Bryson DeChambeau and Rory McIlroy battled it out for the 124th U.S. Open but it was DeChambeau who collected his second U.S. Open

The agony and ecstasy of golf was fully on display during the final round of the 124th U.S. Open. We can all relate to the feelings no matter our level of play, when you hit the perfect shot but it gets an unlucky bounce, when you chip it in close for an easy par or watch a short putt lip out on the final hole as you were about to break 90.

That's why when you watch the professionals in action, although you may not be able to recreate their exact shots under such extreme pressure, you can somewhat understand what they are going through.

The DeChambeau Show

The last day of any Major tournament doesn't often disappoint and with a handful of players in the mix that included Bryson DeChambeau and Rory McIlroy, it had blockbuster billing.

As with all good dramas, it started before the first tee shot of the final group had been hit, as leader Bryson DeChambeau was seen changing driver heads only 15 minutes before his tee time.

Something that he would later say wasn't the best idea:

"I probably shouldn't have changed the heads. I was trying to get a fresh head in there. It had a good curvature on the face, but it was a little bit lower loft. For whatever reason, those lower lofted heads have been missing right. Consequently I missed it right all day.

"A bit frustrating, but the face that I was using for the past three days was just starting to get flat. It was a nine-and-a-half-inch curvature. I won't go over that. Essentially the face was starting to get a little flat. I wanted to get a fresh head in.

"I was driving it well on the range. On the golf course nerves got to me a little bit. I wasn't as comfortable with it. Probably needed to work it in more, more than just hitting five balls with it."

If you watch DeChambeau to be entertained, the final round viewing was edge-of-your-seat stuff, as he spent nearly his entire round trying to get himself out of trouble. With only five fairways hit out of 14, he had to use his strength, skill and getting out of difficulty know-how to plot his way around the course. It can only be described as scrappy and sublime all at once!

Even the crowd, who had been fully behind him started to feel more subdued as the cheers dulled whilst roars got louder for McIlroy.

McIlroy remained consistent

Whilst DeChambeau struggled to control his adrenaline and new driver head, McIlroy seemed to be taking this final round in his stride. Calm, consistent and controlled. The Irishman then took it up a gear from the 9th tee where he would birdie the 177yrd Par 3 and then birdie 10, 12 and 13 to stand on the 14th tee with a two shot lead over DeChambeau at eight-under-par.

DeChambeau had it all to do but there were still five holes for McIlroy to play. Things started to unravel on the Par 3 15th with him muscling a seven iron through the back of the green and having to settle for a bogey. All was not lost but then came two three foot putts on the final three holes which are likely to give him nightmares.

After holing some superb putts during his round, it was two short putts for par on 16 and 18 that ultimately made him go from leading, to a potential play-off to then finishing one shot short.

Rory McIlroy reacts to his bogey on the 18th green during final round of the 2024 U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort & C.C. (Course No. 2) in Village of Pinehurst, N.C. on Sunday, June 16, 2024. (Jeff Haynes/USGA)
Rory McIlroy - image credit Jeff Haynes/USGA

A decade long search for a Major came within touching distance and the disappointment was plain to see when cameras captured him in the scoring hut and then leaving Pinehurst without comment.

Major shot from DeChambeau

Before McIlroy's departure and after two birdies and two bogeys, DeChambeau needed a par to win his second U.S. Open. It's safe to say that the American put his scrambling play to the ultimate test coming down the last.

He took driver, which again proved less than straight for him and ended up with a second shot near a tree root. This meant that he had to get up and down from the front greenside bunker. What happened next will go down in U.S. Open history:

Some fans and commentators said it beat Matt Fitzpatrick's bunker shot from the final hole at the U.S. Open in 2022, I would beg to differ but it was absolutely sublime. As the 30-year-old holed his putt for par to finish on six-under-par, the crowd erupted and we had a very worthy winner.

Utter ecstasy for DeChambeau and absolute agony for McIlroy. As a fan, it was definitely a moment of mixed emotions.

Dedicating his win to his Dad on Father's Day

Afterwards, DeChambeau dedicated his win to his father who passed away in 2022, it was extra fitting that he won his second U.S. Open title on Father's Day and the legendary Payne Stewart (donning a flat cap during the prize presentation).

Bryson DeChambeau celebrates his victoryon the 18th hole during the final round of the 2024 U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort & C.C. (Course No. 2) in Village of Pinehurst, N.C. on Sunday, June 16, 2024. (Chris Keane/USGA)
Bryson DeChambeau - image credit Chris Keane/USGA

"I'm so happy I got that shot up-and-down on 18. Oh, man, I didn't want to finish second again. PGA really stung. Xander played magnificent. I wanted to get this one done, especially at such a special place that means so much to me, SMU, my Dad, 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 (smiling). I don't know what to think. It fully hasn't sunk in yet. 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. 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."

McIlroy will be back

Commenting on McIlroy and future Majors, DeChambeau added:

"Rory is one of the best to ever play. Being able to fight against a great like that is pretty special. For him to miss that putt, I'd never wish it on anybody. It just happened to play out that way. He'll win multiple more major championships. There's no doubt. I think that fire in him is going to continue to grow. I have nothing but respect for how he plays the game of golf."

What had potential to be a battle amongst a handful of players, came down to battle between two of the greatest talents in men's professional golf. It's a U.S. Open to remember, one for the history books and one that displayed the two emotional extremes of the game that we all love - the two reasons that keep us all, no matter our skill level, coming back for more.

View the full 124th U.S. Open leaderboard here.