Jon Rahm, champion of a great. The 26-year-old Basque golfer won the 121st edition of the US Open this Sunday, held at the Torrey Pines field, in San Diego, California, and after several courses in the world elite he has achieved his first major, the ninth for Spanish golf and the only one held in the US Open. Rahm has been crowned with a stroke of advantage against the South African Louis Oosthuizen, the only one who endured until the end the push of the Barrika player in a last day of high tension. Up to 10 players were on the sidelines for a hit mid-round. All, one by one, fell into the clutches of the US Open, a tournament that takes no prisoners and in which the important thing is to survive. And despite his youth, few golfers have such a special relationship with Torrey Pines as Jon Rahm. In that field he celebrated his first professional victory, at the Farmers Insurance Open in January 2017. In San Diego he became engaged to his now wife, Kelley Cahill. And there he has achieved his greatest professional success, his 13th victory, the sporting dream of his life, after having already been number one in the world.
It was Kelley who was waiting for him at the 18th hole for Rahm to pick up little Kepa, born just before the last Augusta Masters, in April. With the little boy resting on his chest, continuing to kiss him, Rahm waited for Oosthuizen to finish his round. The Basque had redoubled his pressure and attack with a spectacular final round: birdie on the 17th hole, birdie on the 18th hole (same as his sweeping start, birdies in 1 and 2). Two masterstrokes as full of cold blood as passion. An advantage then over the South African, who had four holes left to play. The cards were dealt and Rahm had a winning trick. The game was resolved on the penultimate hole. Oosthuizen lost the street in 17, but still had a putt to save the pair. He failed, defeated. Just a miracle that didn’t come in the form of eagle at 18 he could make him tie. Rahm watched on television as his latest rival gave way. He was finally the winner of a big one after chasing him for years: seven top-10 rankings at the Grand Slam, the previous two this year, fifth at the Masters and eighth at the PGA.
Rahm’s laurel is the ninth great in Spanish golf after the five achieved by Seve Ballesteros (British Open in 1979, 84 and 88 and Masters 80 and 83), José María Olazabal’s double in Augusta (1994 and 99) and the green jacket by Sergio García (2017). Where it all began for Rahm with his first triumph in the elite of the American circuit, where he joined his life with Kelley’s, he has touched the sporting and personal heaven, with his son in his arms and with his parents, Angela and Edorta, among him. public. A fairytale.
Two weeks ago, Jon Rahm had to leave Jack Nicklaus’ tournament, the Memorial Tournament, when he was leading after matchday three. With 18 under par and the title almost in his hands (on Sunday the leaders finished at -13), the doctors informed the Basque that he had tested positive for covid. Withdrawal and isolation, and his participation in the US Open in jeopardy. Rahm trained at home with a simulator, and what hurt the most was that he could not be present when his parents met their grandson, Kepa, but the tests were negative before the great American and he arrived in time to play. “I believe in karma. Good things happen to good people, ”said the Spaniard during the US Open. “I feel very confident.” You could see it in the hunter’s gaze throughout the day on Sunday, voracious, with a brilliant card of 67 hits, four under par for the day, six in total. All the other pieces were falling. DeChambeau, McIlroy, Hugues, Morikawa … they all carried bogeys and double bogeys. Ten players were squeezed in just one hit midway through the round. The throne was to be won by an exercise of endurance, and of faith. Nobody was stronger in the head than Rahm, nobody wanted so much to win this big one.
Final US Open classification.
You can follow EL PAÍS DEPORTES in Facebook Y Twitter, or sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter.