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US Open: Bryson DeChambeau wins second major after Rory McIlroy’s horror late collapse

American Bryson DeChambeau won his second US Open title on Sunday, edging Rory McIlroy in a nerve-shredding finale at Pinehurst No. 2 in Pinehurst, North Carolina.

LIV Golf star DeChambeau carded a final round one-over 71 to finish one stroke ahead of his Northern Irish counterpart at six-under overall and add to his first major victory in 2020.

It resigned world No. 3 McIlroy to yet another heartbreaking near-miss as his 10-year wait for a fifth major title continues. The 35-year-old played brilliantly to surge from three shots behind to two ahead of DeChambeau, only to miss two putts from inside four feet across the last two holes.

Left needing to close with par to win, DeChambeau held his nerve to triumph and exorcise the demons of falling one stroke short of the PGA Championship to compatriot Xander Schauffele last month.

With his victory falling on Father’s Day, an emotional DeChambeau began his winner’s speech by dedicating the trophy to his father Jon, who died in 2022.

“First off I want to say a Happy Father’s Day to every father out there,” DeChambeau said.
“This one is for him.”

It makes the 30-year-old the second golfer after last year’s PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka to win a major after departing the PGA Tour for LIV Golf. Cameron Smith and Jon Rahm joined the Saudi-backed circuit after their victories at the 2022 Open Championship and 2023 Masters respectively.

Once maligned by some fans, DeChambeau – whose personal YouTube channel continues to amass subscribers – has become a crowd-favorite at the majors this year and further consolidated that reputation at Pinehurst.

The California-born golfer mixed thrilling play with regular fan interaction throughout, wooing fans one final time by delivering on his victor’s speech promise to let them touch the trophy and ferrying it around the throngs gathered at the 18th green.

“I just can’t thank you guys enough for all the support this week,” he added to the crowd. “You guys have meant the world to me. You are the best fans in the world and I can’t thank you enough.”

The joyous scenes served as a stark contrast to the agony undoubtedly felt by McIlroy, who declined to speak to media after his final round one-under 69.

McIlroy has plugged away at ending his major drought with remarkable consistency since his last triumph at the 2014 Open Championship, finishing inside the top-10 on 20 of his 36 subsequent appearances at the four flagship events, including his last five in a row at the US Open.

He has been a major runner-up three times before, his most recent to Wyndham Clark at last year’s tournament, but the fourth has the potential to haunt him the most given the context.

Three bogeys and a par across his last four holes, compounded by two horror close-range misses, resigned him to a closing 69. Even one stroke better would ultimately have been enough to force DeChambeau into a playoff.

McIlroy had made his previous 496 putts from inside three feet before his miss for par at the 16th, according to the PGA Tour.

The curtain falls on the 2024 men’s major calendar with the 152nd Open Championship at Royal Troon in Scotland on July 18, where American Brian Harman will seek to defend the Claret Jug.