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Spain's Jon Rahm captures US Open for first major title

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 20: Jon Rahm of Spain celebrates with the trophy after winning during the final round of the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course (South Course) on June 20, 2021 in San Diego, California. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by EZRA SHAW / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Spain’s Jon Rahm made spectacular birdie putts on the final two holes to capture the US Open on Sunday, defeating South African Louis Oosthuizen by one stroke to claim his first major title.

Rahm sank a birdie putt from just inside 25 feet at the 17th and rolled in an 18-footer at 18 to finish a four-under par 67 final round and stand on six-under 278.

“I have a hard time explaining what just happened because I can’t even believe I made the last two putts,” Rahm said.

Rahm had to watch Oosthuizen play the last four holes. The 2010 British Open winner took a bogey at 17 to fall two back and his birdie at 18 was only good enough to make him a major runner-up for the sixth time.

Rahm 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.

“This was definitely for Seve,” Rahm said. “I know he wanted to win this one most of all.”

Third-ranked Rahm also became the new world number one after top-ranked Dustin Johnson shared 19th on 286. Rahm had been atop the rankings briefly last year after winning the Memorial tournament.

Two weeks ago at the Memorial, Rahm tested positive for Covid-19 and spent last week in quarantine.

Rahm won on his first Father’s Day as a dad at the same course where he took his first US PGA title in 2017 and where he proposed to wife Kelley, who gave birth to their first child, Kepa, in April.

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