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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Bryson DeChambeau secures another U.S. Open victory with a decisive finish

On Sunday, DeChambeau clinched his second Open victory, thwarting Rory McIlroy’s bid to end a decade-long major drought.

Bryson DeChambeau secured his second U.S. Open victory in dramatic fashion on Sunday at Pinehurst No. 2, delivering a memorable finish that compounded Rory McIlroy’s heartache.

In a final hour filled with more mishaps than moments of brilliance, DeChambeau sealed his triumph by executing a crucial up-and-down from a bunker 55 yards out on the 18th hole, sinking a nerve-wracking 4-foot par putt to conclude with a 1-over 71 for the round.

“That’s Payne right there, baby!” exclaimed DeChambeau jubilantly as he walked off the 18th green.

The reference was to Payne Stewart, who famously sank a 15-foot par putt on the final hole at Pinehurst No. 2 in 1999, winning the U.S. Open and leaving a lasting impression on DeChambeau, who was inspired to attend SMU after seeing a mural of Stewart on campus. Yet, the day held as much disappointment for McIlroy as it did celebration for DeChambeau.

McIlroy, aiming to end a decade-long major drought, had a two-shot lead when he approached the 14th tee. He maintained a one-shot advantage until a critical lapse saw him miss a mere 30-inch par putt on the 16th hole. Then, on the closing hole, McIlroy’s pitch left him with a manageable putt for par, but he faltered again, missing the 4-foot attempt. Meanwhile, DeChambeau, navigating a difficult lie to the left of the fairway, expertly punched out onto the fairway and executed a flawless long bunker shot that settled close enough for the winning putt.

As McIlroy departed swiftly, visibly disappointed, DeChambeau savored his victory, a testament to his resilience and skill under pressure.

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