SAN DIEGO — Whether or not it was future or karma was of no relevance to Jon Rahm. He received the U.S. Open on Sunday at Torrey Pines, the right time and the right place to turn into a significant champion.
The way it unfolded was past his desires.
One shot behind and working out of holes, Rahm made a sweeping, left-to-right birdie putt from 25 toes on the seventeenth gap to tie for the lead, and closed with one other bending 18-foot birdie putt that gave him a 1-shot victory over hard-luck Louis Oosthuizen.
Nobody had ever birdied the final two holes to win the U.S. Open by 1 shot within the earlier 120 editions of the hardest take a look at in golf till Rahm’s storybook end.
“It needed to occur in a stupendous setting like this,” he mentioned.
At Torrey Pines, the place he made a 50-foot eagle putt on the ultimate gap to clinch his first PGA Tour victory.
On Father’s Day, together with his 10-week-old son, Kepa, in his arms and his father having flown in from Spain, Rahm received his first profession main to return to No. 1 on the planet.
And it got here simply two weeks after his 6-shot lead was worn out on the Memorial due to a optimistic COVID-19 take a look at that knocked him out of the match and reduce into his U.S. Open preparations.
“It felt like such a fairy story story that I knew it was going to have a cheerful ending,” Rahm mentioned after these two career-changing birdies gave him a 4-under 67. “I might simply inform, happening the green after that first tee shot, that second shot and that birdie, I knew there was one thing particular within the air. I might simply really feel it.
“I simply knew that I might do it and believed it.”
He picked up two prizes Sunday. First, he cradled younger Kepa when he walked off the 18th inexperienced with the roars nonetheless ringing in his ears. Then, he hoisted that silver U.S. Open trophy as the primary champion from Spain.
Rahm was on the apply vary when Oosthuizen, who fell 2 photographs behind with a most premature tee shot into the canyon that led to bogey on the seventeenth gap, did not gap out his wedge for eagle on the finish.
“Little man, you haven’t any thought what this implies proper now,” Rahm mentioned to his son. “You’ll quickly sufficient.”
The ultimate spherical was so tight that six gamers had a share of the lead at one level, and there have been 10 gamers separated by a single shot.
After which that particular model of U.S. Open chaos hit everybody however Rahm, the one contender to not drop a shot on the again 9.
4 gamers who had been inside 1 shot of the lead on the again 9 made double bogeys, an inventory that included a surprising meltdown by defending champion Bryson DeChambeau.
Nobody was immune from hassle. Oosthuizen, who had a 2-shot lead after his 30-foot birdie putt on No. 10, was the final to fall.
Trailing by 1 shot, Oosthuizen drove into the canyon left of the seventeenth fairway for a bogey that left him 2 photographs behind, after which he missed the green on the par-5 18th that saved him from going for the inexperienced for a take a look at eagle to power a playoff.
He settled for a birdie and a 71. It was his second straight runner-up in a significant, and his sixth silver medal since he received the British Open in 2010 at St. Andrews.
“Look, it is irritating. It is disappointing,” Oosthuizen mentioned. “I am taking part in good golf, however profitable a significant championship isn’t just going to occur. That you must exit and play good golf. I performed good at this time, however I did not play ok.”
Solely two weeks in the past, Rahm was on the cusp of one other large win. He tied the 54-hole report on the Memorial and had a 6-shot lead, solely to be notified as he walked off the 18th inexperienced that he examined optimistic for the coronavirus and needed to withdraw.
Worse but, his dad and mom had flown in from Spain to see their new grandson, and Rahm was in self-isolation and could not be there for a particular second.
Sunday made up for it. His dad and mom had been at Torrey Pines to witness a world-class efficiency capped off by one of many nice finishes in U.S. Open historical past.
“I am a giant believer in karma, and after what occurred a pair weeks in the past, I stayed actually optimistic understanding good issues had been coming,” Rahm mentioned. “I did not know what it was going to be, however I knew we had been coming to a particular place.
“I simply felt like the celebrities had been aligning, and I knew my finest golf was to come back.”
For a lot of the again 9, it was utter chaos with blunders that may outline a U.S. Open.
DeChambeau, attempting to turn into solely the fourth participant since World Warfare II to win back-to-back within the U.S. Open, took the lead with an 8-iron that stopped inches away from a hole-in-one on the par-3 eighth. However a sequence of ill-timed bogeys gave him a 44 on the again 9 for a 77 on the day.
Mackenzie Hughes, 1 shot behind going to the again 9, had his tee shot on the par-3 eleventh bounce off a cart path and get caught in a tree, resulting in a double bogey that ended his probabilities. Former PGA champion Collin Morikawa chopped his manner down the thirteenth for a double bogey that took him from 1 shot behind to out of the combo.
Rory McIlroy wasn’t immune, both. With an opportunity to finish his seven-year drought in majors, McIlroy made a careless 3-putt for bogey on the eleventh when he was 1 shot behind, after which caught a foul lie within the bunker that led to a double bogey on No. 12.
Rahm’s ardour was on a full show when these profitable putts dropped. When it was over, he by no means appeared extra at peace with that U.S. Open trophy at his facet.
“This one may be very, very unbelievable, very laborious to imagine, that this story can spherical up and find yourself so good,” he mentioned. “It nearly feels prefer it’s a film that is about to finish and I’ll get up quickly.”
The Related Press contributed to this report.