“US Open–1 For the Books”
They didn’t crown a winner at Torrey Pines, they also saluted a survivor.
Jon Rahm, when last seen, being escorted off the PGA course with a positive covid test two weeks ago, when he had a 6-stroke lead, roared from behind to take apart a very tough course, and win the hearts of the gallery and tons of viewers nationwide.
Rahm birdied 17-and-18, finishing a climatic drive on the back nine to catch then eliminate Louis Oosterhuizen.
With his wife, baby son, mother and father all there from Spain, Rahm put on a performance of a lifetime. He had won in the past at Torrey but now he claims this cup and he dedicated the victory to the late great Spainard Sev Ballesteros, who thrilled us in the 70s and 80s before chancer took his life.
Oosthuizen, the South African, was steady all day long as he picked off the others at the top of the leader board, one by one. Steady till the 17th tee, when he hit a shot into the penalty zone, and then missed a short putt. He had a bad 3-minutes, otherwise he would have won.
But what happened in a 45-minute span in late afternoon was staggering.
Bryson DeChambeau, who has built quite a following with his bombastic style and social media following, fell apart big time. He went from 5-under to 3-over, and stumbled home with a 77. Included were 2-bogeys, a double bogey and a quadruple bogey in a 7-hole span. He did all but throw his clubs and bag into the Pacific after he took an ‘8’ on a late hole.
Rory McIlroy fought back with a dazzling 35′ birdie off the rough, then just missed a long distance eagle putt. But he also had a shot from one bunker to the other bunker and then a shot into the rough.
Brooks Koepka took himself out on one hole. Rough-into the sand-back into the rough.
Xander Schauffele had 3-early bogeys and neve was a factor but he looks like a Grand Slam winner in the future.
Dustin Johnson took a triple bogey that ended his weekend.
Colin Morikawa hung around the leaders then a bad double bogey late.
Richard Bland, part of the leadership group in early rounds, went 77-78 and went home.
Mackenzie Hughes hit a shot that hit a cart path, bounced into a tree branch and never came down. Gone from the lead group.
Russ Henley had 3-bogeys in a row early Sunday and was done by midday.
Phil Mickelson will probably never play at Torrey, after going 76-75 the final two days, in a place where he has not won since 2001.
The course was a killer that final day. The guys atop the leader board were overwhelmed by tee shots, bad rough, a bunch of bunkers and just the pressure of where they were by 4pm on Sunday.
The golf course became an obstacle course on the final day and there were victims everywhere.
That’s what made Jon Rahm’s win even more impressive, with just 2-days of practice after the 10-day Covid issue.
The budding superstar from Spain, champion and survivor.