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Jon Rahm claims first major title as Bryson DeChambeau implodes

Just a fortnight after withdrawing from The Memorial tournament after testing positive to COVID-19 while holding a six-stroke lead, Spain’s Jon Rahm has won his first major title.

Rahm was sublime in difficult conditions at the US Open, his final round of four-under par the best of the day at Torrey Pines.

At one point 10 players were within a shot of the lead, but Rahm remained calm as his challengers found trouble on the difficult back nine, which was playing more than a shot harder on average than the front nine. The Spaniard was the only player in contention who didn’t record a single bogey on the final nine holes.

Bryson DeChambeau’s title defence went off the rails with consecutive bogeys at 11 and 12, followed by a double bogey at 13. Things went from bad to worse, however, at the 17th, when he recorded a quadruple bogey eight.

“DeChambeau has just come unravelled, he led by one at the turn, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anything like this,” said NBC’s Dan Hicks.

“A guy on the back nine, trying to make it back-to-back US Open titles, and he’s just imploded.”

His nemesis, Brooks Koepka, was at four under the card with three holes to play, but finished with bogeys at 16 and 18, while Rory McIlroy was right in contention as well until he bogeyed the 11th and doubled the 12th.

For Rahm, a run of seven straight pars ended with consecutive birdies at 17 and 18, the final hole once again providing a moment for the ages. When Torrey Pines last hosted a US Open, in 2008, it was Tiger Woods who twice made clutch putts at that hole, this time it was Rahm, who drained the biggest birdie putt of his career.

Rahm than faced an anxious wait to see if South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen could match his score.

So often the bridesmaid, Oosthuizen finished runner-up at a major for the sixth time since he won the 2010 Open Championship at St Andrews.

The 38-year-old was one shot back standing on the 17th tee, but went way left and ended up with a bogey, all but ending his chances. He needed an eagle at the 18th, but another wayward tee shot left him with no chance of reaching the green in two.

Final Scores:

278 – Jon Rahm

279 – Louis Oosthuizen

281 – Harris English

282 – Brooks Koepka, Collin Morikawa, Guido Migliozzi

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