Jon Rahm clinched his first major title and became the first Spaniard ever to win the US Open with a magnificent final round of 67 on Sunday to outlast Louis Oosthuizen on a crazy day of golf at Torrey Pines in California.
Bogies on the 17th and 18th from 24 feet and 18 feet respectively proved vital as Rahm headed into the clubhouse with a one-shot lead over Oosthuizen, and the South African couldn’t find the extra kick he needed, with his bogey at the 17th meaning he needed an eagle on the final hole to force a play-off. His birdie on the 18th was therefore not enough to deny Rahm, who follows Seve Ballesteros, Jose Maria Olazabal and Sergio Garcia as only the fourth Spaniard to win a major of any description.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Rahm had had to pull out of the Memorial tournament after testing positive for Covid-19. He had ended the third round that day with a six-shot lead following a fantastic round of 64 which included a hole-in-one on the 183-yard 16th hole.
Now, he is the US Open champion after a stunning final round on a day when so many of the other contenders for the crown found ways to blow good positions.
Reigning champion Bryson DeChambeau’s challenge was undermined on the back nine with bogies on the 11th and 12th, followed by a double-bogey seven at the 13th. His misfortune was compounded with a quadruple-bogey eight on the 17th as his tied-for-the-lead five under par became an ignominious +3 thanks to a final round of 77.
Elsewhere, Canadian Mackenzie Hughes was going well until seeing a drive land in a tree, DeChambeau had a ball land resting against a crate of beer and countless others missed fairways by some distance as multiple players struggled to cope with the pressure of staying in touch with the leading figures in a compelling day’s golf.
Rahm had started the day tied for sixth on two under par, with Oosthuizen sharing the lead with Hughes and American Russell Henley. But none of those who began ahead of him turned in rounds of even par or better, leaving Rahm to clean up with his monumental display.
Rahm collects $2.25 million for his historic success and becomes the world number one for the second time.