Rahm claims maiden Major title at Torrey Pines
Jon Rahm solidified his standing in the European Points Race after claiming his first Major Championship at the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.
After also moving back to Number One in the World, the 2018 Ryder Cup debutant extends his lead on both the European Points List (8,515.82 points) and World Points List (578.78), with the former seeing the Spaniard some 3,152.56 points clear of his nearest competitor Tommy Fleetwood.
As well as being Rahm’s first Major triumph, he also became the first Spaniard to win the U.S. Open in the history of the event and just the fourth Spaniard to win a Major Championship, joining Ryder Cup royalty Seve Ballesteros, José María Olazábal and Sergio Garcia.
The final day started with Rahm trailing by three strokes, but the 26-year-old wasted no time cutting that lead with back-to-back birdies on the opening two holes.
With two holes to go, and much of the field falling away, it came down to a shootout between Rahm and 2010 Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen.
Rahm would finish his round with back-to-back birdies to sign for a final round 67, with South African Oosthuizen stood on the 17th tee one stroke behind.
However, the 38-year-old found the hazard on 17 resulting in a bogey and when he failed to eagle the 18th, Rahm was crowned the 121st U.S. Open Champion.
"This was definitely for Seve," Rahm said. "I know he tried a lot and usually we think a lot about him with the Masters but I know he wanted to win this one most of all.
“The first person who called me (after withdrawing from the Memorial Tournament) that wasn't family, it was right away when I was in the isolation trailer, was Pádraig Harrington, and he told me a story in which he was leading by five after 54 holes, signed the wrong scorecard, and got disqualified. He said he got a lot more from that instance, he learned a lot more than he would ever learn from the win.
“I’m a big believer in karma and after what happened a couple of weeks ago, I stayed really positive knowing big things were coming.
“I didn’t know what it was going to be, but I knew we were coming to a special place, I knew I got my breakthrough win here and it’s a very special place for my family.
“The fact my parents were able to come, I got out of Covid protocol early, I just felt like the stars were aligning.
"It felt like such a fairytale story that I knew it was going to have a happy ending. I could just tell, just going down the fairway after that first tee shot, that second shot, and that birdie I knew there was something special in the air. I could just feel it. I just knew it."
Guido Migliozzi continued his climb up both points lists as he fired rounds of 71-70-73-68 to finish in a tie for fourth on two-under-par on his Major debut.
The Italian moves up three spots on the European Points List and into seventh with 3,305.54 points.
The 24-year-old also closes in on the top 10 of the World Points List, moving up six places into 11th with 154.70 points.
Paul Casey also moved up one spot in the World Points List, after a tied seventh finish, to claim the top automatic qualifying spot on the World Points List, with 266.25 points placing him in fourth position.
Rory McIlroy also finished in the six-way tie for seventh and maintains his place in fourth on the European Points List with 4,417.85 points.
As it stands Rahm (8,515.82 points), Fleetwood (4,999.26 points), Tyrrell Hatton (4,860.56 points) and McIlroy (4,417.85 points) fill the automatic places on the European Points List.
Casey (266.25 points), Viktor Hovland (245.06 points) Lee Westwood (232.48 points), Matthew Fitzpatrick (213.76 points) and Perez (187.37 points) currently occupy the World Points List spots.
Harrington will choose his three Captain’s Picks after the conclusion of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth during the week of September 13, 2021.