Jon Rahm put it best when he said it was karma for him to win the US Open. I could not have put it better myself.
The way he handled the huge disappointment of having to withdraw from the Memorial Tournament two weeks before Torrey Pines was remarkable.
It could not have been easy waving goodbye to a seven-figure prize and the world ranking points which came with what surely would have been a win after opening up a six-shot lead.
To have such a strong mindset not only to process a positive Covid test but also come back and win in his next event is incredible.
I felt for Louis Oosthuizen though. I spoke to him on Tuesday and said how unlucky I thought he was not to win the event.
It wasn’t as if he threw it away either, Jon was just flawless on the back nine and his birdie-birdie finish to clinch the win will live long in the memory. It was a fitting end to a quite incredible tournament.
Of course, Jon’s win was not the only story coming out of Torrey Pines on Sunday. There were all manner of side tales to be found from seeing Rory McIlroy up there challenging again and Bryson DeChambeau’s attempts to wave off his implosion.
Rory was left to rue a bogey at 11 and a double-bogey at 12 as he finished five shots behind Jon but he had a good week and he knows it.
Hearing him say he felt comfortable and acknowledge how well he played is a positive step. Rory is such a good player and just seeing his name up there in the hunt is a positive step for him and the game in general.
DeChambeau, the defending champion, was top of the leaderboard with 10 holes to play but a 44 on the back nine meant he ended the day in a tie for 26th place.
That can happen but his reaction is the surprising part. I’m not paraphrasing here, his quote was: “Right now, I don’t even care. People think that I’ve changed a lot, attitude-wise and everything. It’s frustrating in the moment when it’s happening but afterwards for me now, I don’t really care as much. I’ve already won it.”
First of all, that’s an amazing thing to say. Secondly, I don’t believe a word of it.
He has propelled himself up among the world’s elite in the last couple of years. His professional pride will have been stung by what happened on Sunday.
No player in this game would go from being in the lead to falling away in the manner he did and not be fussed by it. Nobody.
Big three weeks ahead
I’m back in Germany this week for the BMW International Open in Munich which is the first of a three-week swing for me.
I’ll also be playing in the Irish Open next week and the Scottish Open, which promises to be an exciting triple-header.
If I play well I might just force my way into the field for the Open at Royal St George’s on July 15 which would be fantastic.
It’s one I’d love to be involved in anyway but knowing the R&A have been given the go-ahead to have 32,000 fans there every day has only made me want to be there even more.
I look at how good the games during Euro 2020 have been because of crowds being there and I’m sure Wimbledon will be spectacular too with the fans in attendance.
I’ve watched some of the golf events in the United States with envy due to big crowds the guys on the PGA Tour have played in front of and it would be great to have that semblance of normality again.
Shepherd king of the comebacks at Nairn
I hoped we would see a spectacular tournament at Nairn to match the drama of Louise Duncan’s incredible 9&8 win in the Women’s Amateur Championship the previous week but I did not expect one of the greatest comebacks in Amateur Championship history.
Congratulations to St Andrews-based Laird Shepherd on his powers of perseverance if nothing else as he rallied from eight down after 17 holes to beat Monty Scowsill at the 38th hole.
It’s not coming from eight holes down, it’s still having that belief when four down with four to play that he could win which really impressed me. It’s the golfing equivalent of being 6-0 down at half-time and coming back to win 7-6.
It was proof, as if it was needed, that golf is the greatest game around.
I was fortunate enough to see some of the final and I have to say Nairn looked magnificent. I played in the Amateur there many years ago and it remains one of Scotland’s hidden gems.
It’s a fantastic course and one I plan on visiting again when I get the chance.