Louis Oosthuizen is the 13th player in men's golf history with 6 or more runner-up finishes in majors.— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGolf) June 21, 2021
The other 12 have combined to win 95 major titles
Jon Rahm on Sunday captured his first career major championship in dramatic fashion, claiming the 2021 U.S. Open in a late flurry that saw him sink a pair of clutch putts over his final two holes. Rahm brought it home at Torrey Pines with a final-round 4-under 67, tying the low round of the week and finishing his run at Torrey Pines with a 6-under 278.
Rahm, the pre-tournament betting favorite who was also atop the oddsboard after 18 and 36 holes, played from behind all day Sunday, started Round 4 three strokes behind a trio of co-leaders. That changed on a dime at the finish line as Rahm went birdie-birdie on Nos. 17 and 18.
First was a 24-foot sweeping left-to-right putt on the par-4 17th that thrust him into a share of the lead with Louis Oosthuizen, one of the co-leaders through 54 holes.
Then Rahm put an exclamation point on his weekend with an up and down from the bunker on the par-5 18th, draining an 18-foot putt to give him the outright lead.
Oosthuizen did not go quietly after Rahm posted the low number in the clubhouse as he held at 5 under during the five-hole stretch from holes 12-15. However, after playing holes 16-18 at 7 under in the three rounds prior, Oosthuizen stumbled to the finish line by playing the final three at even-par Sunday and finishing 5 under on the week, one shot back of Rahm.
Rahm, 26, becomes the first Spaniard to ever win the U.S. Open. His victory comes just 15 days after being forced to withdraw from the Memorial Tournament with a six-stroke lead through 54 holes because he tested positive for COVID-19. Rahm was cleared before the start of the U.S. Open.
"I'm a big believer in karma," Rahm said on the NBC broadcast after his win. "After what happened a couple weeks ago, I stayed really positive knowing big things were coming. I didn't know what it was going to be. I just knew we were coming to a special place. I know I got my breakthrough win here. It's a very special place for my family."
Rahm's first career PGA Tour win came in 2017 at Torrey Pines when he drained a 60-foot eagle putt on No. 18 to punctuate his coming-out party on a big stage. Torrey is also where he asked his now-wife to marry him. After his win, he was able to celebrate with his wife and his two-month-old son, Kepa, who took in the moment together on Father's Day. Rahm's parents were also in attendance.
"I just felt like the stars were aligning," said Rahm.
Here is a rundown of the final leaderboard from the 2021 U.S. Open.
1. Jon Rahm (-6): When he won for the first time on the PGA Tour at Torrey Pines in 2017, Rahm was three off the lead entering the final round. When he won for the first time in a major championship at Torrey Pines this week, he was three off the lead entering the final round. There were clutch putts involved late in both instances, and he saved his best round of the week for his last.
2. Louis Oosthuizen (-5): Oosthuizen played a fine round to stay at 5 under for the week after positioning himself nicely to capture his second career major, but he made one critical mistake -- maybe the biggest of the tournament -- when his tee shot went wayward on No. 17. He was forced to take a penalty stroke there and went on to bogey the hole for the first time all week to drop him two off of Rahm's lead, effectively killing his chances to force a playoff or win. It marks his sixth career runner-up finish in a major.
3. Harris English (-3): A final-round 3-under 68 from English moved him up the leaderboard to a third-place finish, besting his previous-best finish at a major championship, which he captured last year with a fourth-place showing at ... the U.S. Open. The 31-year-old has not won a major but has three PGA Tour victories, including earlier this year at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
T4. Brooks Koepka, Collin Morikawa and Guido Migliozzi (-2): Two-time U.S. Open winner and four-time major champion Koepka went out with a 3-under 32 on the front nine but came in with a 1-over 37 on the back where he struggled all week. Morikawa also limped to the finish with three bogeys on the back softened only by an eagle on the final hole. Migliozzi had the best final round of the bunch with a 3-under 68 in his first career showing at a major championship.
T7. Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele and 4 others (-1): A bogey-free front nine for McIlroy helped him get to within a shot of the lead before he fell apart on the back with bogeys on No. 10 and No. 13 to sap his momentum. Schauffele had an opposite path, struggling on the front before turning in four birdies in his last seven holes. Way too many missed opportunities for both. McIlroy is still seeking his first major win since 2014. Meanwhile, Schauffele -- a San Diego native -- is still after his first victory in a major.
T26. Bryson DeChambeau and 4 others (+3): A big portion of the leaderboard crumbled late as Rahm made his charge. DeChambeau, the 2020 U.S. Open winner, was one of the most notable to collapse considering he led at one point Sunday. He dropped from within a few strokes of the lead to a 3-over finish on the week after shooting a 44 on the back nine. A quadruple bogey on 17 and a double bogey on 13 were disastrous.