Jon Rahm made tension-packed long birdie putts on the last two holes Sunday to win the 121st US Open and capture his first major title, defeating South African Louis Oosthuizen by one stroke.
The 26-year-old Spaniard curled in a spectacular birdie putt from just inside 25 feet at the par-4 17th hole then made his fourth birdie of the week at the par-5 18th, blasting out of a bunker and rolling in an 18-footer to seize the lead.
“I have a hard time explaining what just happened because I can’t even believe I made the last two putts,” Rahm said. After stunning, fist-pumping putts to reach the clubhouse, Rahm could only watch 2010 British Open champion Oosthuizen play the last four holes.
At 17, Oosthuizen sent his tee shot left into bushes and made bogey fall two adrift and a closing birdie only made him a major runner-up for the sixth time in his career. “I played good. Just fell a little short again,” Oosthuizen said. “Jon played a great round of golf. The errant tee shot on 17 just cost me. I fought really well to stay in it and just fell short again.”
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 Oosthuizen on 279 and American Harris English third on 28.
On the same course where he won his first US PGA title in 2017, Rahm became only the fourth US Open winner to close with back-to-back birdies, matching Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Ben Hogan. “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.