5 Things we Learnt From Bryson DeChambeau U.S. Open Victory

In this recent era of golf where the game has become so divided, finding a common ground can be difficult. However, that hasn’t been the case upon the conclusion of the U.S Open. Lauded as one of the best majors in recent history, Bryson DeChambeau produced one of the best shots of his life to claim his second U.S Open by one shot from a beleaguered Rory McIlroy whose wait for a fifth major goes on. 

With so many talking points, here are our key five takeaways from the 2024 U.S Open.

1. Bryson DeChambeau Continues Fantastic Year With Memorable Victory 

Although Bryson DeChambeau hasn’t been pulling up trees on the LIV Tour, when it has come to the first three majors of the season he has been far the most consistent player.

A top ten finish in the Masters was backed up with a fine second at the PGA Championship.

Viewed as a leading contender heading into the U.S Open, DeChambeau took control of the tournament in the third round and would keep himself together to hold off a surging Rory McIlroy in the fourth round. 

Despite still being able to pound the ball off the tee, where DeChambeau has shone is on and around the greens. Showing a deft silky touch, DeChambeau secured his second U.S Open thanks to one of the best bunker shots we have ever seen.

Needing to get up and down to secure the title, DeChambeau faced a 55 yard bunker shot but was able to splash the ball out to just a few feet of the hole. He would go on to make no mistake with the putt. 

Once viewed as a divisive character in the game, DeChambeau has become hugely popular thanks to his extensive social media work and he has huge swathes of support as he tried to close out his victory. 

Having now secured his place on the major scene for the next five years, few would bet against DeChambeau getting his hands on more major titles over the next few years.

2. The Wait Goes on For Rory McIlroy

Despite being one of the most talented players we have ever seen, it is now over ten years since Rory McIlroy last tasted major success.

In that period he has suffered several near misses, but it will be this tournament that will continue to haunt him.

Starting the fourth round three behind, by the time he stood on the 14th tee he led by two and the long wait seemed to be over.

With DeChambeau clawing back a stroke, McIlroy was set to move to the 17th with a lead, but to his horror he missed a putt from inside two feet to surrender his advantage. 

Tied at the top as he headed down 18, McIlroy would miss the fairway and would stab his second just shy of the green. Producing a wonderful chip, he left himself three feet to ensure that DeChambeau would need at least a par on the last hole to take the tournament into a playoff. 

Faced with a tricky left to right putt from three feet, McIlroy set the ball outside the hole and would agonisingly see the ball dive to the right and narrowly miss the target. 

Leaving the door open to DeChambeau, the American would make no mistake ensuring that the wait for McIlroy would go on.

McIlroy has bounced back from near misses before, but the nature of those two missed putts will stay with McIlroy for a long time. Whilst no one will ever dispute his talent, he will need to be at his best mentally if he is to ever get back into the major winners circle. 

The Wait Goes on For Rory McIlroy

3. Pinehurst Earns Plaudits For Its Tough Setup

After Valhalla was picked apart by the world’s best at the 2024 PGA Championship, the organisers at the U.S Open were keen to ensure that Pinehurst was set up to be difficult.

With waste areas at either side of the fairways, any time the ball strayed off the short grass, players were left with an agonising walk to discover their fate. 

Where the course came alive was on the greens. With run offs on every green, any approach that was just a foot off target would suffer a cruel fate with the ball trundling back down to the fairway.

So often we see players simply bludgeon their way around the course, but Pinehurst was different. Every shot needed thinking, disaster was just a shot away and there was a sense of jeopardy and danger at every turn.

Just eight players from the starting field of 156 would finish under par with many feeling that the course at times trod a fine line between being tough and unfair. 

Whilst a test like we just witnessed wouldn’t make for great viewing week in and week out, the majors are meant to be difficult and stand above the rest. 

The course created the drama, it felt fit to host a tournament of this magnitude and there are high hopes that Pinehurst will set the benchmark for future major courses to follow. 

4. A Surprise Set Back For Scottie Scheffler 

Heading into this week Scottie Scheffler was the outright favourite for victory. Having won five times on the PGA Tour this season including victories at the Masters and Memorial Tournament, many felt that if Scheffler bought his A game nobody would come close. 

However with the real tests coming on the green, Pinehurst was the one challenge that didn’t suit his strengths. Usually immaculate when approaching the green, Scheffler’s radar was slightly off this week and he couldn’t save himself with the flat stick. 

In real danger of missing the cut for the very first time since 2022, Scheffler managed to scrape through to the weekend on the number but with players unable to chase on a setup as tough as Pinehurst, Scheffler’s race was run after 36 holes. 

Having to settle for a +8 finish and a finish well down the field, Scheffler has too much class to let this week distract him and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him bounce back at next month’s Open.

A Surprise Set Back For Scottie Scheffler

5. Several Big Names Will be Looking to End The Season Strongly After Poor U.S Open                  Showing 

With three majors now in the bank, there are several big players who will be looking to end their season strongly after a poor showing at Pinehurst.

Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Max Homa, Tommy Fleetwood, Rickie Fowler, Sam Burns, Collin Morikawa and Tiger Woods all felt the force of Pinehurst and would have been disappointed not to have been in the final shakeup come Sunday. 

With just one more major up for grabs this season, there will be high hopes for all of these players that they can end their season strongly with a good performance at Royal Troon.