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Rahm wins first major at US Op...
Golf

Rahm wins first major at US Open as McIlroy comes up short

Jon Rahm birdied the last two holes at Torrey Pines to win the US Open by a shot from Louis Oosthuizen as Rory McIlroy's challenge faded.

Two time Irish Open winner Rahm shot a final round 67, holing putts from 24 and 18 feet respectively on the 17th and 18th to cue wild celebrations.

It was enough for the Spaniard to finish on 6 under par and pip South African Oosthuizen, who sent his tee shot out of bounds on the 17th.

Rahm is the new world number one after this victory and many will feel this is due reward for the 26-year-old, who had to withdraw from the Memorial Tournament after 54 holes a fortnight ago after testing positive for Covid-19 while in possession of a six shot lead at the time.

McIlroy started the final round in a tie for fourth, a shot ahead of Rahm, but a double bogey at the 12th derailed his challenge and he would end in a tie for seventh place on 1 under par.

Shane Lowry carded a concluding round of 79 to end up 13 over par and he will now turn his attention to defending the Open Championship in Kent next month.

For Jon Rahm, Torrey Pines was where he won his first PGA Tour event and where he got engaged to his now wife, Kelley.

So he feels the stars were somewhat aligned this week.

"It's incredible that I'm sitting next to this trophy. A couple weeks ago, I watched my good friend Phil win it. Not this one, but win the PGA, and I took a lot of inspiration from that. I've been close before, and I just knew on a Sunday, the way I have been playing the last few majors, I just had to be close. I knew I could get it done. I'm keeping that good Sunday mojo going. Man, I got it done in a fashion that apparently can only happen to me at Torrey Pines."

Rahm also revealed that European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington quickly reached out to him after his disappointment at the Memorial tournament.

"The first person who called me that wasn't family, it was right away when I was in the isolation trailer, was Padraig Harrington, and he told me a story in which he was leading by five after 54 holes, signed the wrong scorecard, and got disqualified. He said he got a lot more from that instance, he learned a lot more than he would ever learn from the win."

As a footnote, Harrington's disqualification came at the 2000 Benson and Hedges International at the Belfry.

It was McIlroy's 13th top ten at a major since his last big triumph at the US PGA in 2014, but the County Down star is taking a glass half full approach to his performance.

"Overall, it's been a positive week. I gave myself a great chance today. Even through ten holes, I was right in the thick of things. It was really two holes that sort of -- yeah, it was two holes that basically stopped the sort of run at the title.

"I think the best way to describe it is I think the last few times I've been in this sort of position, I've went out on Sunday hoping to play well, where I feel like now I know what to do to play well and I know I have the tools to play well, and it's just a matter of execution and sticking to what I've been working on.

"It was way better today. The score doesn't suggest it. There was two holes that really, as I said, were the end of my title hopes, but apart from that this week, it's been really positive.

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