot of my life.”

In the history of the US Open, he became the fifth player, aged 30 or under, to win the tournament multiple times. He now stands with Jack Nicklaus, Ernie Els, Tiger Woods, and Brooks Koepka as members of these elite athletes. 

Highlights of the game 

Despite early misfortune and several poor breaks, DeChambeau recovered to save pars from drives that found a fairway divot on the first and a bunker on the second. After a bogey on the fourth, his advantage dropped to one, but McIlroy immediately regained the lead when, in the aftermath of what seemed to be a highlight-reel approach wedge shot that trailed all the way down the hill and into the native sandy region, he was fortunate to save bogey.

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The clouds that provided cover from the 90F (32C) temperatures broke by the time McIlroy made a 15-foot birdie putt on the 9th hole, moving him into sole possession of second place at five under and one shot behind DeChambeau’s lead. The leaders continued playing despite the changes in weather conditions. 

On the 10th hole, McIlroy eventually tied the score when DeChambeau curled in his biggest putt of the week from 27 feet for a second consecutive birdie, sending the crowd around the green into a commotion. With a well-placed pitch near following a mishit fairway shot and a birdie putt, DeChambeau surged ahead on the tenth hole, On the 11th green, McIlroy lined up a birdie putt and heard the applause from behind him. However, he missed by inches and was still one stroke behind the leader.

Shortly after DeChambeau made a stunning par save on the 11th hole, McIlroy made another difficult putt to reach seven-under and reclaim the lead on the 12th. Mcllroy struck a shot off the 13th tee that sailed into the pine straw to the right of the fairway. On number 13, DeChambeau came dangerously close to missing an eagle putt while taking his time clearing a drive into the natural area. He then cleared for birdie to go within striking distance of the lead. The leaders were tied at seven under par when McIlroy made a stroke on the 16th hole.

On the 72nd hole, McIlroy chipped and ran to within three feet after hitting a driver into the bushes. After that, he had to make a putt from 26 inches to maintain his lead, but he missed two more during the final three holes, thus giving the title to DeChambeau, who had to make a par from a debatable lie to win it all. DeChambeau hit it four yards from the pin.

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The entire match was thrilling. At the end, DeChambeau remarked: “Rory is one of the best to ever play. Being able to fight against a great like that is pretty special… For him to miss that putt, I’d never wish it on anybody. It just happened to play out that way.”

 

Source: The Guardian

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