Jon Rahm: how did golfer win first major at US Open 2021, what was prize money - and when did he have Covid?

Jon Rahm won the first major of his career on June 21

Jon Rahm celebrated his maiden major win (Getty Images)
Jon Rahm celebrated his maiden major win (Getty Images)

Fifteen days after his preparations were seemingly thrown into disarray, Jon Rahm produced a grandstand finish to claim his first major golf title in the 121st US Open.

The Spaniard dedicated the victory to compatriot Seve Ballasteros who died of brain cancer ten years ago.

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He said: "I knew my best golf was to come and I have a hard time explaining what just happened because I can't believe I made the last two putts and I'm the first Spanish player to win the US Open.

"This is definitely for Seve - I know he tried a lot, I know he wanted to win this one most of all."

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How did he win and what was the prize money?

The Spaniard birdied the final two holes at Torrey Pines to complete a closing 67 and finish six under par, a shot ahead of South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen.

Rounds of 69, 70 and 72 meant he started the final round three shots off the lead but he made the ideal start with birdies on the first and second before making what would prove his only bogey of the day on the fourth.

A run of seven straight pars on the back nine meant Rahm still trailed Oosthuizen by a shot as he reached the last two holes, but he holed a curling birdie putt from 25 feet on the 17th and a similar putt on the par-five 18th after finding a bunker with his approach.

As well as taking home the US Open trophy Rahm took home a cheque for $2.25m.

How did Covid nearly cost him?

On June 5, Rahm had just completed a sensational third round of 64 in the Memorial Tournament to establish a six-shot lead when he was told beside the 18th green that he had tested positive for Covid-19

That necessitated a period of self-isolation until two days before play began at Torrey Pines, where he won his first PGA Tour title in 2017 and also proposed to his wife.

And although Rahm received results of two negative tests on Friday and Saturday to allow him to leave isolation early, it was hardly the ideal way to get ready for golf’s toughest major.

The 26-year-old handled the situation with an admirable sense of perspective, defending the PGA Tour’s decision to strictly enforce their rules and noting that he still had the positive memories of his form at Muirfield Village to draw upon.

“I’m a big believer in karma and after what happened a couple of weeks ago I stayed really positive, knowing big things were coming,” Rahm said.

“I didn’t know what it was going to be but I knew we were coming to a special place, I knew I got my breakthrough win here and it’s a very special place for my family.

“The fact my parents were able to come, I got out of Covid protocols early, I just felt like the stars were aligning.”