How Rory McIlroy one-putted this U.S. Open green without making a putt

Rory McIlroy hits chip-in during second round of the 2024 U.S. Open

Rory McIlroy may have saved his second round with a clutch chip-in on Friday.

Throughout his storied career, and even before it, Rory McIlroy never lacked a certain magic touch. Like the legends who came before him, he has a preternatural ability to pull off feats rarely seen on the golf course.

On Friday at the 2024 U.S. Open, the four-time major champion pulled off something especially bizarre and impressive at the same time: one-putting a green without making a putt.

Having started the second round tied for the lead with Patrick Cantlay, McIlroy had reached the par-3 17th hole (his eighth hole of the day) at two over on the round, desperate to keep things from getting away from him.

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But after leaving himself with a lengthy downhill birdie putt on the 199-yard par 3, he did let something get away from him: his golf ball.

McIlroy’s birdie putt from the back of the green had too much steam from the start, and on the lightning-fast, bowl-shaped greens at Pinehurst No. 2, that’s a major no-no. He could only watch as his ball trickled past the hole and then all the way off the front of the green.

But just as the odds had stacked up against him and his quest to end a decade-long major drought, McIlroy dipped into his magic reserve.

Facing a tricky chip to the same slick green, he clipped his ball perfectly off the hard fairway surface, dropping it just onto the front of the green where it tracked directly into the hole.

Check it out below.

The par-saving chip came just at the right time to be a potential round- and tournament-saver for McIlroy. With a birdie at the par-4 3rd, he was back on steady ground with both eyes fixed solely on top of the leaderboard.

Kevin Cunningham

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