McIlroy's final round US Open horror show sees barren run extend

Rory McIlroy’s final round horror show at the US Open sees the Northern Irishman’s six-year barren run extend

  • Rory McIlroy’s final round saw him slip out of contention again at the US Open 
  • The Northern Irishman began the days three shots behind leader Matt Wolff
  • While Bryson DeChambeau stormed to victory, McIlroy was full of nerves
  • He was now completed 21 majors since his last victory, and looks no closer  

Rory McIlroy’s 21st major championship since his last victory came and went last night with him no nearer to finding the key to unlocking his six-year drought.

The Northern Irishman began the final round six shots off the lead held by young American Matt Wolff, buoyed by his third-round 68. ‘I’m right in it,’ he declared on Saturday night.

On Sky Sports, Paul McGinley pointed out he would need help from the leader to have a chance, a valid argument that presumed McIlroy would actually help himself. 

Rory McIlroy’s draught continued at the US Open, looking no more likely to break it 

The Northern Irishman began his final round within reach of victory but threw it away again 

The hope he could do that lasted not much longer than his opening drive, which split the fairway.

Thereafter, it was a nervous horror show with the club that has let him down so often in the past. He had just a wedge but the result left him a nightmare opening putt over one of Winged Foot’s most treacherous slopes. 

He would need four in all to complete the hole for a calamitous double bogey.

McIlroy holed gutsy putts on the next two holes for pars, but then came the fourth. Another wedge approach. Another one undercooked. Another bogey. Three strokes gone from two wedge approaches.

At the short seventh, McIlroy had another short iron in his hands and again wrote down another bogey. Game over. Once more he kept fighting, with birdies at the ninth and 11th, but the damage had been done.

As Bryson DeChambeau waltzed to victory McIlroy will be wondering what could have been 

By the time Wolff walked to the first tee to join Bryson DeChambeau, it was quite plain this was going to be a typical final US Open round, with the course taken to the edge and pars things of beauty on virtually every hole. 

The two leaders received plenty of criticism on Saturday night for the fact the stats showed they didn’t hit too many fairways, but much of it was over the top.

Wolff missed at least six fairways by no more than the length of his driver, which was pretty good for a man who’s the longest hitter of all.

Given the havoc wreaked by the opening hole, how would the leaders fare? Two boomers down the middle followed by two wonderful approach shots. It wasn’t just off the tee where the two leaders were playing a different game.

The first five holes are some of the most nerve-shredding on the course and DeChambeau played them superbly. Wolff played them pretty well, too, missing just one fairway during that stretch but spilling two shots.

McIlroy’s final round was full of nerves as he fell further back from the leaders in New York

That was all his playing partner needed not only to wipe out the two shots that separated them at the start but take a one-stroke lead.

The par-five ninth, the only breather hole on the course, was quite something. Two more great drives from the pair, with DeChambeau hitting his approach to 40ft and rolling in the eagle putt. Wolff’s response was exquisite, hitting his short iron to 20ft and rolling in an eagle putt of his own. Talk about setting up the final nine.

It was DeChambeau who kept the hammer down, going two in front when Wolff bogeyed the 10th and three ahead with a birdie at the 11th.

There was only one player on the course who was under par and DeChambeau was three under for his round. What a transformation in DeChambeau, and not just in physique. 

He came into this majors season with barely a performance in the Grand Slam events worthy of the name.

McIlroy kept fighting to the end but the damage was done by the seventh hole on Sunday 

Then came the US PGA Championship last month where he finished tied fourth. Add those four rounds to the first three here, and the 27-year-old American had still to sign for an over-par round. There was no evidence over the first 11 holes the streak was ending. 

Sweet swinging South African Louis Oosthuizen, who has won one Open and finished runner-up in the other three majors, began four shots off the lead. The trick was clearly to stealthily track the leaders, but he was a couple over par after 11 and losing touch.

Xander Schauffele, the quiet fancy of so many, was gamely hanging around. He barely hit a shot over the opening nine holes but that wand of a putter was working its magic once more. He was still six off the pace, mind.

Meanwhile, Bryson DeChambeau proved all his doubters wrong with an incredible round 

McIlroy was not alone in getting off to an horrendous start. Hideki Matsuyama is another with plenty of baggage in trying to become the first player from Japan to win a major. He began five shots off the lead but started double bogey-bogey-bogey-bogey.

American Harris English was another five off the pace but quickly seven adrift after losing a ball down the opening hole.

He showed spirit to recover both shots but, like everyone else, went into the final holes staring up at the leaderboard, seeing DeChambeau’s name and shaking his head at his wonder score.

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