Once again, Rory McIlroy suffered a major heartbreak.
He hit the ball beautifully all week at the Los Angeles Country Club, leading the field in strokes gained off the tee and in greens in regulation at the 123rd U.S. Open.
But his putter let him down immensely, and it ultimately sealed his fate.
McIlroy lost 2.1 strokes to the field putting Sunday, ranking 57th of 65 players that made the cut.
He finished one stroke behind Wyndham Clark, the 2023 U.S. Open champion.
McIlroy may have snapped his nine-year major championship drought if he made just one more putt—he had plenty of opportunities.
Instead, he carded an even-par round of 70, the first time this week that McIlroy did not shoot a sub-70 round.
McIlroy blistered his drive on the opening hole, a 585-yard par 5, and put his second shot on the green. He then two-putted for birdie.
That was the only birdie he made all day.
He missed a makeable birdie putt at the 3rd and then again at the par-5 8th.
McIlroy did not take advantage of the easy front nine at LACC and made the turn with a 1-under 34.
On the 10th hole, the easiest hole on the back nine at LACC, McIlroy missed a 14-footer for birdie.
After that, his birdie opportunities dwindled, but his chances to make bogeys only increased.
He missed the fairway at the par-5 14th, leading to a bogey.
McIlroy made pars at 15, 16, 17, and 18, but it was not enough. Clark held on down the stretch to capture his first major championship.
Meanwhile, McIlroy is left to wonder what could have been.