Bay Area

Jon Rahm wins U.S. Open to capture his first major title

Bay Area
Jon Rahm
Jon Rahm birdied the final two holes en route to winning the U.S. Open.
USA TODAY

On Sunday, Jon Rahm celebrated his first Father's Day and first major championship.

Rahm took the lead on the 72nd hole following a pair of dramatic birdies to finish 6-under and win the 121st U.S. Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego, Calif. on Sunday.

The 26-year-old became a father in April and a major champion in June, winning just two weeks after he tested positive for COVID-19 and was forced to withdraw from the Memorial Tournament while holding a six-stroke lead through three rounds.

"I'm a big believer in karma, and after what happened a couple of weeks ago, I stayed really positive knowing big things are coming," Rahm said Sunday after his victory. "I didn't know what it was going to be, but I knew we were coming to a special place."

Big names slowly dropped off what had been a crowded and star-studded Sunday leaderboard, setting the stage for a dramatic finish between the tournament-favorite Rahm and regular runner-up Louis Oosthuizen.

After Rahm's tee shot on 17 found a bunker, he perfectly read the break and curled in a 24-foot putt for birdie to take a share of the lead at 5-under.

He took the clubhouse lead on the 18th and final hole, after placing a bunker shot 18 feet from the hole, sinking the birdie putt and celebrating with a Tiger Woods-like fist pump.

Oosthuizen, trailing Rahm by one stroke, inexplicably missed the 17th fairway left, sending his tee shot into the hazard. He placed his recovery shot roughly 10 feet from the hole, giving him a chance to save par and keep his title hopes alive. His par putt rimmed out and he finished with a bogey that put him two strokes behind Rohm heading to the 72nd hole.

 

Oosthuizen needed an eagle on 18 to force a playoff -- the same hole he eagled on Saturday by draining a 52-foot putt to take a share of the lead through three rounds.

He took a conservative approach, placing his third shot from 69 yards out about 12 feet from the hole, making Rahm the U.S. Open's first Spanish victor.

Oosthuizen birdied the 18th to finish at 5-under for his sixth second-place finish in a major tournament. Harris English took third with a 3-under. Guido Migliozzi, Brooks Koepka and Collin Morikawa finished tied for fourth at 2-under.

Rahm shot a 4-under 67 in the final round, winning $2.25 million -- just weeks after losing out on what could have been a $1.674 million winner's purse following his positive COVID test.

After his victory became official, Rahm celebrated with his family as he was handed his two-month old son, Kepa. Shortly after, he was handed the U.S. Open Championship Trophy.