Well Played

Ben Rector writes beautiful song for Rory McIlroy after U.S. Open heartbreak

June 21, 2024

Jared C. Tilton

Unless you had a big bet on Bryson DeChambeau or you're just a sick person, no one enjoyed seeing Rory McIlroy's heartbreaking finish at the 2024 U.S. Open. It capped a decade of close calls in major championships with his most crushing loss yet as McIlroy missed painfully short putts on two of the final three holes to lose by a stroke to DeChambeau.

It was a brutal watch. And Rory showed just how much it hurt by immediately peeling out of the Pinehurst parking lot and boarding his plane home. The followind day he issued a statement saying he was withdrawing from this week's Travelers Championship and that he's "taking a few weeks away from the game to process everything and build myself back up."

There are plenty of people from Brandel Chamblee to Golf Digest's Sam Weinman who feel McIlroy can learn from this type of loss and be better for it down the road. However, right now, it's still a bummer for McIlroy and his fans. But now we can already say that something really good has come from his really bad finish.

That's where Ben Rector comes in. One of our favorite signer-songwriters around these parts, Rector wrote an awesome Masters-inspired theme song featuring Snoop Dogg a couple years back (You'd recognize it as the theme of ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball) and he combined with Charles Kelley to perform the prettiest song you've ever heard about missing a cut at Pebble Beach. And now, Rector has written a touching song for Rory after his U.S. Open loss. Have a listen:

Well played, Ben. And written.

"These people, they don't know the weight of dreams. How hard and lonely it can be to carry that flame honestly, to keep from going dim." Beautiful. And insightful. Thanks for sharing, Ben. Can you put that out as a single I can download?

Anyway, Rory, you take all the time you need. And when you return, your fans—including Ben—will be ready to watch you try (and try and try) again.