Touching truth behind US Open winner’s beautiful family moment

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Seen here, Jon Rahm celebrates his US Open win wife Kelley and newborn son Kepa.
Jon Rahm celebrated his maiden major title with wife Kelley and newborn son Kepa on Father's Day. Pic: NBC/Getty

US Open champion Jon Rahm won't forget Father's Day 2021 anytime soon after becoming the first Spaniard in history to lift the famous major trophy.

Rahm - himself a new father - made tension-packed long birdie putts on the last two holes to win the 121st US Open and capture his first major title, defeating South African Louis Oosthuizen by one stroke.

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The significance of the victory goes far beyond what it means in terms of Rahm's place in the golfing record books, with the course at Torrey Pines a truly special place for the 26-year-old.

San Diego's challenging par-72 course (that was playing as a par-71 for the US Open) was where Rahm proposed to his wife Kelley, and it's also the course where he won his first PGA Tour event in 2017.

Rahm - who two weeks ago had to pull out of the Memorial tournament while leading because he tested positive for Covid-19 - celebrated Father's Day with his wife and their newborn son Kepa by his side.

"You have no idea what this means," Rahm told his infant son as he hugged his wife in celebration.

It was a fitting way for the popular Spaniard to clinch his first ever major trophy and the images of him clutching his three-month-old baby lit up social media.

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“This is the power of positive thinking,” said Rahm, whose first major title will return him to World No.1 in next week’s world rankings. 

Rahm said his focus at the US Open was turning the disappointment of his Covid withdrawal from the Memorial a fortnight ago, into something positive at Torrey Pines.

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“I was never resentful for anything that happened, and I don’t blame anybody. It’s been a difficult year and unfortunately Covid is a reality in this world and has affected a lot of people.

“I had the best possible hand because nobody in my family got sick, I barely had any symptoms. But we have lost lots of people back home. I know some people may say [what happened at Memorial] was unfair, but it had to be done. We have to be aware of what is happening in this world.”

Rahm fired a four-under par 67, the only leader to go bogey-free on the back nine, to finish 72 holes on six-under 278 with Louis Oosthuizen on 279 and American Harris English third on 281.

At 17, Rahm curled the tension-packed putt from left to right with six feet of break, watched the ball fall into the cup and punched the air with his right fist.

Jon Rahm celebrates after nailing a clutch birdie putt on 18 to close out his tournament. Pic: Getty
Jon Rahm celebrates after nailing a clutch birdie putt on 18 to close out his tournament. Pic: Getty

Rahm went to the 18th hole, the easiest finishing hole in US Open history, and delivered an amazing putt and a right fist uppercut.

“It’s incredible that I finished the way I did,” Rahm said. “Making that putt on this green when I got my first win, it’s hard to describe.”

He became the first Spaniard to win a US Open and the fourth to capture a major title after Sergio Garcia, Jose Maria Olazabal and the late Seve Ballesteros.

“This was definitely for Seve,” Rahm said. 

"I know he wanted to win this one most of all.” 

Rahm had seven prior top-10 major finishes without a triumph, including a share of third at the 2019 US Open.

The world's five top-ranked players and four-time major winners Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka were within three strokes of the lead early as the tension grew.

But one by one, the rivals faded, leaving only Rahm and Oosthuizen to grind out pars into the final holes.

Defending champion Bryson DeChambeau had two bogeys and two double bogeys on the back nine on his way to a 77 to share 26th on 287.

Four-time major winner McIlroy made bogey at 11 and double bogey at 12 on his way to a 73 to share seventh on 283.

American Collin Morikawa, who took a double bogey at the par-5 13th, and four-time major winner Koepka, who closed with bogeys at 16 and 18, shared fourth with Italy's Guido Migliozzi on 282.

with AFP

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