DeChambeau excited for more McIlroy battles following U.S. Open glory

By Sports Desk June 17, 2024

Bryson DeChambeau is looking forward to more final-round battles with Rory McIlroy following his second U.S. Open triumph at Pinehurst on Sunday. 

DeChambeau headed into the final round in North Carolina with a three-shot lead over the field, but soon found himself two behind the Northern Irishman three holes into the back nine. 

A birdie at the 13th regained the American's composure, with McIlroy making bogey in three of the last four holes, including an agonising miss on18 to hand DeChambeau the victory. 

The fifth major title continues to elude McIlroy, last winning at the 2014 PGA Championship, but DeChambeau labelled the world number two as one of the best to play the game and is excited for future tussles on the golf course. 

"Rory is one of the best to ever play," DeChambeau said. "Being able to fight against a great like that is pretty special. I'd love to have a lot more battles with him.

"I have nothing but respect for how he plays the game of golf... to be honest, when he was climbing up the leaderboard, I was like, 'Uh-oh', but luckily things went my way today.

"For him to miss that putt [on the 18th], I'd never wish it on anybody.

"I'm sure it will fuel Rory's fire even more. He's a strong-minded individual. He'll win multiple more major championships, there's no doubt."

McIlroy's missed putt at 18 opened the door for DeChambeau to capitalise, but a wayward drive left him hunched under a tree, forcing him to punch out to a greenside bunker to set up a nervy finish. 

However, the American would produce a moment of magic to place the ball within four feet of the hole, going on to say it was the shot of his life. 

"That bunker shot was the shot of my life," DeChambeau reflected.

"I knew where Rory was. After my tee shot, I was up there going, 'Man, if he makes par, I don't know how I'm going to beat him'. I just really didn't know.

"Then I heard the moans. It was like a shot of adrenaline got in me. I said, 'Okay, you can do this'. I'm so happy I got that shot up-and-down."

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    Harman clinched a maiden major title last year at Royal Liverpool after coasting to a six-shot victory for his first PGA Tour triumph in six years.

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    Harman described the abuse as "unrepeatable", with many mocking his pre-shot routines and heckling in an all-round attempt to put off the soon-to-be champion.

    "It doesn't bother me," Harman told Monday's pre-tournament press conference when asked about the incidents at the 151st Open.

    "I'm ready to take whatever in my stride. I'm here to play the best golf that I possibly can. That's my main focus.

    "I've always loved the fans over here. I've spoken a bunch of times about how I find them the most knowledgeable fans of any that we play in front of.

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    "I try to take all of that in my stride, but at the same time understand that the golf is the most important thing, and I've tried to improve my golf game and get it in a place where I can maybe contend in some more majors down the road.

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    McIlroy finished in a share of fourth at the Scottish Open last week, four shots behind winner Robert MacIntyre, as he again struggled on the greens.

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