The 121st U.S. Open will go down as the primary main win for Jon Rahm, one of many world’s nice gamers—and one in every of golf’s simpler gamers to root for. The 26-year-old Spaniard began the ultimate spherical in a tie for sixth place at two strokes beneath par for the championship. He posted a field-best 4 beneath on Sunday and ended with a cumulative minus six to edge out everybody else, most notably Louis Oosthuizen at 5 beneath.
The profitable shot turned out to be an icy putt on the 18th gap, which Rahm made a couple of minutes earlier than Oosthuizen (enjoying within the day’s ultimate group) completed his spherical:
This match wasn’t fairly as historic because the U.S. Open’s last visit to Torrey Pines in 2008, but it surely didn’t should be. In its personal means, the 2021 U.S. Open was among the finest in a very long time. Here’s a better take a look at Rahm’s victory.
Rahm was due for a significant match win.
Going into the match, Rahm was the No. 3 participant within the Official World Golf Ranking (behind Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas), and he was the perfect participant on this planet to have but to win a significant.
It was only a matter of time. Rahm had already gained 5 PGA Tour occasions, together with two (the 2020 Memorial and PGA Championship) that attracted gifted fields much like a significant occasion. He’d been in critical competition in earlier iterations of the PGA Championship and The Masters. With a strong driving sport off the tee and a tactful brief sport across the greens, Rahm is a well-rounded participant and had every thing he wanted to win a significant.
He put all of it collectively on Sunday. He performed the spherical of his life on a difficult South Course at Torrey Pines—but it surely probably gained’t be his final main win.
Rahm has had a wild few weeks.
On Saturday, June 5, Rahm was the chief on the Memorial, the match run by all-time nice Jack Nicklaus at his Muirfield course in Ohio. Rahm had simply wrapped up his third spherical with a six-stroke lead and was cruising to win the match. Then, a PGA Tour official instructed Rahm he had examined constructive for COVID-19 and needed to withdraw. He missed out on a $1.67 million prize that will’ve been his so long as he prevented a Sunday meltdown. Rahm had not obtained his first vaccine dose till the week of the match, though the shot had been accessible to him for a minimum of a number of weeks beforehand.
Afterward, Rahm was introspective. In his press convention earlier than the U.S. Open, he talked about how he wished he’d gotten vaccinated earlier, and the way grateful he was that his spouse and toddler baby had not turn into sick. Fortunately, Rahm didn’t endure critical signs, and he took his constructive check as an opportunity to reevaluate his choices. Then he went out and gained the U.S. Open.
On Sunday, the match’s largest weapons took over.
The U.S. Open was expected to favor a small handful of the perfect gamers (and longest hitters) on this planet. The United States Golf Association’s behavior of organising lengthy, troublesome programs, mixed with the deep subject of fantastic gamers, appeared to rule out any upsets. But the primary few days of the match have been shocking. 48-year-old Englishman Richard Bland, who had no monitor file of main competition, led after two rounds to turn into the oldest person to ever lead a major after 36 holes. When Bland light in Saturday’s third spherical, Russell Henley, the No. 63 participant on this planet, turned the brand new chief.
But the Sunday leaderboard progressively tightened, and the gamers in competition by the top have been confirmed commodities with elite monitor data. Oosthuizen is a former main champ (on the 2010 Open Championship) who has had sturdy showings on the sport’s largest occasions—he has completed as a runner-up in every of the 4 majors. (This 12 months will likely be one more painful near-miss for the South African star.)
Brooks Koepka, the four-time main winner who struggled on Saturday however contends in kind of each main, even made a Sunday cost to place himself in competition. Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele, and Collin Morikawa—all top-11 gamers—have been every close to the highest of the leaderboard. And so, after all, was Rahm, an enormous hitter who entered the match ranked 21st in driving distance.
Part of the U.S. Open’s allure is that it’s actually an “open” match. Anyone can theoretically qualify for the 156-player subject by working their means by means of a protracted maze of qualifying tournaments. And Henley, Bland, and Canadian Mackenzie Hughes every made good runs. But ultimately, the nationwide championship got here right down to a handful of the perfect gamers in golf, enjoying on the prime of their video games with every thing on the road. It’s laborious for golf to get higher than that, however Rahm’s redemption after the Memorial fiasco made this match much more particular.
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