Bryson DeChambeau won his second US Open in four years today, converting a difficult up-and-down by sinking a four-foot par putt on the 72nd green at Pinehurst No.2 to deliver another bitter defeat to Rory McIlroy.

DeChambeau’s clutch bunker shot from 50 metres set up the winning putt – the only par save from the front bunker at the par-4 18th hole all week – to beat McIlroy by a stroke at six-under 274. Beaten by one shot last month on the 72nd green by Xander Schauffele’s birdie putt in the PGA Championship at Valhalla, DeChambeau this time caught a break when McIlroy missed a par putt from inside four feet at the last for his third bogey in his final four holes. DeChambeau shot a closing 71 while McIlroy carded a 69.

“Can you believe that? Oh, my God,” DeChambeau bellowed into the camera as he celebrated with friends behind the 18th green, the same green where the late Payne Stewart got up and down for par to preserve his one-stroke lead 25 years earlier.

US Open 2024: Bryson DeChambeau wins, Min Woo Lee top Australian at Pinehurst

DeChambeau won his first US Open in the pandemic of 2020 in the quiet of Winged Foot, when fans weren’t permitted to attend. At Pinehurst, the Californian – far more popular and engaging now at age 30 – was cheered at every tee and green, even as the crowd also cheered for McIlroy, who finished runner-up for the second year in a row and now has 10 top-five finishes since winning the 2014 PGA Championship. The 35-year-old from Northern Ireland remains stuck on four major titles.

DeChambeau became the 23rd player to win multiple US Open titles, and he is the seventh player in the past 40 years to win America’s national championship twice within a five-year span, joining Brooks Koepka, Retief Goosen, Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Lee Janzen and Curtis Strange. The win constitutes his ninth in a PGA Tour event, though he won’t get credit for it after leaving to join the LIV Golf League in 2022. Since then, he has finished in the top-10 in five of nine majors, including T-6 at this year’s Masters to go with his runner-up finish at the PGA.

“First off, I want to say happy Father’s Day. Unfortunately, my dad passed a couple of years ago, so this one is for him,” DeChambeau said in tribute to his father Jon. “Also to Payne Stewart. He was the reason I went to SMU (Southern Methodist University). He’s the reason I wore the [peaked] cap. Wow.

“I just can’t thank you guys enough for the support this week,” DeChambeau added, addressing the crowd after accepting the trophy and the Jack Nicklaus Medal. “You have meant the world to me.”

Photo: Gregory Shamus

Struggling all day to find fairways with his back-up driver after collapsing the face of his regular club on the practice range prior to the final round, DeChambeau managed to gut out the victory. His six-under 274 total matched his winning total from Winged Foot where he won by six shots.

This time, he had his hands full on a hot afternoon in North Carolina with the determined McIlroy, who seemingly was on his way to his first major title in nearly 3,600 days.

The championship essentially boiled down to a three-man battle for much of the day. McIlroy, Patrick Cantlay and Frenchman Matthieu Pavon began the final round three strokes behind DeChambeau, but Pavon fell out of the hunt with three bogeys in his first eight holes.

McIlroy sprung into a two-shot lead with four birdies in a five-hole span starting with a 15-footer at the ninth and ending with five-footer at the short par-4 13th hole. But a putter that had been as hot as the weather betrayed him at the most crucial time. He three-putted from 27 feet at the 16th after not missing inside five feet on his previous 49 attempts. That miscue came after DeChambeau suffered his only three-putt of the championship at the 15th by lipping out from four feet.

US Open 2024: The clubs Bryson DeChambeau used to win at Pinehurst No.2

But the crusher for McIlroy came at the last when he missed the fairway and could only punch out to the front of the green. He pitched well, but the ball ran past the cup. He was clearly nervous when he tentatively struck the left-to-right par attempt. It flicked the right edge of the cup but stayed out. That set up DeChambeau’s heroics after he also pulled his drive into the left native area and had to punch his second from underneath tree limbs and near a tree root.

He scraped it out into the front bunker and then got up and down for the win to capture the record $US4.3 million first prize. Ranked 38th in the world, he is likely to climb into the top 10 after his second major title.

Cantlay, the first-round leader, hung around most of the day and had his chances, but he ended up tied for third at four-under 276 after his second consecutive 70 for his best finish in a major. He was joined by Tony Finau, who birdied the home hole for a 67, tied for low round of the day.