Soul-crushing US Open loss gives Rory McIlroy fans all the feels

Golf fans were left to ponder what could have been for Rory McIlroy after soul-crushing US Open defeat.
Rory McIlroy, Harry Diamond - US Open
Rory McIlroy, Harry Diamond - US Open / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages

There is nothing quite like the jubilation that comes with winning a major championship. On Sunday at the US Open, that was the case for Bryson DeChambeau who won his second major in dramatic fashion. Unfortunately, for every winner, there has to be a loser, and the heartbreak that comes with that can be devastating. Rory McIlroy experienced all of that and more in a crushing defeat at the 2024 US Open.

The four-time major winner's last taste of victory on the game's grandest stage came back in 2014 at the PGA Championship. Since then, it's been nothing but soul-crushing disappointments in majors over an excruciatingly long ten years for Rory. What happened at Pinehurst No .2 on a beautiful June summer day in North Carolina, however, just might take the cake.

The Northern Irishman came into the final round at the US Open three shots adrift of eventual winner Bryson DeChambeau, and for a long while it seemed as though all the heartache in major championships was about to be put to bed at long last for McIlroy. Rory made a solid start on his front nine before coming to life after making the turn in 34. He proceeded to birdie three of his next four holes and in the process took control at the top of the leaderboard. But then, as it so often has before, things took a turn for the worse in devastating fashion.

Rory McIlroy would surrender what once was a two-shot advantage over Bryson DeChambeau after bogeys on the 15th and 16th holes at Pinehurst No. 2; one of which came as the result of a short missed putt from about four feet on the 16th green. Still, McIlroy remained tied for the lead as Bryson saw his own share of opportunities go amiss. As Rory set foot on the 18th tee, he hooked his drive into the native area left of the fairway before his second came up short of the green. What followed was a sublime chip with his third that presented him with an opportunity to save par.

Standing on the 18th green, McIlroy knew saving par would potentially be good enough to seal his first major win in ten years. Unfortunately for Rory, as so often has been the case, it wasn't to be. McIlroy saw another short putt elude the hole resulting in a devastating bogey that in the end would see his dreams of winning the US Open evaporate. It was an all too familiar story for McIlroy who will be left to ponder about what could have been once again.

Golf fans devastated for Rory McIlroy after brutal US Open loss

Understandably, this one was particularly devastating for fans of Rory McIlroy and they were quick to take to social media soon after the US Open to express their empathy for the adored player.

Golf fans were left speechless as McIlroy let one of, if not the best opportunity to end his lengthy wait for a fifth major title slip through his hands. This one will stay with fans and McIlroy for a very long time, and the question now will be whether or not he ever gets across the line in a major championship again. No matter what happens moving forward, the one that got away at Pinehurst No. 2 will likely haunt Rory McIlroy for the rest of his career.