8 Takeaways After Jon Rahm's Thrilling US Open Victory
The coastal cliffs of La Jolla in San Diego, California provided a picture postcard setting for one of the most competitive major championship tussles in years.
As the final round of the 121st US Open progressed, the leaderboard steadily filled with some of the world's very best golfers. When all was said and done, it was Jon Rahm who prevailed after an impressive display of calmness and maturity as his rivals each fell by the wayside in the bruising closing stages.
Check out our takeaways from an enthralling third major of 2021 below.
Jon Rahm, 2021 US Open Champion
After posting an impressive final round 67 (-4), 'Rahmbo' was greeted just off the 18th green by his wife Kelley Cahill and their newborn son, Kepa.
South African Louis Oosthuizen then failed to hole-out from 69 yards in a final 'do-or-die' attempt to force a playoff and the new father was suddenly a major champion... on Father's Day!
It felt like the stars had aligned for the Spaniard following a positive Covid test which derailed his challenge at the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village just two weeks previous, and the fact that he proposed to his wife Kelley on the cliffs surrounding Torrey Pines.
But possibly more than anything, as Rahm stated in every interview after his victory, this win was as much for the great Seve Ballesteros as it was a personal triumph.
Oh, and we called it 😜
Along with Collin Morikawa who finished in T-4, we had the newly-crowned world number one as our headline pick for a US Open triumph - and he duly delivered.
Let's not talk about our Justin Rose selection, though. We're scratching our heads just as much as the 2010 champion after a brutal +13 total saw him miss the cut... and how!
Louis stays classy in defeat
Last week in California proved Louis Oosthuizen is more than good enough to break away from the growing group of golfers with a single major championship to their name.
He's been waiting over a decade for his second major so he'd be forgiven had he cut a dejected figure after coming up just shy of Rahm's winning total.
Considering how the final few holes played out, the fact that the 2010 Open Champion then went on to handle himself so professionally and courteously in post-round interviews underlined the fact that the South African simply oozes class.
What a man!
Bryson's back-nine collapse
For the first nine holes of Sunday's final round, it looked very possible that Bryson DeChambeau could emulate his arch-enemy Brooks Koepka in going back-to-back at the US Open, but the challenge unravelled with two bogeys, a double and a quadruple as he headed for home.
I didn't get off the rails at all. It's golf. I've had plenty of times where I hit it way worse than [today] and I've won. I just didn't have the right breaks happen at the right time.
The way the back nine played out could be described as nothing less than a capitulation, but it's unlikely to affect Bryson's future approach in the majors given his laser-like focus and determination to continue with his 'bomb-and-gouge' brand of golf.
McIlroy falters late on
A 67 on Saturday had Rory McIlroy positioned perfectly just in behind the leaders heading into the final round, but as has been the case so many times in recent years, a few bad decisions and a couple of bad breaks put paid to his chances.
Last week was a step in the right direction in terms of major performances for the Northern Irishman, and if he can maintain this progress at his native Irish Open next week, he'll arrive as one of the favourites for The Open at Royal St George's in mid-July.
JT outdrives (and duly mocks) DeChambeau
While Bryson will quickly get over his back-nine horror show on Sunday past, one thing that could irk him a little more is the fact that he was just sixth on the long drive leaderboard at Torrey Pines.
Justin Thomas pulled no punches on his Instagram page and basked in the glory of finishing 2 yards ahead of his golf ball-crushing compatriot in the standings.
That's gotta hurt, Bryson 😂
Schauffele WILL win a major soon
Another strong major championship performance from Xander Schauffele passes and, unfortunately, again the 27-year-old falls just short.
He's finished inside the top-3 in each of the four major championships and remains one of the most consistent players on Tour, so it's only a matter of time before we see him hoist a major trophy into the air.
We'd love to see it.
Kevin Na's flop shot was AWESOME
No words required. If you haven't seen it already, enjoy!