Bryson DeChambeau dedicates US Open win to late father and his golfing idol

PA Ready, Bryson DeChambeau, Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele, Tony Finau, Patrick Cantlay, Nope, Phil Casey

Bryson DeChambeau holds the trophy after winning the US Open at Pinehurst (George Walker IV/AP) (AP)

An emotional Bryson DeChambeau paid tribute to his late father and one of his golfing idols, the late Payne Stewart, following his dramatic US Open victory at Pinehurst.

DeChambeau took a three-shot lead into the final round, but was caught and passed by Rory McIlroy before an extraordinary finish in North Carolina.

McIlroy, who briefly held a two-shot lead after four birdies in five holes from the ninth, bogeyed three of the last four holes and missed from a combined distance of six feet, three inches for par on the 16th and 18th.

That left DeChambeau needing to par the last for victory and he conjured up a superb bunker shot from 55 yards to set up the winning putt.

Speaking after a closing 71 and six under par total left him a shot ahead of McIlroy, with Patrick Cantlay and Tony Finau on four under, DeChambeau said: “I want to say Happy Father’s Day to all the dad’s out there.

“Unfortunately my dad passed a couple of years ago and this one is for him.

“Also to Payne Stewart. He’s the reason I went to SMU (Southern Methodist University, Stewart’s alma mater), the reason I wore the peaked cap.”

Stewart won the third of his major titles at Pinehurst in 1999, but died in a private plane crash just months later.

DeChambeau, who shot 20 under par in the US PGA Championship last month but was beaten by a shot by Xander Schauffele, added: “I’m so happy I got that shot up and down on 18.

“Oh, man, I didn’t want to finish second again. The 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, the 1000th USGA championship. Stack them on top.

“That bunker shot was the shot of my life.”

He continued: “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 of 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.”

DeChambeau has proved a hugely popular figure this season, despite playing primarily in the Saudi-funded LIV Golf League, and he praised the fans who had supported him all week.

“You are the best fans in the world and I can’t thank you enough,” he said. “I want you guys to all somehow touch this trophy tonight and be part of the after party.”

DeChambeau also spared a thought for a devastated McIlroy, who immediately left the course in his courtesy car without speaking to the media.

“Rory is one of the best to ever play,” DeChambeau said. “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 because, to be honest, when he was climbing up the leaderboard, he was two ahead, I was like, Uh-oh, uh-oh. But luckily things went my way today.”

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