Winners and Losers: US Open Edition

The 2024 US Open at Pinehurst No. 2 has proven to be a challenging test for the world's best golfers. The winner of the tournament, Bryson DeChambeau, has showcased his entire game to hold a three-shot lead heading into the final round. DeChambeau has been rewarded for his aggressive mindset, consistently hitting the ball far down the fairway. In addition to his drives, his short game was on full display, particularly his approach on the 14th hole, where he navigated an angled pin placement to set himself up for a birdie. DeChambeau's round was not without error, as he did make a double bogey on the 16th hole, however, he did not let it affect his play, bouncing back with a birdie on the next hole.

One of the surprising aspects of this year's US Open is Rory McIlroy's pursuit of a sixth consecutive attendance. Despite personal struggles, including impending divorce rumors, McIlroy finds himself in contention for the title. He may not be known for his timeliness, but accuracy is not an issue, as he leads the tournament in driving accuracy through three rounds. Down by three heading into the final round, McIlroy has the confidence to make a run at DeChambeau.

However, there are some losers to highlight from this year's Open. Tony Finau and Ludvig Åberg both made triple bogies on the 13th hole, a short par-4 that punished poor shots. Their rounds were derailed by a game of ‘ping-pong,’ where their chips bounced back and forth across the green. Had they only walked away with a bogey, they would still be in contention, but the score was too damaging to overcome. They will need spectacular rounds on Sunday to snag a spot on the leaderboard.

Another surprising loser was Scottie Scheffler, the world's number one golfer. His round was filled with ‘what-ifs?’ as his putter let him down, and he was unable to get a putt to drop. Scheffler consistently gave himself opportunities but was unable to capitalize, and his flat stick held him back from climbing the leaderboard.

Finally, the final two groups played at a painfully slow pace, with Patrick Cantlay and Bryson DeChambeau, the main culprits. DeChambeau, who needed to get stretched out on the 11th hole, loves to take his time and analyze each shot, even for putts a short distance. This is a problem with the USGA, which should have levied a penalty. The final pairing finished nearly 45 minutes after McIlroy, who played in the third-to-last group.

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