Rory McIlroy makes swift Pinehurst exit after US Open heartbreak

PA Ready, Rory McIlroy, Nick Faldo, Sky Sports, Wyndham Clark, St Andrews, Jack Nicklaus, Phil Casey

Rory McIlroy bogeyed three of the last four holes to squander his best chance of a major title since 2014 (Matt York/AP) (AP)

It took Rory McIlroy less than an hour to get from signing his card after the final gut-wrenching round of the US Open to being in mid-air on his plane home.

How long it will take him to get over the heart-breaking events at Pinehurst, if he ever can, remains to be seen.

In 20 previous top-10 finishes in major championships since his last victory in the 2014 US PGA, McIlroy has never had the title within his grasp with just a handful of holes to play in the manner that he did on Sunday.

Twelve months ago he birdied the first during the final round at Los Angeles Country Club to briefly hold a share of the lead before Wyndham Clark birdied the same hole to resume top spot.

McIlroy would not make another birdie, bogeyed the 14th after hitting his third shot into the face of a bunker and ultimately finished one behind Clark.

The 35-year-old had also shared the lead after 54 holes of the 2022 Open at St Andrews and covered his first 10 holes in two under par before the birdies again dried up and he was overhauled by Cameron Smith’s 64 and a 65 by Cameron Young.

At Pinehurst there were plenty of birdies as McIlroy holed from 20 feet at the first and recovered from an unfortunate dropped shot on the fifth to make four birdies in five holes from the ninth from a combined distance of 70 feet.

A two-shot lead was admittedly brief as DeChambeau, playing in the group behind, also birdied the driveable 13th, but it is what happened on the 16th and 18th which will, in the words of Sir Nick Faldo on Sky Sports, “haunt Rory for the rest of his life”.

McIlroy missed from two feet and six inches for par on the 16th – his first miss all season from inside three feet – and then from three feet and nine inches on the last after a well-judged chip from short of the green.

According to tracking site radaratlas2, McIlroy’s private plane was in the air 53 minutes after DeChambeau’s brilliant par save on the 18th secured his second US Open title.

McIlroy is the first player to finish in the top 10 at six consecutive US Opens since Jack Nicklaus from 1977-82 and the first to do so without winning any of them since Jack Hobens from 1905-10.

“Nobody’s had more pressure on him over the last 10 years,” McIlroy’s putting coach Brad Faxon said on Golf Channel.

“Everybody in the world knows he hasn’t won a major since 2014. I think it’s the way this happened; the short missed putts there on 16, certainly on 18. I don’t know how you get through this thing. It’s really tough.”

I don't know how you get through this thing

Rory McIlroy's putting coach Brad Faxon

Former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley added: “That element of doubt came in.

“He started backing away, which he never does. He took a little more time over the putts, which he never does. That’s pressure and he succumbed to it.

“(It’s) a devastating loss for any player, not just Rory. It’s absolutely devastating. Rory has faltered coming down the stretch.”

After leaving Pinehurst without speaking to the media, McIlroy is currently scheduled to give a press conference on Wednesday ahead of the Travelers Championship.

It could make for painful viewing.

OTHER NEWS

3 hrs ago

Kelowna real estate listings see rising number of vacant apartments for sale

3 hrs ago

Quebec construction holiday: 5 things to know about the tradition

3 hrs ago

Proposed class-action lawsuit filed over ‘catastrophic’ Calgary water main break

3 hrs ago

Person dies in Illinois from multi-state listeria outbreak possibly connected to sliced deli meats

3 hrs ago

Deaths in Illinois, New Jersey linked to listeria food poisoning from meat sliced at deli counters

3 hrs ago

VP Kamala Harris and Democratic donors discuss ‘urgent, emerging needs' in the race, with Biden campaign in crisis

3 hrs ago

Bruce Springsteen is officially a billionaire

3 hrs ago

What happens next if Joe Biden drops out of presidential race?

3 hrs ago

‘I think you’ll see a lot of places going down’: Restaurant owner suing CenterPoint warns of future blackouts

3 hrs ago

Las Vegas Sphere ‘blue screen of death’ image is fake

3 hrs ago

Photo of a man claiming to be responsible for the CrowdStrike outage in viral social media posts is fake

3 hrs ago

Coast Guard rescues people after vessel reportedly sank in Houston Ship Channel

3 hrs ago

Teen killed in shooting in Houston's South Side neighborhood

3 hrs ago

Judge denies former Rep. George Santos' motion to dismiss fraud charges

3 hrs ago

'Drill, baby, drill': What Donald Trump said about oil and gas during RNC speech

3 hrs ago

Sources: Condon's $9.25M bonus with Rockies ties MLB record

3 hrs ago

US health officials say a listeria outbreak linked to deli meat has killed two people and sickened more than two dozen

3 hrs ago

Heavy rain collapses part of ancient Michigan cave where 'The Great Train Robbery' was filmed

3 hrs ago

Two deaths linked to listeria food poisoning from meat sliced at deli counters

3 hrs ago

Bissell recalls 3.2M handheld steam cleaners across US over burn hazard

3 hrs ago

Trump says UAW president should be 'fired immediately'

3 hrs ago

Ed Sheeran sparks criticism for posing with Johnny Depp in new photo

3 hrs ago

Team Singapore’s monumental effort for Olympic glory

3 hrs ago

McIlroy, Woods, DeChambeau miss British Open cut

3 hrs ago

How to Fix a Windows Computer Impacted By the Global Microsoft Outage

3 hrs ago

Poland's decision accelerates delivery of F-16s to Ukraine

3 hrs ago

He’s captained Australia. But how did he perform in the HSC?

3 hrs ago

Cash is yielding 5% and many Americans are still missing out. How to juice your savings

3 hrs ago

Pogacar clinches stage 19 in Tour de France with attack on final climb

3 hrs ago

AFL Round 19: Adelaide Crows win a thriller against Essendon, hitting the front with 51 seconds left at Docklands

3 hrs ago

Doug Hanzel adds another line to his unreal senior golf resume with Golfweek Pacific Northwest Senior title

3 hrs ago

Foreign secretary confirms lifting of UNRWA suspension

3 hrs ago

US appeals court orders judge to reconsider Biden ESG investing rule

3 hrs ago

2024 British Open: Full list of golfers who made the cut after Round 2

3 hrs ago

Fed judge tosses GOP challenge to Nevada’s mail-ballot counting rules: They ‘lack standing’

3 hrs ago

NBC’s Peacock 33% price hike to take effect ahead of 2024 Summer Olympics — here’s what to know

3 hrs ago

Mica Miller’s pastor husband says he tried to ‘resurrect’ her in the morgue: ‘Jesus did it. I had to try’

3 hrs ago

Risk-averse organizations chose CrowdStrike for cybersecurity. Now its software is causing chaos

3 hrs ago

Two more bird flu cases reported in Colorado, but elsewhere a study finds no asymptomatic infections

3 hrs ago

Tech outage halts surgeries, medical treatments across the US