Rahm, the third-ranked player in the world, putted back-to-back birdies on the 17th and 18th holes, sinking clutch putts of 24 and 18 feet respectively to take a one-stroke lead to the clubhouse. He had to watch nervously as the final groups finished their rounds, but no one was able to match his winning score of six-under par.
“I know I got my 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 the stars were aligning,” Rahm said.
The location of the victory also holds a special place in Rahm’s heart.
Not only did he have his historic win at Torrey Pines, but he also proposed to his now-wife at the location.
The victory also had extra significance for Rahm, falling on his first Father’s Day as a father. Rahm hugged his infant son and his wife moments after he was declared the winner.
“It reminds me a lot to back home (sic). It’s not exactly the same, but the coastline, the weather, the temperature, this is basically a good summer day where I grew up,” Rahm said. “I think it’s something that really resonates with me, I’m really confident in it. Everything that’s happened here — I don’t know why — but every time we come here, we’re just happy.”
Power of a strong finish
When he was forced to withdraw from the Memorial Tournament last month, Rahm was arguably in the best form of his career.
Including the ZOZO Championship in October 2020, he had played in 13 PGA Tour events, missing the cut just once, finishing in the top five three times and in the top 10 nine times.
Although withdrawing at Muirfield Village Golf Club and being forced to isolate might have dampened his outlook, Rahm took it in his stride to make history.