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The Open Championship Odds: Rory McIlroy 15/2 after US Open heartbreak

Another major, another near miss for Rory McIlroy.

And this one might have hurt more than any major since the 2011 Masters, when he was still on zero.

On Sunday, McIlroy holed putts from 20 feet, 14 feet, 26 feet, and 22 feet to be -4 for the day and -8 for the tournament with six holes to play, taking a two-shot lead over Bryson DeChambeau, whose putter and driver had gone cold on him after a magnificent first three days.

Then disaster struck. McIlroy missed par putts on 15 and 16 from two feet to allow DeChambeau back in, having missed a short par putt of his own on 15.

His drive on 18 missed left leaving no access to the pin, but his chip from off the green to inside four feet meant McIlroy would be guaranteed at least a play-off should he hole the putt.

But a tentative stroke missed low, meaning par for DeChambeau would see him lift a second US Open title.

One of the greatest 72nd-hole shots in major championship history saw DeChambeau splash out of a bunker to four feet, successfully getting up and down.

The Open

We’ve seen McIlroy’s putter desert him on Sundays at majors but this time felt different. As St Andrews in 2022, nothing dropped, but there weren’t a series of short misses. Similarly at Los Angeles Country Club in 2023, things just didn’t go McIlroy’s way, but having made nearly 100 feet of putts on Sunday in his first 12 holes, it looked like the four-time major winner was set to end his decade-long drought.

It’s easy to accuse people of choking when throwing a lead away, but it’s hard to escape that conclusion for McIlroy on this occasion, and it’ll sting for a long, long time.

The last time we saw McIlroy really choke at a major was the 2011 Masters when he stood on the 10th tee with the lead, going on to card an 80 – the good news is McIlroy broke his major duck at the US Open just two months later, and the 34-year-old gets another chance at The Open next month, where he’s 8/1 to lift the Claret Jug for the second time.

The Open heads to Royal Troon, where McIlroy finished T5 in 2016 after perhaps the greatest Sunday battle in major history between Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson, with the Swede coming out on top.

Of course, The Open is always dictated by the weather, and McIlroy has a mixed record at the oldest major, winning at Royal Liverpool in 2014 in benign conditions, with his last four finishes reading MC-T46-3-T6.

Despite growing up in Northern Ireland, McIlroy has never been the strongest wind player, but if conditions remain relatively calm he’ll have as good a chance as anyone.

Scottie Scheffler is the clear favourite at 9/2, though there’s an added question mark after his indifferent showing at Pinehurst last week. Expected by many to win the US Open, the world number one was six shots back after a first-round 71, making the cut on the number, and eventually finishing 14 back of DeChambeau, missing out on the chance to add a third major to his collection.

DeChambeau is third favourite at 12/1, though has typically struggled on the United Kingdom’s links, finishing MC-T51-MC-T33-T8-T60 at The Open. While DeChambeau’s extreme distance allows him to carve up a number of courses, the ultra-penal rough typically seen at The Open makes it tricky for even the longest hitters if they’re not accurate.

But it’s three straight top-10s in majors for DeChambeau, and based on what we’ve seen at the Masters, PGA Championship and US Open this year, it’s impossible to write the two-time major winner off.

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