U.S. Open analysis: 10 things to know on Bryson DeChambeau's win

Massive characters. Palpable tension. Breath-taking shots.

The searing disappointment forged by a decade of losses and sealed by three-foot missed putts.

The closing hours of this year’s U.S. Open were among the most dramatic in recent major memory. Bryson DeChambeau’s brilliant bunker shot at 18 and winning putt that followed capped off a remarkable week at Pinehurst No. 2.

Here are the top numbers and notes to know from the final round of the 2024 U.S. Open:

1. At a championship venue where accuracy off the tee has long been emphasized, golf’s power poster-boy blasted his way to a second U.S. Open title. Since the stats have been tracked (about 40 years), DeChambeau is just the third player to win the U.S. Open while leading the field in driving distance, joining Dustin Johnson at Oakmont in 2016 and Tiger Woods at Pebble Beach in 2000. DeChambeau consistently made momentum-saving pars Sunday after missing fairways: he’s the first player to win this championship with five or fewer hit fairways in the final round since Angel Cabrera in 2007.

Time and again, DeChambeau stood over testing, mid-range putts on Pinehurst No. 2’s breakneck-speed greens. For the championship, DeChambeau made 19 of 22 putts from four to eight feet – 86.4 percent – while the field made just more than 70 percent from that range.

2. DeChambeau is just the fourth player in history to win a U.S. Amateur and multiple U.S. Open championships, joining arguably the three best players in the history of the men’s game: Bobby Jones, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. His second U.S. Open win comes at age 30, another rare accomplishment. Since World War II, just Nicklaus, Woods, Ernie Els and Brooks Koepka have won a second U.S. Open title at age 30 or younger.

DeChambeau makes it six consecutive men’s majors won by six different American players: Koepka, Wyndham Clark, Brian Harman, Scottie Scheffler, Xander Schauffele and DeChambeau. The last time there was a streak that long of consecutive, different U.S. players winning was in the mid-to-late 1970s. From the 1975 PGA through the 1977 U.S. Open, Nicklaus, Raymond Floyd, Jerry Pate, Johnny Miller, Dave Stockton, Tom Watson and Hubert Green won seven straight.

3. This is arguably the most painful in the disappointing decade-long run of major championship Sundays for Rory McIlroy. He stood over a 2-foot, 6-inch putt on the 70th hole of the U.S. Open holding a one-shot advantage over DeChambeau. Before that look, he was 496-for-496 on the season on putts of three feet or closer. He missed.

Two holes later, he had a 3-foot, 9-inch putt for par to get in the clubhouse ahead of DeChambeau at 6-under. Of McIlroy’s 54 attempts all week from five feet and in, those were his only two missed putts. McIlroy lost by one, becoming the first since Jim Furyk in 2006 and 2007 to finish runner-up at the U.S. Open in back-to-back years.

Aside from the two putts that will be etched in U.S. Open lore, McIlroy was excellent statistically: He led the field in strokes gained tee-to-green and was in the top 10 in greens in regulation, proximity to the hole and scrambling percentage. All rendered to the dustbin of history, lost in one of the worst three-hole stretches of a hall-of-fame career.

4. McIlroy has finished in the top 10 at the U.S. Open in six consecutive years, the first player to do that since Nicklaus from 1977 to 1982. He’s the first to have a streak of top-10 finishes that long at this championship and not win in 114 years. Jack Hobens was the last — from 1905 to 1910.

McIlroy has now finished in the top 10 a staggering 21 times in major championships since his last win, the 2014 PGA at Valhalla. It’s by far the most of any player overall, let alone those without a win in that stretch. A win Sunday would have come 13 years after his victory at Congressional, passing Hale Irwin (1979-1990) and Julius Boros (1952-63) for longest gap between U.S. Open titles.

5. Two Americans high on the list of best players yet to win a major finished in a tie for third place. Patrick Cantlay repeatedly gave himself birdie chances on Sunday, hitting 11 of his last 14 greens in regulation. However, he made only one putt longer than six feet in that stretch, ultimately finishing two shots behind DeChambeau. While the T3 finish matches Cantlay’s best in a major (2019 PGA), this week was his most lasting leaderboard presence at the game’s biggest events.

Tony Finau tied for low round of Sunday with a closing 67, making Saturday afternoon’s triple-bogey from the fairway at 13 all the more stinging. Still, it was a brilliant week of ball striking for the 34-year-old American, who led the championship in strokes gained approach. It’s Finau’s best U.S. Open finish and fifth top five in a major.

6. Neal Shipley won low amateur honors, holding off Luke Clanton by two strokes for the prestigious title. Shipley is just the fourth man since 1990 to earn the distinction of low amateur at the Masters and U.S. Open in the same year, joining Phil Mickelson (1991), Matt Kuchar (1998) and Viktor Hovland (2019). He’s the ninth to do it all time: Ken Venturi (1956) and Nicklaus (1960) are among the earlier luminaries.

7. Matthieu Pavon finished alone in fifth place, easily his best result in a major to date. Pavon, who led the field in strokes gained putting through three rounds, finally cooled off on the greens Sunday (-0.06 strokes gained). He became just the third player from France to finish in the top five at the U.S. Open, joining Gregory Havret (runner-up in 2010) and Louis Tellier (three instances from 1913-19).

Wunderkind Ludvig Åberg (tied for 12th) promises to be a force in this sport for years to come, but his first weekend at a U.S. Open was unkind. After becoming the first U.S. Open debutant to lead at the halfway point since the mid-1980s, we were reminded why nobody since Francis Ouimet had claimed this title in their first attempt. It’s really, really difficult to do. After gaining more than 6.3 strokes on the field tee-to-green through 36 holes, Åberg lost shots to the field in that metric on Saturday and Sunday.

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Tony Finau tied for low round of the day on Sunday, a 67 that put him tied for third place. (Gregory Shamus / Getty Images)

8. Eight players finished the week under par, doubling the sum from the first three U.S. Opens at Pinehurst No. 2 combined. The field scrambled at a clip of just over 50 percent for the week, slightly higher than the previous iterations of the championship contested here. Sunday was not only the lowest field scoring average of the week (71.79), it was the lowest of any of the 12 U.S. Open rounds at Pinehurst No. 2.

This is the fourth year in a row that the U.S. Open was decided by a single stroke, the longest run since 1996-99.

9. Scottie Scheffler entered the week averaging a PGA Tour-best 5.22 birdies or better this season. He only made four all week at Pinehurst, bookending his week with the only two birdie-less rounds of his major championship career as a pro. Scheffler is the first reigning world number one to have multiple rounds without a birdie in a U.S. Open since the inception of the OWGR in 1986.

Scheffler couldn’t get his putter dialed in at all for the week, losing more than six full strokes to the field on the greens for the championship. Scheffler needed 127 putts to get around this week, his most in any single 72-hole tournament since the 2023 Masters.

10. Next month The Open returns to Royal Troon for first time since 2016 and 10th time overall. The last time the game convened there was in 2016, when fans were treated to an epic duel between Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson. Other past Open champions there include Arnold Palmer (1962), Tom Weiskopf (1973) and Tom Watson (1982).

Two players have finished in the top 10 in each of the season’s first three majors: DeChambeau and Schauffele. DeChambeau will try to become the first player since Woods in 2000 to win The Open and U.S. Open in the same season.

(Top photo: Ross Kinnaird / Getty Images)

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