DeChambeau And McIlroy Share US Open Lead As Drama Builds

DeChambeau and McIlroy share US Open lead as drama builds

Pinehurst, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 17th Jun, 2024) Bryson DeChambeau was matched by Rory McIlroy for the lead of the US Open in Sunday's final round as a back-nine battle loomed at Pinehurst.

DeChambeau, the 2020 US Open winner, stood on six-under at the turn with McIlroy one back after a birdie at nine and American Patrick Cantlay third, two back through nine.

But McIlroy, trying to end a 10-year major win drought and capture his fifth major title, sank a birdie putt from almost 27 feet at the par-5 10th to grab a share of the lead.

And Cantlay moments later sank a 22-foot birdie putt to pull within one- of the co-leaders on five-under.

It was tension aplenty at Pinehurst.

DeChambeau sank a clutch 11-foot par putt at the eighth after his tee shot hooked way right to stay on six-under, pumping his right fist and screaming as the crowd roared.

It kept him one ahead of McIlroy, who had made a 15-foot birdie putt at the par-4 ninth to reach the turn on five-under.

Cantlay missed an eight-foot birdie attempt and nine to stay two back.

Pinehurst's dome-shaped greens and weedy sand waste areas were forcing disciplined shotmaking as the drama spotlight narrowed to three.

Third-ranked McIlroy, trying to end a 10-year major win drought, sank a birdie putt from just outside 20 feet at the first.

DeChambeau left an 11-foot birdie putt short at the third then rolled over the fourth green on the way to missing a par putt from just beyond 16 feet, trimming his lead to one.

McIlroy put his second shot at the par-5 fifth on the green only for it to roll off and into dirt behind a weed. His third rolled into a nearby bunker and he blasted out, missing a 23-foot par putt for a tap-in bogey.

Cantlay found a bunker at the fourth and missed a six-foot par putt but sank a four-foot par putt at seven.

DeChambeau, among eight players from Saudi-backed LIV Golf to make the cut, could become the second active LIV player to win a major after Brooks Koepka at last year's PGA Championship.

Four-time major winner McIlroy last captured a major at the 2014 PGA Championship but the 35-year-old from Northern Ireland has finished better at the US Open each of the past five years, including his runner-up showing last year.

Cantlay, seeking his first major triumph, could overtake Collin Morikawa for the last US berth at the Paris Olympics, but would need at least a two-way share of second.

Matthieu Pavon, trying to become the second Frenchman to win a major title after Arnaud Massy at the 1907 British Open, stumbled back with bogeys at the first, fourth and eighth holes to stand on two-under through nine.

- McIlroy & Cantlay spicy -

McIlroy and Cantlay were a spicy pairing after a spat from last year's Ryder Cup. Cantlay edged McIlroy in a Saturday match at Rome and Cantlay's caddie, Joe LaCava, celebrated so much McIlroy felt infringed upon. They had words on the green and a confrontation in the parking lot.

McIlroy appeared to put any ill feelings at rest, however, shaking hands with LaCava and fist-bumping Cantlay on the first tee before they began.

Japan's Hideki Matsuyama, the 2021 Masters champion who could become Asia's first male multiple major winner, followed eight pars by making bogey at the par-3 ninth after finding a bunker to tumble six back.

Sweden's sixth-seeded Ludvig Aberg, who began five back, took a triple bogey at the second, with a lost-ball penalty in Pinehurst's dirt and weeds, to fall back.

World number one Scottie Scheffler, the huge pre-tournament favorite, fired a two-over 72 to stand on eight-over 288 for what was only his second finish outside the top-10 this year.

"Didn't play my best. A bit frustrating to end," he said. "I definitely need to do some things better."