[PHOTO: Sean M. Haffey]

Now what? Sixty-nine swings into his final round at the 2024 US Open, Bryson DeChambeau was facing a gut-check moment. If he could get his ball, lying a precarious 55 yards from the hole in a greenside bunker on the 18th at Pinehurst No.2, up and down for par, the 30-year-old would claim his second US Open title and continue one of the crazier narrative changes by a professional golfer in recent memory. But that 55-yard shot from the bunker, well it was arguably the most daunting shot he had faced all day.

One of the worst places I could have been, thought DeChambeau when standing over the shot. But that’s when his caddie, Greg Bodine, stepped in, offering a calming voice. “G-Bo just said, ‘Bryson, just get it up-and-down. That’s all you’ve got to do. You’ve done this plenty of times before. I’ve seen some crazy shots from you from 50 yards out of a bunker.’”

It was just the right message at just the right time, with DeChambeau taking out his 55-degree wedge and pulling off a bunker blast that will be replayed for years to come:

Yes, there were 3 feet, 11 inches left, and only moments earlier, Rory McIlroy missed a putt from three feet, nine inches. But DeChambeau wasn’t going to fail to make the putt, holing to finish off a one-over 71, beat McIlroy by one and set off one raucous celebration.

“That bunker shot was the shot of my life,” DeChambeau said afterwards.

Of course, you’d expect him to say something like that in the glow of victory. But just how good was that third shot? Stats guru Lou Stagner shared this mind-blowing metric on social media shortly after DeChambeau’s win that helps give it some context:

Here’s another way to look at it. Golf Digest recently developed an interactive tool that compares the games of everyday golfers to tour pros to see how they compare. According to the data, the average approach distance by a PGA Tour pro from between 50 and 75 yards is 16 feet. The tour leader’s average is eight feet.


And that data incorporates all shots from that distance. Presumably, if averages from the sand were broken out separately those numbers would probably be higher.