A Classic Final Round Battle in the U. S. Open Golf Championship

Bryson DeChambeau prevails in an outstanding duel with Rory McIlroy

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Pinehurst Resort & Country Club (Course No. 2), Village of Pinehurst, NC — June 16, 2024

No one from the early groups teeing off Sunday in the final round of the 124th U.S. Open could manufacture a charge up the leaderboard. It appeared the top four players, the last two groups that came to the first tee at 2:10 and 2:21 pm, would have 18 holes to settle the tournament amongst themselves.

Playing with Patrick Cantlay, Rory McIlroy fired the first salvo with a birdie on hole number one to go five under and cut Bryson DeChambeau’s lead to two strokes. Matthieu Pavon, playing with DeChambeau, bogeyed the first hole to drop a stroke and go four down to his playing partner.

Pavon birdied the third to get the stroke back. The par four fourth proved a huge challenge. McIlroy was the only one of the four leaders to avoid a bogey. He missed the green, chipped past the hole, and had a knee-knocker for par that he coaxed into the hole.

On the par-five fifth, the bogey shooters from the previous hole all made par. McIlroy hit the green and looked like an eagle putt might be forthcoming. His ball failed to reach the top shelf by mere feet. The ball rolled off the green, and instead of settling in the green side bunker like so many shots this week, Rory watched it miss the bunker and settle in the waste area that Pinehurst is famous for.

McIlroy’s third shot was a miss-hit. It never made it to the green. The ball rolled around the rim of the bunker and entered the backside of the sand trap. His fourth settled far past the cup, and two putts made it a bogey.

That one hole could be symbolic of the challenges the professionals have faced the week.

Closing Out the Front Nine

Cantlay birdied the seventh hole to pull within two strokes of the lead. McIlroy birdied the ninth to cut DeChambeau’s advantage to a single-stroke. DeChambeau was now in full scramble mode, trying to rebuild his lead. However, the long-hitter could not find the magic tee-to-green.

To his credit, DeChambeau made a long par putt on hole number eight to retain his advantage. Thru nine, the top of the leaderboard looked like this.

Dechambeau -6:     McIlroy -5:      Cantlay -4:     Finau -2:     Pavon -2:

The Par 5 Hole Number 10

As Rory McIlroy and Patrick Cantlay stood on the 10th green sizing up birdie putts, Bryson DeChambeau stood 255 yards out in the right waste area. Both birdie putts dropped, bringing Rory into a tie for the lead and Patrick to a single stroke behind.

Bryson’s second shot landed short of the left side green bunker. A precise pitch over the bunker stopped a mere five feet from the pin. He sank the putt to regain his lead interval. DeChambeau even stopped to greet and sign the cap of a young man in a wheelchair sitting in the walkway to the 11th tee.

McIlroy and Cantlay missed birdie putts on 11. DeChambeau missed the green hole high into the left bunker from the right waste area. Then calmly dropped an eight-footer for his par.

On the 12th. Cantlay missed the green, chipped close, and missed the putt for par. McIlroy rolled in a 25-foot putt for birdie to climb back into a tie for the lead. DeChambeau missed his fourth fairway in a row, blasting away with his driver. With a terrible lie out of the waste area, he was forced to chip out with his second shot. His pitch to the green was 25 feet short of the hole. DeChambeau missed the putt and lost the lead. Tapping in for a bogey.

The 13th hole at Pinehurst No. 2 is a short par four. BothMcIlroy and Cantlay pulled out drivers to try and give them a shot at an eagle or at least a birdie. Rory flew to the back of the green, bounced down the hill, and hit a brick wall at the front of the spectator grandstand. The ball ricocheted back towards the green at the bottom of a slope. Both players chipped close and made birdie putts. It put Rory two strokes up. DeChambeau flew his drive onto the green for a shot at an eagle, came up four inches short, and tapped in for a birdie to climb back to within a stroke of the lead.

Rory hit his drive into the gallery to the left of the fairway at 14. His lie was not bad, as the fans had flattened the pine needles by standing in the area where McIlroy’s ball landed. He missed the green pin high in a swale to the left of the putting surface. A chip to six feet allowed him to save par. Cantlay had a long birdie putt after hitting the green in regulation. two putts gave him a par. DeChambeau was back in the right waste area off the tee.

The 15th is a par three with a slightly elevated green that is domed. Any shot not in the small landing area will roll off the putting surface. Rory hit the back of the green, his ball charged down the slope and came to rest in the waste area resting against some wire grass. It will be impossible to get the face of the club on the ball to make clean contact. A chip and two putts resulted in a bogey. Another tie for the lead. Cantlay hit the green and had a makeable birdie putt but missed. DeChambeau landed past the hole but stayed on the top of the bubble. His 25-foot birdie putt rolled four feet past the cup. The man is certainly not timid. But, instead of ramming it home, the par putt lipped out, and McIlroy held the top spot alone again.

On to the 16th. McIlroy and Cantlay drove the middle of the fairway on the 540-yard par four. Cantlay could not reach the green, chipped past the hole, and two-putted for a bogey. Likely eliminating him from a shot at the win. Rory hit the green and rolled his birdie putt a couple of feet past the hole. His par putt rolled around the left edge, looked into the hole, and spun out for his first miss inside five feet all week. The pressure of a U.S. Open. DeChambeau drove down the left side of the fairway, hit the waste area, bounced, and rolled forward back into the fairway. His short iron found the center of the green. The birdie slid by the left edge of the hole. Still tied.

As the drama played out on 16, Tony Finau birdied the 18th to establish himself as the leader in the clubhouse at four under.

The Par Three 17th and Par Four 18th

Rory landed his shot in the left bunker on the par three 17th. Blasted out four feet from the hole and sank the putt for par. DeChambeau hit the dead center of the green and rolled to within 18 feet of the pin. His birdie putt stopped two inches from the lip of the cup.

On the 18th, Rory watched Bryson’s shot on 17, then drove into the waste area on the left side of the fairway. His lie allowed him to get the face of the club on the ball. However, wire grass impeded the ball from moving forward. His iron shot cut through the difficult growth but failed to make the green. His chip stopped four feet from the hole. The par putt broke hard right across the face of the cup and slid by on the right side of the hole. Dechambeau drove left into the gallery with a terrible sandy lie. He had to contend with a root, inches from the left side of his ball, and a tree interfering with his backswing. His second shot landed in the front bunker. Bryson needed an incredible up and down to win the tournament. The sand shot settled four feet from the cup, the putt went in.

As DeChambeau celebrated, he ripped off his cap, shook his arms in the air, and showed the Payne Stewart pin attached to the headband on the back of his hat to the camera.

The USGA honored Payne Stewart on Sunday, placing the hole on 18 in the exact location it sat when Stewart won there in 1999. The flag on the pin featured a silhouette of Stewart with his fist-pump pose after the final putt in that tournament.

Final Results of the 2024 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2

POS PLAYER TO PAR R1 R2 R3 R4 TOTAL
1 Bryson DeChambeau -6 67* 69 67 71 274
2 Rory McIlroy -5 65 72* 69 69 275
T3 Tony Finau -4 68* 69 72 67 276
T3 Patrick Cantlay -4 65* 71 70 70 276
5 Matthieu Pavon -3 67 70* 69 71 277
6 Hideki Matsuyama -2 72 66* 70 70 278
T7 Xander Schauffele -1 70 69* 72 68 279
T7 Russell Henley -1 70* 70 72 67 279
T9 Davis Thompson E 70* 72 70 68 280
T9 Corey Conners E 69 70* 71 70 280
T9 Sam Burns E 73* 67 73 67 280
T12 Ludvig Aberg 1 66* 69 73 73 281
T12 Sergio Garcia 1 69 71* 71 70 281
T14 Thomas Detry 2 69 67* 76 70 282
T14 Collin Morikawa 2 70 74* 66 72 282
T16 Tommy Fleetwood 3 70* 75 70 68 283
T16 Akshay Bhatia 3 68 71* 73 71 283
T16 Taylor Pendrith 3 71 70* 70 72 283
T19 Aaron Rai 4 69* 74 68 73 284
T19 Shane Lowry 4 74 71* 70 69 284
T21 Stephan Jaeger 5 70 70* 73 72 285
T21 Max Greyserman 5 71 74* 72 68 285
T21 Daniel Berger 5 73* 70 73 69 285
T21 Min Woo Lee 5 73 69* 72 71 285
T21 Brian Harman 5 71 71* 71 72 285
T26 Brooks Koepka 6 70 75* 71 70 286
T26 Tyrrell Hatton 6 68* 71 70 77 286
T26 Zac Blair 6 70* 69 75 72 286
T26 Chris Kirk 6 71* 71 72 72 286
T26 Neal Shipley(a) 6 70 73* 71 72 286
T26 Tom Kim 6 71 68* 71 76 286
T32 Si Woo Kim 7 71 72* 74 70 287
T32 J.T. Poston 7 73* 71 71 72 287
T32 Adam Scott 7 70* 72 76 69 287
T32 Keegan Bradley 7 74 70* 72 71 287
T32 Cameron Smith 7 71* 72 72 72 287
T32 Christiaan Bezuidenhout 7 72 71* 72 72 287
T32 Denny McCarthy 7 75* 67 72 73 287
T32 Sahith Theegala 7 77 68* 72 70 287
T32 Isaiah Salinda 7 70 72* 73 72 287
T41 Frankie Capan 8 71* 70 76 71 288
T41 Jordan Spieth 8 72 71* 74 71 288
T41 Tom McKibbin 8 74* 71 71 72 288
T41 Luke Clanton(a) 8 76* 69 69 74 288
T41 Billy Horschel 8 73* 67 74 74 288
T41 Scottie Scheffler 8 71 74* 71 72 288
T41 Tim Widing 8 71* 68 76 73 288
T41 Harris English 8 70 73* 74 71 288
T41 Emiliano Grillo 8 70 72* 73 73 288
T50 Justin Lower 9 72* 73 74 70 289
T50 Nicolai Hojgaard 9 72 69* 74 74 289
T50 Mark Hubbard 9 74* 69 70 76 289
T50 Matt Kuchar 9 72* 71 75 71 289
54 Nico Echavarria 10 72 69* 78 71 290
55 David Puig 11 76* 68 69 78 291
T56 Sepp Straka 12 70* 72 78 72 292
T56 Ryan Fox 12 73* 72 76 71 292
T56 S.H Kim 12 69* 72 83 68 292
T56 Wyndham Clark 12 73 71* 71 77 292
T56 Greyson Sigg 12 76* 69 75 72 292
T56 Brian Campbell 12 73 70* 75 74 292
T56 Adam Svensson 12 73* 70 74 75 292
T56 Ben Kohles 12 77* 68 76 71 292
T64 Martin Kaymer 13 70 73* 77 73 293
T64 Francesco Molinari 13 73 72* 77 71 293
T64 Matt Fitzpatrick 13 73* 72 79 69 293
T67 Cameron Young 14 73* 72 75 74 294
T67 Brendon Todd 14 74 71* 74 75 294
69 Dean Burmester 15 74* 71 76 74 295
T70 Brandon Wu 16 74* 71 78 73 296
T70 Gunnar Broin(a) 16 75 68* 81 72 296
72 Samuel Bennett 17 69* 72 77 79 297
73 Jackson Suber 18 69 73* 81 75 298
74 Austin Eckroat 20 72* 72 78 78 300