7 Underrated Stories That You May Have Missed At The US Open

We take a look at some stories which you may have missed at Pinehurst No.2, as the likes of Xander Schauffele, Davis Thompson and Sergio Garcia all flew under the radar

The US Open in the middle and a number of golfers around it
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The US Open produced one of the most thrilling finishes we have seen in Major history, with Bryson DeChambeau edging out Rory McIlroy by a single stroke following the Northern Irishman's collapse over the final few holes.

McIlroy had been leading with a handful of holes remaining, but short missed par putts on the 16th and 18th meant a five-under tournament total and, as DeChambeau made an unbelievable up-and-down at the last to fire six-under, the American claimed a second US Open scalp.

Understandably, the news of DeChambeau's win and McIlroy's collapse dominated the news but, because of the duo's battle, there were a number of stories that went unnoticed at Pinehurst No.2.

Several big names were up near the top of the leaderboard and, below, we have picked out some of the underrated stories of the week in North Carolina, with veterans and rookies all performing well at the third men's Major of 2024.

Xander Continues Impressive US Open Record

Xander Schauffele speaks to the media at the US Open

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The recently crowned PGA Championship winner had yet another strong showing in a Major, as Xander Schauffele's incredible record at US Opens continued at Pinehurst No.2.

Carding rounds of 70, 69, 72 and 68 in North Carolina, the American finished in a tie for seventh alongside fellow countryman, Russell Henley, with Schauffele now finishing inside the top 10 at seven of eight US Opens. 

It's not as if his worst finish is that bad either, as Schauffele produced a tie for 14th in 2022. What's more, in his last seven Major appearances, he has five top 10s, as well as a T17 and T18 finish, which is arguably the strongest Major record in men's professional golf right now.

Pavon Moves Up To Career High World Ranking

Matthieu Pavon walks alongside Bryson DeChambeau during the US Open

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Matthieu Pavon's career has taken off since his victory at the 2023 Open de Espana in October, with the Frenchman securing a PGA Tour card in dramatic circumstances and then winning the Farmers Insurance Open in January of this year.

In addition, he finished in a tie for 12th at the Masters, securing his spot in next year's event at Augusta National, and then fired a three-under-par tournament total to finish fifth at the US Open.

Pavon has four top 10s in 2024 and his best Major finish at Pinehurst No.2 moves the 31-year-old into a career high World Ranking of 20th. Pavon is set to represent France at the Olympic Games in September and, with the event taking place in Paris, he will be one of the favorites to claim gold in his home country.

Sergio Produces Best Major Finish Since Masters Victory

Sergio Garcia strikes a tee shot with sunglasses on

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Along with Pavon, Sergio Garcia enjoyed an excellent US Open, with the Spaniard firing rounds of 69, 71, 71 and 70 to sit at one-over-par and in a share of 12th position alongside Ludvig Aberg.

The 12th place finish is his best result in a Major championship since his 2017 Masters win, with the Fireballs GC Captain earning just one top 20 finish in that time. That finish came at the 2021 US Open.

Garcia has enjoyed a superb 2024, so far. Not only was he just one of two players to card a blemish free round on Thursday at Pinehurst No.2, but the 44-year-old has two runner-up finishes on the LIV Golf circuit this year, and sits in sixth in the individual standings.

The European Charge

Okay, we admit it, we have spoken a fair amount about European players in this piece, but there was a large European contingent at the top of the leaderboard, as eight covered the top 20 and nine if you count the top 26.

Unfortunately, McIlroy missed out on a fifth Major scalp in heartbreaking fashion, with his runner-up finish his second in a row at the US Open. Along with the 35-year-old, Pavon was inside the top 10, whilst Garcia and Aberg sat in a tie for 12th.

Just behind the Spaniard and Swede, Belgium's Thomas Detry continued his excellent form, as he finished in a tie for 14th with American Collin Morikawa. In a tie for 16th was Englishman Tommy Fleetwood, whilst Shane Lowry and Aaron Rai occupied the 19th spot. Just outside the top 20 was Stephan Jaegar, who already has one PGA Tour title this year.

Thompson Earns First Major Top 10

Davis Thompson hits a driver off the tee

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Coming into the 2024 US Open, Davis Thompson had missed three cuts in three Majors starts. However, the 25-year-old battled valiantly over the weekend, as he fired rounds of 70 and 68 on Saturday and Sunday to jump into a tie for ninth and secure a first top 10 in a Major.

The top 10 finish is just his second of 2024, following a runner-up placing at the Myrtle Beach Classic. What's more, Thompson jumps up 19 spots in the World Rankings to 80th and, importantly, moves into the top 60 of the FedEx Cup rankings.

Corey Conners And David Puig Earn Olympic Spots

It wasn't just the US Open where players were vying for points, as the qualification for the Olympic Games came to a close and, in a thrilling climax, it was Canada's Corey Conners who pipped fellow countryman, Adam Hadwin, to the second and final spot.

Joining Nick Taylor in Paris, Conners' tied ninth finish and Hadwin's missed cut meant Conners just crept in, with the Canadian stating: "It would be quite a thrill to get back to the Olympics. Very much would love to be on that team".

Along with Conners, Spain's David Puig will join fellow LIV Golfer Jon Rahm in Paris, with the 22-year-old making the cut at Pinehurst to jump Jorge Campillo. Speaking on Friday, Puig claimed: "It means the world. Playing for your own country at the Olympics alongside Jon Rahm. I don’t think there’s a better scenario than that".

Daniel Berger Finds Some Form

Daniel Berger hits a driver off the tee

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Since making his return from a lengthy injury layoff in 2024, Daniel Berger has struggled to find his feet on the PGA Tour, with the American's best result being a tie for 13th at The CJ Cup Byron Nelson.

At Pinehurst No.2, the 31-year-old produced his second best finish of the year, as rounds of 73, 70, 73 and a one-under 69 put him into a share of 21st place and gave him his third best result at the US Open in nine starts.

Tom McKibbin Ties With Scheffler

Making his Major debut at Pinehurst No.2, Tom McKibbin had a week to remember, with the DP World Tour winner being paired with World No.1, Scottie Scheffler, on the final day. 

Carding a two-over-par round on Sunday, the 72 matched Scheffler's, as both men finished in a tie for 41st, with McKibbin rounding off an impressive Major start as he collected much needed ranking points and moved up nine spots to 136th.

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x