Last weekend the world’s best took to Torrey Pines for the 121st U.S. Open. The four days of hilly, costal course made for many ups and downs for the competitors. Players fought hard, but the course fought harder. By the end of Sunday, just Jon Rahm was left standing. It’s remarkable for any golfer to win a major tournament, let alone the U.S. Open, but Rahm’s win had four underlining factors that made his victory just that much more special.
Breaking Major Tournament Soil
Even before the Open win, there was no doubting Rahm’s talent. He had 12 professional wins, including six on the PGA Tour. The Spaniard even spent time as the world No. 1 2020 despite never winning a major. But not being able to win a major is the exact stigma that prevented Rahm from being considered at the next level. With his win last weekend, he cracks that ice. Rahm leapt over a mental hurdle — opening himself up to further major tournament success down the road.
A Special Sunday
Sunday was a two-for-one special. Not only a major tournament finale but Father’s Day too. The holiday just a few months ago wouldn’t have added any additional meaning for Rahm. In addition to Rahm’s father being in attendance on Sunday, so was Rahm’s child. Kepa Cahill Rahm was born just two months prior, and even though the little one won’t remember the day, Jon sure will. Hoisting the U.S. Open trophy would mean the world to any golfer, but for Jon to do it, ON Father’s Day, with three generations of Rahm boys on the green…that’s a legendary moment.
“As a father, on my first Father’s Day, with my dad here, to get this one done … is incredible,” Rahm told reporters. “It feels like this is a movie about to end, and I’m going to wake up soon. [Kepa] won’t remember this, but one day he will know.”
Strong Endorsement for the New Tools
Earlier this year, Rahm made the switch from TaylorMade to Callaway. This move entails switching clubs, balls, clothing, and bags. TaylorMade has historically held the ground as the optimal brand, equipping legends like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Tiger Woods, etc. Therefore, it came as a bit of a surprise. The move was particularly interesting as it came just a few months after Rahm held the number one world ranking. While it seems minimal on the surface, golfers are particular about the equipment they use. Although the move was likely due to Callaway simply offering Rahm more money, he had instant high praise for the new equipment.
“The equipment is already performing well for me, and in my first round with the new setup, I shot a course record 59 at Silverleaf [in Scottsdale, Ariz.].”
Now with his first major tournament win coming with Callaway clubs and balls in the bag, there’s substantial validation for Rahm’s equipment change.
Last Week’s Redemption
For those who missed the tournament before the Open, Rahm had a six-stroke lead after the 3rd round. As he stepped off the green, PGA Tour officials alerted Rahm he was subject to contract-tracing protocols, having come in close contact with a person who was COVID positive. Rahm was in tears and clearly at a loss of words.
Rahm had no choice but to withdraw despite his massive lead. It was a brutal ending for what would’ve been a win, but at last, it meant going home early. Thankfully Rahm had limited symptoms and no positive tests. Therefore, he was set to play in the upcoming U.S. Open. As was seen, Rahm didn’t slow down the dominance he showed a week prior. The way Rahm’s weekend ended early last week, to then go on to win the U.S Open… was literally picture perfect! In the post-win interview, Rahm expressed that sentiment.
“With the setback I had a couple of weeks ago, to end up like this, it’s incredible. I do love Torrey Pines, and Torrey Pines loves me.”