Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Rory McIlroy makes swift Pinehurst exit after US Open heartbreak

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

A dejected Rory McIlroy reacts on the 18th green
Rory McIlroy puts his head in his hands after a bogey on the 72nd hole of the US Open (USGA/Jeff Haynes)

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.”

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.