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Heartbreak for Rory McIlroy as final-hole disaster hands US Open to DeChambeau

RORY McILROY’S Major misery continued as he was left cursing a couple of missed tiddlers that derailed his US Open championship, when he had Bryson DeChambeau on the ropes.

McIlroy had overturned the three shot lead DeChambeau took into the final round with a string of brilliant birdies, and was a shot ahead with three holes to play – when disaster struck.

Rory McIlroy's 10-year wait for a Major continues after crashing to defeat at the US Open


Rory McIlroy’s 10-year wait for a Major continues after crashing to defeat at the US OpenCredit: Getty
The ace was winning with just a few holes left before fluffing his lines


The ace was winning with just a few holes left before fluffing his linesCredit: EPA
Bryson DeChambeau swooped in to take the win


Bryson DeChambeau swooped in to take the winCredit: AP
The American was ecstatic with his win


The American was ecstatic with his winCredit: AP

The Northern Irishman left himself a two and a half footer for par at the 16th, and watched in horror as his ball caught the side of the hole and lipped out.

And it was a similar story at the last, when McIlroy missed a par putt from inside four feet to throw his rival an unexpected lifeline.

It meant DeChambeau only had to par the last two holes to win a tournament he must have thought had slipped out of his grasp – and the big-hitting American was up to the task as McIlroy’s ten year wait for a fifth Major continued.

After playing the first 14 holes in four under par, McIlroy bogeyed three of the last four – a collapse he will find hard to stomach.

No-one could have predicted that drama, as McIlroy made the perfect start, as he pouring in a twenty footer for birdie at the first to trim a shot off the three shot lead DeChambeau took into the final round.

That sent a message to the big-hitting American, who must have heard the roars back on the tee as McIlroy’s putt disappeared into the hole.

And the lead was down to just one when DeChambeau became the first to blink – making a mess of the treacherous fourth hole.

His bogey dropped him to six under, and McIlroy had the chance to join him on that number as he was first to play the par five fifth, the easiest hole on the course.


A 340 yards drive down the middle of the fairway was the ideal start. But he suffered a cruel slice of luck when his second shot from 236 yards out found the green – only to roll back off the false front into an awful spot in the sandy waste.

His chip shot landed in a greenside bunker and he walked away shaking his head as a bogey six dropped him back to two behind.

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McIlroy has not always reacted well to setbacks like that. But this time the response was good.

He conjured up terrific par saves at seven and eight, and then nailed a 15 footer to birdie the short ninth. That meant he started the back nine just one shot adrift, with that elusive fifth Major so close he could smell it.

DeChambeau had made three more birdies than anyone else in the field over the first 54 holes had not had a sniff of one on the front nine. 

He had to change the head on his driver shortly before teeing off, and it showed as he found it difficult to keep the ball on the planet.

As the only other par five at Pinehurst, the tenth offered McIlroy the chance to heap even more pressure on DeChambeau.

But after finding every fairway on the front nine he carved his tee shot into the sandy waste, and his third shot left him more than 26 feet away from the flag –  and he delivered a massive fist pump as he buried the birdie putt! 

DeChambeau coaxed home a five footer to finally open his birdie account on  the same hole to regain the lead.

It had the feel of a Ryder Cup-style match play shoot out, and the 12th hole proved pivotal.

McIlroy drained another birdie putt from outside twenty feet to draw level again, while DeChambeua’s wild drive led to a bogey five – a two shot swing that gave the Northern Irishman the solo lead for the first time.

It was the first time he had been out in  front at a Major since the 15th Open at St Andrews two years ago. He messed that one up with an overly-cautious final round

But this seemed to be a very different Rory, more focused and brimming with confidence – an impression that proved sadly misleading after that dramatic finish.

Rory McIlroy’s career achievements

By Ian Tuckey

Rory McIlroy spent more than 100 weeks at World No1 – and has scooped four Majors and won 40 tournaments in all SO FAR.

Only all-time greats Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods have matched his feat of winning one of the big four by the age of 25.

And after winning the 2011 US Open, the Northern Ireland ace added the PGA Championship the following year – adding the Open and PGA crowns in 2014.

Here’s a rundown on the glittering career of the 35-year-old, five-time Ryder Cup winner, who was also a strong critic of the rival Saudi-backed LIV tour:

  • 2007 – topped the world amateur rankings aged 17.

Turned professional in September.

Became the youngest Affiliate Member in the history of The European Tour to earn a tour card.

  • 2009 – reached the world top 50.
  • 2010 – won his first PGA Tour title via the Quail Hollow Championship.

Made a winning Ryder Cup debut.

Became the youngest player to reach $10m earnings on the PGA Tour.

  • 2011 – Famously blew a four-stroke lead on the final day of the Masters in May.

But won his first major the following month – the US Open.

Named Sports Person of the year by RTE – Ireland’s main broadcaster.

  • 2012 – lifted the PGA Championship.

Named PGA Tour player of the year and picked up more Ryder Cup glory.

  • 2013 – signed a huge sponsorship deal with Nike.
  • 2014 – his best year to date, majors wise.

Won the Open at Royal Liverpool.

Then clinched back-to-back PGA crowns, beating Phil Mickelson by one stroke.

Named RTE Sports Person of the year for a second time.

Again helped Europe win the Ryder Cup.

  • 2016 – Ended the season winning the Tour championship, putting him top of the FedEx Cup and landing him the $10m bonus pool.

Suffered Ryder Cup defeat.

  • 2017 – failed to win all year.

But gained top 10 finishes at the Masters, The Open and 3 WGC events.

And with Nike largely withdrawing from the golf market, he landed an £80m endorsement deal with TaylorMade.

  • 2018 – More Ryder Cup joy.
  • 2020 Overtook Brooks Koepka to become World No1
  • 2021 – A Ryder Cup loser.
  • 2022 – runners-up at the Masters and finished third at the Open.
  • 2023 – helped Europe thrash the USA 16.5-11.5 in the Ryder Cup.
  • 2024 – struggled early in the season, finishing just joint-22nd in the Masters.

But then won two tournaments – the Zurich Classic for his 25th PGA title and the Wells Fargo Championship.

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