Bryson v Rory: US Open Shootout — Clippd Data Insights

Words by
Dan Davies
Bryson v Rory: US Open Shootout — Clippd Data Insights

When the dust settles on the 124th US Open, the narrative will become fixed that it all came down to two short putts (both missed by Rory McIlroy) and one extraordinary bunker shot (executed by Bryson DeChambeau). As always, though, the Clippd data offers many extra layers of nuance. We break it all down below.

A superb and testing course in Pinehurst No.2, a Sunday leaderboard packed with quality, and a shootout between two genuine superstars of the game that came down to the 72nd hole and ended in high drama were all key ingredients that made the 124th US Open the most exciting major championship in recent years.

For Bryson DeChambeau, a place in the history books alongside Bobby Jones, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the only winner of a US Amateur title and multiple US Opens. And, of course, his new status as the people's champion.

For Rory McIlroy, possibly the most painful major championship experience of his career, eclipsing the loss to Cam Smith at the 150th Open Championship at St Andrews, the Sunday meltdown at the 2011 Masters Tournament and last year's runner-up finish at LA Country Club.

Round Summary
Bryson DeChambeau Round 4 Summary

Bryson changed the head on this driver minutes before teeing off in the final round. "It had a good curvature on the face, but it was a little bit lower loft," he said. "For whatever reason, those lower lofted heads have been missing right. Consequently I missed it right all day." He revealed that he usually needs to hit around 50 shots with a new head to have it ready for tournament play. Bryson's driving on Sunday was errant but his iron play and chipping were again both excellent.

Rory McIlroy Round 4 Summary

Rory's Average Shot Quality was better than Bryson's in every department other than iron play, which let him down on Sunday. He was extremely unlucky with his approach to the par-5 5th hole, which looked like it would stop on the green before rolling agonisingly off the front edge and down into a horrible lie in the waste area (35 Shot Quality). His worst shot of the day, however, was his tee shot to the 15th, a 7-iron into the par-3 that went long into another horrible lie. It scored just16 for Shot Quality and led to a damaging bogey.

Best 3 Shots & Shot Quality Tracker
Bryson DeChambeau Best 3 Shots & Clippd Shot Quality Tracker - R4 2024 US Open

Bryson's best shot of the day was, unsurprisingly, his penultimate stroke: the 54-yard bunker shot he played to set up his title-clinching par on the 18th hole. "That bunker shot was the shot of my life," he said afterwards. "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!" On three occasions, Bryson followed one of his worst shots with one of his best, showing the steel and tenacity that ultimately secured his victory.

Rory McIlroy Best 3 Shots & Clippd Shot Quality Tracker - R4 2024 US Open

Rory putted the lights out on Sunday, holing 111ft 8ins of putts through 13 holes. Tour average for an entire round is 76ft 6ins. Prior to missing the short putt on 16, Justin Ray reported that Rory had holed all 496 putts he had faced inside 3 feet this season. It is ironic that given his round will be remembered for two missed tiddlers when the heat was on, his best three shots of the round were all putts.

Putting Shot Quality Tracker
Bryson's Putting Shot Quality Tracker — R4 2024 US Open

Bryson did not have his best day with the putter but still holed some clutch putts, not least the 12-footer he made to complete a miraculous up and down from the back of 8, the 7-footer for par on 11 and, of course, the 4-footer he converted to win on the 18th.

Rory's Putting Shot Quality Tracker — R4 US Open

Rory gave his many fans real hope by holing long putts when it seemed to matter. A 21-footer for birdie on the first hole suggested this might be the day that he ended his 10-year major drought. This feeling intensified with his hot stretch in the middle of the round that saw him slot putts of 15 feet on 9, 27 feet on 10 and 23 feet on 12. Unfortunately, these long putts will pale in the memory compared with the short ones he missed on 16 and 18.

Shot Quality Summary

You might think that hitting 10 more elite quality shots (120+ Shot Quality), as Rory did, would be enough to seal the deal but the key to success, as we see time and time again, is minimising the number of bad shots (0-40 Shot Quality). Bryson hit considerably fewer than Rory. Four of Rory's six worst shots resulted in bogeys, three of which came in the last four holes. Those mistakes, ultimately, proved to be the difference.

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