Watched by friends and family, it was only appropriate that Jon Rahm won his first Major, the US Open, at Torrey Pines, San Diego, the place he calls his second home after Spain. It was his hour and time, but still Jon, the first Spaniard to win the US Open did not forget to dedicate the win to countryman and the legend called Seve Ballesteros. Excerpts from an interview:
It’s your first ever Father’s Day; how were you able to harness all of that energy and finish so strong to win your first ever Major championship at the US Open?
Jon Rahm: You know, I think I said it yesterday (Saturday) in an interview. I’m a big believer in karma, and after what happened a couple weeks ago (he had to withdraw from the Memorial with a huge lead) I stayed really positive knowing good things were coming. I didn’t know what it was going to be, but I knew we were coming to a special place, I knew I got breakthrough win here and it’s a very special place for my family, and the fact that my parents were able to come, I got out of COVID protocol early, I just felt like the stars were aligning, and I knew my best golf was to come.
I have a hard time explaining what just happened because I can’t even believe I made the last two putts, and I’m the first Spaniard ever to win a U.S. Open. This was definitely for Seve. I know he tried a lot, and usually we think a lot about him at the Masters, but I know he wanted to win this one most of all. I just don’t know how to explain it.
Take us back to Saturday night at the Memorial. You had a six-shot lead, looked like you were on your way to winning again on the PGA Tour. What have the last few weeks been like for you?
Jon: This is the power of positive thinking. I was never resentful for one second for what happened. And I don’t blame anybody. It’s been a difficult year, and unfortunately COVID is a reality in this world, and it’s affected a lot of people. I got out of what happened the best possible hand because nobody in my family got sick. I barely got any symptoms.
Also Read: Memorial not so memorable for Jon Rahm
I have to mention, we have lost a lot of people back home. We have lost some friends. This one is to a friend of mine who was a journalist who had just started getting into golf and he was basically following me around the world of golf, and when he started he had no idea what golf was, and he passed away a few months ago from COVID. It was very quick; from the time he got it, he went to the ICU and passed away. Like him, there’s many people in this world.
I know what happened a couple of weeks ago. Some people might say it wasn’t fair, but it was what had to be done. We still have to be aware of what’s going on in this world. Take care of yourself and everybody around you so we can get over this as quick as possible.
You talk about this (San Diego) being a special place. You won your first ever PGA Tour event here. You asked your now wife Kelley to marry you here on the cliffs at Torrey Pines, and now you’ve won a U.S. Open here. What does this property mean to you?
Jon: I’ve said it once — I’ve said it a million times and I’m going to say it once again. It reminds me a lot of back home. It’s not exactly the same, but the coastline, the weather, the property, this is basically a good summer day where I grew up, and these poa annua greens is something I know and I understand and I grew up on, and I think it’s something that really resonates with me. I’m really confident in it.
Like we just said, everything that’s happened here, I don’t know why, but every time we come here, we’re just happy. As soon as we land in San Diego, it’s like, we are in our spot. Again, once again, we were in our spot, and I was able to come out on top.
We just chatted for a couple minutes a little bit earlier here. All the volatility here on the back nine at Torrey Pines, so difficult to win a U.S. Open. How were you able to survive and then thrive in the end?
Jon: It’s hard to explain. You hear about many people saying all you need to do is just hang on and let others make mistakes, and that simply just wasn’t happening. After I missed those two short putts on 13 and 14, I told Adam, two 4s and two 3s wins the tournament, let’s go get it.
It’s incredible that I finished the way I did. Making that putt on this green when I got my first win, it’s hard to describe. But staying in the present and just being aware of what you have to do, and sometimes you have to attack a golf course. I’ve done it here before, and those memories always help.
Text courtesy: USGA