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Jon Rahm credits US Open success to "power of positive thinking"

Jon Rahm credits US Open success to
© Reuters
Rahm became the first Spanish player to lift the title.

Jon Rahm hailed the "power of positive thinking" after winning his first major title with a stunning finish in the 121st US Open.

Rahm became the first Spanish player to lift the title and also returned to the top of the world rankings after making birdies on the final two holes at Torrey Pines to finish a shot ahead of Louis Oosthuizen.

The 26-year-old had tested positive for Covid-19 just 15 days earlier and was given the news moments after completing a third round of 64 to establish a six-shot lead in defence of his title at the Memorial Tournament.

"This is the power of positive thinking," said Rahm, who was able to cut short a 10-day period of self-isolation last Saturday after twice testing negative.

"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.

"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, and he passed away a few months ago from Covid."

Rahm won his first PGA Tour title at Torrey Pines, where he also proposed to his wife Kelley. She and their infant son Kepa were the first to greet Rahm after his dramatic birdie on the 18th.

"I'm a big believer in karma, and after what happened a couple weeks ago I stayed really positive knowing good things were coming," Rahm said.

Jon Rahm celebrates on the 18th
Jon Rahm celebrates on the 18th (Gregory Bull/AP)

"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 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 US Open.

"This was definitely for Seve (Ballesteros). Usually we think a lot about him at the Masters, but I know he wanted to win this one most of all."

Oosthuizen had already finished second in each of the four majors before being runner-up in last month's US PGA and was left to rue a pulled drive into a hazard on the 17th.

"It's frustrating. It's disappointing," the former Open champion said. "I'm playing good golf, but winning a major championship is not just going to happen.

"You need to go out and play good golf. I played good today, but I didn't play good enough.

"I definitely left a few putts or shots out there. I took the tee shot on at 17, and I knew it was a crucial hole for me to take it on and give myself a birdie opportunity.

"I didn't pull it off, but standing on that tee again, I'll probably do the same thing, taking a driver and taking the shot on. I feel like I had my shots, I went for it, and that's what you have to do to win majors. Sometimes it goes your way and other times it doesn't."

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Phil Mickelson pictured at the US Open on June 14, 2021
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina32211669
United StatesUnited States25292276
JapanJapan2071239
AustraliaAustralia1541736
Great BritainGreat Britain14181547
Today's Olympic highlights header

Wednesday's key events


SKATEBOARDING
· Team GB starlet Sky Brown - aged just 13 - takes part in the women's park event and has a realistic chance of picking up a medal too. Bombette Martin is Britain's other representative, while hosts Japan are among the favourites for gold (1am)

HOCKEY
· Great Britain's women have more history in their sights heading into their semi-final against Netherlands - the team they beat in the 2016 gold medal match (2.30am)

ATHLETICS
· The men's 400m hurdles final on Tuesday will go down as one of the greatest Olympic races of all time, and the women will attempt to emulate that, with new world record holder Sydney McLaughlin of USA and Netherlands' Femke Bol the favourites for gold (3.30am)
· Nick Miller is Britain's representative in the men's hammer throw final (12.15pm)
· The men's 800m final could be a wide-open affair (1.05pm)
· A thrilling men's 200m final is in store as the likes of Andre de Grasse, Noah Lyles and 17-year-old sensation Erriyon Knighton bid to succeed Usain Bolt as Olympic champion (1.55pm)

SAILING
· After a medal-laden day on the water on Tuesday, Great Britain will be looking for more success, starting with Luke Patience and Chris Grube in the men's 470-class medal race (6.33am)
· Team GB also have medal hopes in the women's event, with defending champion Hannah Mills looking to retain her crown alongside new teammate Eilidh McIntyre (7.33am)

BOXING
· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Great Britain's Frazer Clarke faces Uzbekistan's Bakhodir Jalolov in the men's super heavyweight with a place in the gold medal bout up for grabs (7.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also guaranteed a medal, but will look to ensure that is either gold or silver as he takes on Cuba's Arlen Lopez in the light heavyweight final (7.35am)

CYCLING
· World records have been tumbling in the velodrome, and another could go in the men's team pursuit final as Italy - new world record holders themselves - face Denmark (10.06am)

EQUESTRIAN
· Three Brits have made into into the final of the men's jumping individual final, including fastest qualifier Ben Maher, who will bid to inherit compatriot Nick Skelton's Olympic crown (11am)

> Today's schedule in full
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