Bryson Wins His Second U.S. Open with
18 Jun,2024 Credit : Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images

By Tim Liotta


Bryson Wins His Second U.S. Open with "the Shot of my Life"

Faced with most difficult up-and-down to win a major championship to ever face a golfer, Bryson DeChambeau was prepared to deliver. 

Hitting a 55-yard bunker shot to win a U.S. Open is beyond what any golfer dreams of, and to hit it to four feet takes an emotional and physical fortitude that comes from hours of practice and attention to detail.

"That bunker shot was the shot of my life. I'll forever be thankful that I've got longer wedges so I can hit it farther, get it up there next to the hole."

Golf Channel will show Bryson on the driving range as darkness descends. This was the way Ben Hogan prepared for U.S. Opens, and those hours of practice, the thousands of swings perfecting technique, and learning to trust that technique, had Bryson prepared for the last few ours of the 124th U.S. Open. 

"All I was focused on was myself," Bryson said. "Every once in a while I could hear "Rory, Rory" chants, for what he was doing, so I knew what he did based on the roars. That was actually kind of fun because it gave me the knowledge of what I had to do.

"Every time I got over the ball, Just focus. You've done this before. You can do it again. In the back of my mind, my dad pushing me. Payne (Stewart) was in the back of my mind, as well. I wanted to do it for them.

Bryson DeChambeau's Major Championship Record

With his one-shot victory on Sunday for his second U.S. Open title, DeChambeau became the fourth player ever to win a U.S. Amateur and more than one U.S. Open. The other three are arguably the three most recognized players in the game: Bobby Jones, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. 

Bryson already made himself the third player ever to win a U.S. Open, a U.S. Amateur and the NCAA Division I individual championship when he won the 2020 U.S. Open at Winged Foot. The other two are Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. 

With his second U.S. Open title coming at the age of 30, Bryson becomes the fifth player to achieve that distinction. Nicklaus, Woods, Ernie Els and Brooks Koepka are the other four who have won a second U.S. Open title at age 30 or younger.

Bryson did it by overcoming a tree root that impeded his second shot on the final hole with a swing restricted by an overhanging tree branch. 

"I go back to being a kid," said DeChambeau of the shot that set up his final bunker shot. "So when I was a kid, I used to throw golf balls in the worst lies outside of the fairway and just learned to hit out of the worst situations to see what I could do.

"That sparked a lot of my creativity. But then I'd go back and work on the mechanics really hard."

In addition to the hours of practice, attention to the smallest detail has led DeChambeau to an approach to the game that is completely unique. He uses irons all cut the same length, are extremely upright, that he designed with a 3D Printer. He uses Jumbo Max grips that allow him to grip the club more in his palms than his counterpart. 

"I had this unique childhood experience in golf of working on really quirky, weird things, then also working super hard on the mechanics, trying to be as machinelike as possible," he said.

"I feel like that combination allows - it just pretty much shows what I did today. In certain situations where I have no control over what's going to happen, you got to just figure out how to will it and get it done. That creativity gets sparked.

"When the greens are not perfectly flat, they're not glass, there's some little bumps and whatnot, being imaginative, seeing how the ball is going to curve over the edge, really getting into it in your mind is what I focus on.

"So there a bit of creativity in me, even though I try to be mechanical."

With a talented game that enabled him to win the California State Junior Championship at age 16. In 2015, DeChambeau won NCAA Division I individual championship by a stroke. Two months later, he added the U.S. Amateur championship, becoming only the fifth player ever to do that. 

In 2020, Bryson won his first major championship, coming from two shots back by posting the only sub-par round on the championship Sunday, firing a 3-under-par 67 to win by six shots. He was the only player to finish under-par for the championship. 

However, like any golfer, the path between DeChambeau's 2020 U.S. Open victory and his 2024 U.S. Open victory was by no means all positive. 

"Low point was after the Masters 2022," he said. "My hand got broke. It was broke, and I had to go to have surgery. I didn't know if I was ever going to play golf. I thought there was a chance I would play high, competitive golf again, not knowing how it would affect my game and my speed and everything. 

"Certainly going into surgery was probably the lowest, then waiting eight weeks, not knowing if I was going to be able to grip a club with the same effort and feel the same and all that, and then struggling with my game. That whole four- or five-month period was pretty rough. There were some definite low moments. Made me rethink a lot of things in life.

"Where it turned the corner was a week before Greenbrier last year. I put a driver in play and a shaft combination with LA Golf, Crank head, iron shafts I've used for a long time. That whole combination setup just flipped the switch in me. I went and shot 61, 58 on the weekend. I'm like, Okay, Bryson's here again. How do I turn this into major championship golf now?

"So right around that time frame is when things switched. I focused a lot of my energy on how to get another major title."

DeChambeau outplayed the 124th U.S. Open field by making 17 birdies against only nine bogeys and a double, playing the difficult closing 5-hole stretch from the 14th through 18th holes in even-par. All of this culminating in a 55-foot bunker shot to four feet that proved the margin of difference after Rory McIlroy missed two short putts on the final three holes.  

DeChambeau, who will return to the obscurity of LIV Golf until the Open Championship next month, will continue to connect with golf fans through the various social media projects he's engaged in. 

"If I'm to be quite frank, I hope we can figure things out quickly," he said. "I hope this can bridge the gap between a divided game.

"All I want to do is entertain and do my best for the game of golf, execute and provide some awesome entertainment for the fans. From at least what I can tell, that's what the fans want, and they deserve that.

"You can say what's happened in the past, you know, you were part of the reason... Let bygones be bygones and go figure it out. Let's figure out this amazing game that creates so much positivity back to where it belongs."