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For Bryson DeChambeau, golf’s Great Entertainer, a US Open victory for the ages. For Rory McIlroy, a defeat that will leave a thousand scars.

The bunker shot DeChambeau struck so sweetly to within a few feet of the pin on the 72nd hole was one of the best shots in major championship history.

The faltering finish will haunt McIlroy for as long as his painstaking drought continues – and possibly forever.

Unbridled ecstasy and utter heartbreak. This was sport at its finest. The best major championship in recent memory. Pinehurst No.2 delivered everything we could have expected, and a whole lot more.

McIlroy had overhauled DeChambeau’s three-shot deficit into a two shot lead with five holes to play on this barnstorming final day on the sandhills of North Carolina.

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It finally looked like the demons were put to one side. He was five-under for his first 13 holes. The putts were flying in from everywhere. Then came the bogey on 15, the gut-wrenching 2ft 6inch pulled par putt on 16, and another agonising miss on 18.

It looked like McIlroy had renewed hope when DeChambeau found unlikely tree trouble way left on 18 and was then marooned in the sand way short of the green.

But that 50-yard-bunker shot – the one they say is the hardest in golf – was played absolutely magically, leaving just a four-footer for DeChambeau to win it.

He calmly slotted in, celebrating wildly with his new army of adoring fans. A crestfallen McIlroy was back in the scoring room watching all this unfold. The Northern Irishman was seen leaving the property before DeChambeau had even signed his card.

Some will speculate if he will ever truly recover from this damaging collapse. DeChambeau won’t care one bit.

“I can’t believe that up and down on the last, that was probably the best shot of my life,” golf’s new people’s champion said.

“I haven’t really let it sink in yet.”


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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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