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For Rory McIlroy, the 2024 US Open is the 2011 Masters all over again

For Rory McIlroy, the 2024 US Open is the 2011 Masters all over again

With five holes to go, it seemed as if the drought was going to end.

Rory McIlroy had birdied four of his last five holes riding a hot putter at the 2024 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2. With five holes to go, he had a two-shot lead on Bryson DeChambeau, who came into the final round with a three-shot lead.

That’s when it all went south.

McIlroy’s putter went cold. Bogeys started adding up. He went backward. DeChambeau stood tough.

DeChambeau won his second U.S. Open title Sunday, finishing at 6 under to beat McIlroy by one shot. On the final hole, DeChambeau hit his drive left, pitched out into trouble and had a 54-yard bunker shot for his third shot, needing to get up-and-down for the win. He blasted close to secure the title, a gritty performance on a day he didn’t have his best stuff, especially off the tee.

However, for as much as DeChambeau won the 2024 U.S. Open, McIlroy lost it. For him, it was the 2011 Masters all over again.

The then 21-year-old star started the day with a four-shot lead at Augusta National. At the turn, the lead was one. On the 11th tee following a triple bogey, he was in seventh. A bogey and a double on the ensuing holes, he was out of the tournament, eventually finishing 10 shots behind winner Charl Schwartzel.

At the time, a young McIlroy was inexperienced in the majors, and once the slide began, there was no stopping it. But that was 13 years ago.

Sunday at Pinehurst was supposed to be different. It wasn’t.

As DeChambeau rose to the occasion down the stretch, McIlroy wilted. He scrambled for par after a pulled tee shot on the par-4 14th. On the 15th, he made his third bogey in as many days when his approach bounced long and he had to just hack to get the ball on the green.

Then on the 16th, he missed his first putt all year from inside 3 feet, lipping out from 2 feet, 6 inches. He hit his approach on the par-5 17th into a bunker but got up and down (for only the third time in nine tries from the sand all week) for par.

On 18 his pulled tee shot landed in the native area, just short of a clump of wire grass. He tried to blast the ball through the shrubbery, but his approach didn’t reach the green. Still, he had a chance to get up and down.

After a solid chip, his par putt was 3 feet, 9 inches long. And he missed again. Three bogeys in his final four…


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