Pro Golf – U.S. Open
“You learn more from some of your biggest setbacks than from success,” said 26-year-old Spaniard Jon Rahm in the winner’s press conference referring to his devastating disqualification two weeks ago when he was informed he couldn’t play the final round at The Memorial despite holding a 6 shot lead after 54 holes. “Something good is going to happen” he told his distraught wife and family members repeatedly during the past two weeks. And so Rahm believed and shot 69-70-72-67 (6-under 278) to win his maiden major at Torrey Pines in California, becoming the first Spaniard to win the U.S. Open. “ I stayed patient and just believed something would go right and it did”, he added, as he holed two 20 foot birdie putts on the last two holes of the tournament to surge into the outright lead and take the title as the earlier leader Louis Oosthuizen bogeyed 17 to drop two behind Rahm.
With 28 players within 6 shots of the lead going into the final round, Sunday was always set to be a shootout. It remained that way starting the back 9 as the star studded leaderboard led by DeChambeau, Mcilroy, Oosthuizen bristled with tension. Finally the brutal Torrey Pines layout and nerves took their toll until only Rahm emerged unscathed.
With the win, Rahm regained the World No.1 ranking for a second time, after holding it briefly in August 2020.
Immediately after his disqualification at The Memorial due to testing positive for Covid despite being asymptomatic, Rahm got a call from fellow Ryder Cupper, Padraig Harrington who told him of his own instance where he got disqualified for signing a wrong scorecard despite holding a 5 stroke lead going into the final round. The next morning 6 time major winner, Sir Nick Faldo texted Rahm about his being disqualified years earlier, despite holding a 6 shot lead with 6 holes to play. Both legends told the young Rahm that they learned a lot from those painful experiences. That gave Rahm belief which eventually paid off.
Rahm held his 3-month-old son, as he walked off the 18th green on Father’s Day. “Little man, you have no idea what this means right now but you will soon enough.”
First Father’s Day. First major. ❤️pic.twitter.com/ctEKFjnwe9
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 21, 2021
There is also a lot to learn from how wisely Rahm reacted to that disqualification two weeks earlier when he said, “ This is one of those things that happens in life, one of those moments where how we respond to a setback defines us as people.”
Thoughts after today’s round pic.twitter.com/gWkBAWE42F
— Jon Rahm Rodriguez (@JonRahmpga) June 6, 2021
Meanwhile in another boost for the Europeans, 24 year old Italian Guido Miggliozi, playing his first major, finished tied-4th with 71-70-74-68 (2-under 282) with major winners Brooks Koepka and Collin Morikawa. Rory McIlroy posted a 67 on Saturday of the tournament to remain two-shots off the lead but managed only a final round 73 as a result of missed putts to finish tied-7th. De Chambeau led the field in his title defence, with 8 holes to play but dropped 4 shots on 11, 12 and 13 to quickly drop out of contention.
The US Open and the historic Torrey Pines course in San Diego lived up to its reputation as a gruelling test which provided plenty of drama for fans who thronged the venue and television viewers across the globe. We look forward to the next major, the Open Championship scheduled for July 15-18 in England, at Royal St George’s.