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DUBLIN, OHIO – JUNE 05: Jon Rahm of Spain plays his shot from the 18th tee during the third round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club on June 05, 2021 in Dublin, Ohio. (Photo by Sam Greenwood / Getty Images)
Spaniard John Rahm was able to capitalize on the exciting final nine holes that saw many players collapse and win the US Open in Torrey Pines in 2021.
On the final nine holes behind the leader and then leader Bryson DeChambeau, Rahm was able to maintain his composure with two late birdies on 17 and 18 to survive the collapse of the rest of the field around him.
Rahms win at Torrey Pines came just a week and a half after he was sensationally withdrawn from the Memorial tournament due to a positive Covid test result because he could not finish the tournament by six shots. Rahm attributed to his family and positive attitude what turned out to be a comeback off-course for the ages.
“I’m a firm believer in karma,” said Rahm. “After what happened a few weeks ago, I stayed really positive because I knew big things were coming. I didn’t know what it was going to be … I got off the COVID log early. I just had the feeling that the stars were aligning. “
The back nine proved to be an Achilles heel for most on the final lap, with a number of big names unable to tame the beast like Rahm.
DeChambeau had fallen out of favor during his final lap at Torrey Pines. Taking the direct lead into his last nine, DeChambeau collapsed and ended up on a 44, including a quadruple bogey on the 17th par-4.
Some others also stumbled and fell too late in the fight. South African favorite Louis Oosthuizen took the lead in his final handful of holes before needing a three-shot swing on par-5 18 after a disappointing bogey at 17 to secure a playoff spot against clubhouse leader Rahm . With a short pitch before reaching the playoffs, Oosthuizen played his shot a bit long to secure Rahm his first US Open title.
After birdies at 13 and 15, Brooks Koepka seemed late in control. At -4 with three penultimate holes, Koepka bogeyed 16 and 18 to end a draw in fourth place with his American Colin Morikawa and Italian Guido Migliozzi. With a back nine 39 for Rory McIlroy, the Irish dropped to -1 along with five others in the rankings as well, extending his long-awaited return to the winners’ circle in a major.
The next tournament on the PGA tour is the Travelers Championship, which will be played in the TPC River Highlands on June 24th. Defending champion Dustin Johnson wants to recover from his own disappointment at the US Open.