DeChambeau Survives Challenging Sunday at Pinehurst to Claim 2nd U.S. Open Title

By David Shefter, USGA

| Jun 16, 2024 | Village of Pinehurst, N.C.

DeChambeau Survives Challenging Sunday at Pinehurst to Claim 2nd U.S. Open Title

Once again, an up-and-down par on the 72nd hole decided a U.S. Open Championship for a former Southern Methodist University golfer at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club’s Course No. 2.

It might not have been an 18-footer by the late Payne Stewart on an uncharacteristically misty 1999 day in the North Carolina Sandhills, but the remarkable sand save by Bryson DeChambeau to win the 124th edition by one stroke in what was the 1,000th USGA championship was every bit as dramatic.

DeChambeau, who carried a three-stroke advantage into Sunday’s final round on a glorious sunny Father’s Day afternoon, survived a wild back nine that saw him lose the lead to four-time major champion Rory McIlroy before executing a perfect bunker shot from 54 yards on the par-4 18th hole to 4 feet. It came some 15 minutes after McIlroy, seeking his first major title in 10 years, lipped out a 4-foot par putt for his third bogey over his final four holes, dropping him one shot behind DeChambeau.

After DeChambeau, whose short game was impeccable the entire week, holed the putt with McIlroy watching from the scoring area, the packed grandstands around the 18th green erupted in one of the loudest roars of the week. It capped off a 1-over-par 71 for a 72-hole total of 6-under 274.

“I'm so happy I got that shot up-and-down on 18,” DeChambeau told the assembled media. “Oh, man, I didn’t want to finish second again. PGA really stung. Xander [Schauffele] played magnificent.

“I wanted to get this one done, especially at such a special place that means so much to me, SMU, my [late] dad (Jon who died in 2022 from diabetes), what Payne meant to him, 1000th USGA championship. Stack them on top. That bunker shot was the shot of my life. I’ll forever be thankful that I’ve got longer wedges so I can hit it farther, get it up there next to the hole.”

The 30-year-old Grapevine, Texas, resident by way of Clovis, Calif., joins a select group of 23 golfers who have won multiple U.S. Open titles, a list that includes Ben Hogan, Bob Jones, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and fellow Mustang Stewart. Like Nicklaus and Woods, he also owns U.S. Amateur and NCAA individual crowns to go along with his National Open victories.

From the time the final pairings teed off shortly after 2 p.m. EDT, Pinehurst No. 2 sounded like a rock concert with deafening roars cheering on the combatants, who also included Patrick Cantlay, Matthieu Pavon and Tony Finau. Finau’s final-round 67 matched the day’s lowest round and earned him a career-best tie for third with Cantlay at 4-under 276. Cantlay, an eight-time PGA Tour winner still seeking a first major title, fired a 70, while Pavon, the 2024 Farmers Insurance Open champion who had never been in a final-round final pairing in a major, posted a 71 for solo fifth at 277.

Bryson DeChambeau became the 23rd player to win multiple U.S. Open titles, joining some of game's legendary figures. (USGA/Jeff Haynes)

Bryson DeChambeau became the 23rd player to win multiple U.S. Open titles, joining some of game's legendary figures. (USGA/Jeff Haynes)

Hideki Matsuyama, the 2021 Masters champion, finished sixth (278) after a final-round 70. Russell Henley and world No. 2 Schauffele tied for seventh at 1-under 279 after shooting 67 and 68, respectively.

Even though the final round began with three players trailing DeChambeau by three strokes, it ultimately came down to a two-man race between McIlroy and DeChambeau, two of the game’s biggest stars.

Unfortunately for the affable Northern Irishman, who carded a second consecutive 69, Pinehurst’s last four holes were the difference between him getting major No. 5 and suffering another Grand Slam heartache. Over the weekend, he played Holes 15-18 in 5 over par, missing two par putts inside 5 feet on Sunday at 16 and 18. Otherwise, he had been 50 for 50 on putts of 5 feet or less for the week. In Saturday’s third round, he bogeyed the two closing par 3s, Nos. 15 and 17, failing to get up and down from greenside bunkers.

McIlroy started off Sunday blistering hot, converting a 21-footer for birdie on the par-4 opening hole. In a five-hole stretch from No. 9, he made three birdies from 15 feet or more, including a 27-footer on the par-5 10th, and got up and down for birdie on the 316-yard 13th hole, holing a 5-footer to reach 8 under par for the championship. That came as DeChambeau bogeyed No. 12 to fall back to 6 under par.

The stars seemed aligned for McIlroy to end his 10 years of major misery. A year ago, he came up a stroke short of Wyndham Clark at The Los Angeles Country Club. At the 150th Open Championship on the Old Course at St. Andrews, he fired a pedestrian 2-under 70 on Sunday as Cameron Smith shot 64 and hoisted the Claret Jug.

Going back to his 2014 triumph in the PGA Championship – a span now covering 37 major championships – McIlroy owns 21 top-10 finishes in majors. Besides his 2023 U.S. Open runner-up, he finished second or tied for second in the 2018 Open Championship and 2022 Masters. He finished no worse than solo eighth in all four majors in 2022.

“At the end of the day we are all human,” said Pavon of McIlroy, who declined media requests. “Rory has been chasing another major [for] many years. He is one of the best players in the world, a true champion. The more you want it, the tougher it gets, and the highest expectation you have for yourself, the tougher it gets. Maybe this is a little bit of pressure that got him today for sure, but Rory is just a massive champion. I’m sure he will fight back and really soon.”

This U.S. Open triumph completes a two-year transformation for DeChambeau. In 2022, he surprised many by departing the PGA Tour for the upstart Saudi-backed LIV Golf circuit. He also bulked up through weight training and diet in an effort to gain more distance, but the transition turned DeChambeau into something of a polarizing figure.

In the past year, he slimmed down and and began endearing himself more to fans. In April, he contended at the Masters, only to finish in a share of sixth, nine strokes behind winner and world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler. A month later, he was simply outdueled by Schauffele, despite shooting 20 under par at Valhalla Golf Club in the PGA Championship.

“I don’t know what to think; it hasn’t fully sunk in yet,” said DeChambeau of his second U.S. Open title. “I just want everybody to enjoy it, as well. As much as it is heartbreaking for some people, it was heartbreak for me at the PGA. I really wanted this one. 

Two missed par putts inside of 5 feet late on Sunday ultimately denied Rory McIlroy a chance to end his 10-year major-less drought. (USGA/Kathryn Riley)

Two missed par putts inside of 5 feet late on Sunday ultimately denied Rory McIlroy a chance to end his 10-year major-less drought. (USGA/Kathryn Riley)

“When I turned the corner and saw I was a couple back, I said, ‘Nope, I'm not going to let that happen.’ I have to focus on figuring out how to make this happen. I was a little lucky. Rory didn’t make a couple putts that he could have coming in. I had an amazing up-and-down on the last. I don't know what else to say. It’s a dream come true.”

From the moment he arrived on property at Pinehurst, DeChambeau interacted with many of the thousands of golf fans who flocked to see the world’s best golfers compete on Donald Ross’ masterpiece. He welcomed the roars and high-fived with spectators as he walked between holes.

Always one of the game’s longest hitters – he led the field in average driving distance at 337.9 yards, just ahead of McIlroy – DeChambeau showcased a dexterity around Ross’ inverted-saucer greens. Even when he had to replace his driver head prior to Sunday’s round, DeChambeau maintained his confidence in his biggest weapon, although he hit only 5 of 14 fairways and 11 of 18 greens.

His up-and-down for par on the par-4 eighth hole was a perfect illustration of that touch. A poor drive led to an approach that sailed over the green. Faced with a 96-foot recovery shot, DeChambeau’s pitch stopped 11 feet from the flagstick, and he let out a yell after converting the par putt.

“What’s most impressive about Bryson is not that he hits the ball far,” said Pavon, who got a front-row seat on Sunday to DeChambeau’s wizardry. “Everybody knows it. I was amazed by the quality of the short game on 18. It’s a master class. Short game on 8, up-and-down on 8, was really, really clutch. He’s a hell of a player. He has no weakness, and he’s a truly great champion.”

DeChambeau had a couple of hiccups on the second nine. A bogey on 12 followed another poor drive and he three-putted 15, missing from 5½ feet. But he also nearly converted birdie putts from 23 and 18 feet, respectively, on Nos. 16 and 17, which could have vaulted him ahead of McIlroy going to the 72nd hole.

A wild hook left on the 449-yard closing hole left him an awkward lie in the native area, but he managed to put his second into a front bunker to set up his magnificent third to 4 feet.

The crowd went crazy and DeChambeau celebrated with caddie Greg Bodine and the rest of his team just off the 18th green before receiving the U.S. Open Trophy from USGA President Fred Perpall.

It was a stark contrast to his 2020 triumph at Winged Foot during the COVID-19 pandemic where no fans were allowed on the property. His post-championship celebration took place via Cisco Web Ex. The roars were internal. This week, DeChambeau truly relished the crowds.

“It's direct conversations with people who truly engage with what I’m doing,” said DeChambeau of his interaction with fans. “Those fans really helped push me out there today. You know me; I don’t play boring golf.”

What the Champion Receives

  • The Jack Nicklaus Medal
  • Custody of the U.S. Open Trophy for one year
  • Exemptions into the next 10 U.S. Open Championships
  • Invitation to the next five Masters Tournaments, and exemptions into the next five PGA Championships and Open Championships, conducted by The R&A
  • First-place check for $4.3 million
  • Name engraved on the 2024 USGA Champions’ plaque that will reside in the Hall of Champions at the USGA Museum in Liberty Corner, N.J.
A closing birdie on No. 18 gave Tony Finau a share of third place with Patrick Cantlay, his best-ever finish in a U.S. Open. (USGA/Jeff Haynes)

A closing birdie on No. 18 gave Tony Finau a share of third place with Patrick Cantlay, his best-ever finish in a U.S. Open. (USGA/Jeff Haynes)


  • Davis Thompson, a member of the victorious 2021 USA Walker Cup Team, was the only qualifier to earn an exemption into the 2025 U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club. The Georgian carded a 68 on Sunday to finish in a tie for ninth at even-par 280. The top 10 and ties are exempt into the following year’s U.S. Open.

  • Neal Shipley, the runner-up in the 2023 U.S. Amateur who just completed his eligibility at Ohio State University, became the first player in five years to earn low-amateur honors in the U.S. Open and Masters Tournament in the same year. He edged Florida State University All-American Luke Clanton by two strokes, posting a 72-hole total of 6-over 286.

  • This was the sixth consecutive U.S. Open that Rory McIlroy entered the final round among the top 7, which is the longest such streak since four-time champion Ben Hogan achieved the feat in eight consecutive starts from 1941-53. The U.S. Open was not contested from 1942-45 due to World War II and Hogan missed the 1949 championship as he recovered from his near-fatal auto accident.

  • Seonghyeon Kim posted a 15-stroke improvement on Sunday with a 2-under-par 68. On Saturday, the Korean shot an 83. His bid for the fifth bogey-free round of the championship ended with a 5 on the par-4 closing hole. On Friday, Sam Bairstow saw a 17-stroke improvement after shooting a 67 following an opening-round 84.

  • Sam Burns produced a bogey-free round on Sunday, the fifth of the championship. The Louisiana native’s 67 moved him into a share of ninth.

  • The USGA moved up the tees on the par-4 13th to 316 yards, making it drivable. Daniel Berger knocked it to 12 feet and converted the eagle putt. On Saturday, Corey Conners eagled No. 3, which had been similarly moved up.

  • World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler had just one birdie-less round in his professional career entering this week’s U.S. Open. He now has three after departing Pinehurst on Sunday with his second of the championship. His 4-over 74 on Friday didn’t include a birdie and neither did his 72 in the final round. The only other time this happened since he turned pro was the final round of the 2022 Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club.

  • Defending champion Wyndham Clark finished at 12-over 292 after posting a final-round 77.


“I was knocked pretty hard down in 2022 for numerous reasons, numerous scenarios, numerous things. I had some great friends and great people around me tell me, ‘Keep going, keep pushing.’ I dug myself out of a pretty deep hole. Golf swing wasn’t doing well. Ball striking was terrible. I had [fellow LIV golfers] Paul Casey, Anirban Lahiri and Charles Howell continuing to push me in the right direction. That was actually a massive help to help get me in the right mind frame from such a low point in my life” – Bryson DeChambeau on his transformation

“I’ve realized that there’s a lot more to life than just golf. Treating others, yourself first and foremost, respecting yourself, is super important to being able to treat others with respect, as well. I’m not perfect. I’m human. Those low moments have helped establish a new mind frame of who I am, what’s expected, what I can do and what I want to do in my life.” – DeChambeau, on his transformation, continued

“I think it’s super nice having an entire country pushing you, trying to give all the energy they can, just positivity for him. It’s great. They were really respectful for me. Even cheering for Bryson, I never had a bad moment with the crowd. I know that was an experience that I will never forget.” – Matthieu Pavon on the pro-American crowd

“It was an awesome day being last off with Bryson, the major champion. That was just a super nice experience. I enjoyed every moment on the golf course. To drop some birdies on my back nine to finish fifth was really nice.” – Pavon

“I enjoyed playing this golf course. I thought it was an extremely fair setup. Obviously extremely difficult, but it’s right there in front of you. You know where you’re supposed to hit it. You know if you hit it in certain spots, it’s going to go off the green and it’s going to go into a collection area. I like that aspect of the golf course.” – Sam Burns after shooting a bogey-free 67 to finish tied for ninth, his best result in 17 major-championship starts

David Shefter is a senior staff writer for the USGA. Email him at dshefter@usga.org.