DeChambeau: U.S. Open success 'the highlight of my life'

By Sports Desk June 17, 2024

Bryson DeChambeau described his second U.S. Open triumph as the highlight of his life after edging out Rory McIlroy in a dramatic finish to Sunday's final round at Pinehurst.

DeChambeau, who won the 2020 edition of the event in Mamaroneck, went into the fourth and final round with a three-shot lead over McIlroy, Patrick Cantlay and Matthieu Pavon.

As Pavon carded a one-over 70 and Cantlay shot par on Sunday, it came down to a thrilling head-to-head battle between DeChambeau and McIlroy.

McIlroy moved two shots clear by sinking a terrific 27-foot putt on the 13th, managing four birdies in his first 14 holes, but he inexplicably missed two putts to save par from inside four feet on the closing stretch, putting DeChambeau in pole position.

The American looked to be in trouble when he missed the green with his second shot on the par-four last, but a stunning pitch from the sand teed him up for a four-foot putt to seal the title.

"I felt like I was hitting the driver the way I wanted today," DeChambeau said during the trophy presentation. 

"I just kept staying the course, focused on trying as many fairways as I could."

Reflecting on the final hole, he said: "I got myself out of trouble really well but I can't believe that up and down, it was probably the best shot of my life.

"I was just trying to land it pretty much where I landed it. I knew that was huge to get up and down to win this huge prestigious championship. It's the highlight of my life."

McIlroy will now be left to rue those missed putts as he failed to end his 10-year major drought, finishing one shot behind the champion for a second straight edition of the U.S. Open.

The open nature of the course at Pinehurst No. 2 allowed DeChambeau a clear view of McIlroy's play down the final straight, and he says their battle made his win more enjoyable. 

"I even saw on 10 where he made birdie," DeChambeau said. "I'm like, 'oh, man, he's gunning, he's going for it'. I had to put my foot on the pedal and push down pretty hard.

"I could hear 'Rory, Rory' chants. That was fun because it gave me the knowledge of what I had to do. There was also a lot of, 'go USA, go Europe'. It was a fun battle between us."

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