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As the inquest to Rory McIlroy’s US Open collapse rumbles on, a former coach of Tiger Woods has weighed in with his own bold claim about his painful Sunday at Pinehurst.

McIlroy will now take “a few weeks away” from golf to process the gut-wrenching finish that saw Bryson DeChambeau pip him to the famous trophy in one of the dramatic major finishes in recent memory.

The Northern Irishman had a two-shot lead with five to play, but made three bogeys in his final four holes and said in a statement on Monday night that he will mostly rue his two short missed putts on 16 and 18.

• Brandel Chamblee names Rory McIlroy’s big problem after US Open collapse

• Rory McIlroy breaks silence after US Open disappearing act

But Hank Haney, who coached 15-time major champion Woods from 2004-2010, has pinpointed McIlroy’s tee shot on the par-3 15th as his undoing.

McIlroy’s 7-iron on the 205-yard hole overshot the green and landed into a sandy area over the back, leaving an almost impossible up-and-down.

And Haney has appeared to blame McIlroy’s caddie Harry Diamond, suggesting Woods’ former looper Steve Williams would have made sure the 35-year-old would have taken a different club.

“I will say this, if Steve Williams was Rory’s caddie I can promise you he would have never hit a perfect flighted 7-iron that rolled over the green on 15 into a terrible lie because he would have hit an 8 iron and sent it straight up in the air and held the green,” Haney wrote on X.

“Wrong club, wrong shot, bad plan,” he added.

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For context, Steve Williams, who served Woods for 13 of his major victories, was also on the bag for Adam Scott when he made four bogeys in his last four holes to lose The Open at Royal Lytham.

But DP World Tour winner Eddie Pepperell agrees with Haney’s sentiment.

“A strong caddie, a Stevie Williams-type figure, I’m adamant would have could have just got hold of Rory on 15 and just pulled him through that finish,” the Englishman said on The Chipping Forecast.

“I just think Rory needs somebody who’s capable, like (former caddie) JP (Fitzgerald) probably used to be able to do and help him get across that line.

“That was an inexplicable club decision on 15 and possibly the last too.”

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Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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