Rory McIlroy, in a surprising move, chose not to follow his own advice on the 72nd hole at this week's U.S. Open, resulting in a heartbreaking loss by a single shot to Bryson DeChambeau. McIlroy had set himself up perfectly for his first major championship win since 2014, having established a two-shot lead with just five holes remaining at Pinehurst No. 2.

However, it turned into a final stretch he'd rather forget, after bogeying the 15th and 16th - including a missed putt from less than three-feet. Despite the shaky performance, the Northern Irishman - who was a group ahead of DeChambeau - was still tied for the lead at six-under with one hole left when he approached the 18th tee box.

To much surprise, McIlroy decided to use a driver at the last, something he hadn't done in the previous three rounds, using a three-wood instead. The subsequent drive veered left, leaving the 35-year-old in a difficult position in the Pinehurst rough.

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McIlroy was compelled to punch his effort out of the native area down the left, which left him short of the green. He then played a solid chip shot onto the putting surface, leaving him just under six-feet for par.

Having missed a short one two holes earlier, history repeated itself at 18, costing him dearly. DeChambeau managed to secure the trophy with a remarkable bunker shot, unlike McIlroy who missed two short putts and may regret his 18th tee shot.

Earlier in the week, the PGA Tour star confessed his strategy was to play 'boring golf' to secure his fifth major championship. "Honestly, embracing what I would have called 'boring' back in the day," the 2011 U.S. Open champion said in the build-up.

"Explosiveness isn't going to win a U.S. Open. It's more methodically building your score over the course of four days and being okay with that. Honestly, it's just more of a reframing of a mindset than anything else."

After watching DeChambeau's winning putt, McIlroy appeared visibly disappointed when signing for his card. In the aftermath, the four-time major champion chose to skip all media duties, making a swift exit from the Pinehurst site. He will need to recover quickly, having committed to compete in next week's Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands.

2024-06-17T04:04:14Z dg43tfdfdgfd