Jon Rahm finally made his breakthrough at a major by winning the US Open at Torrey Pines, one stroke ahead of his nearest rival Louis Oosthuizen. The Spaniard had demonstrated his flair at the leading four events in the past but was never able to close out a victory.
Rahm has performed well in Augusta in his last four appearances by finishing in the top ten in each tournament. The Green Jacket will certainly be high on his agenda, and he has been installed as the leading contender in the golf odds to claim the prize on his next visit in 2022.
It’s looking promising: Rahm is just entering the prime phase of his career, and in an era without a defining player to scoop up all the majors, there’s a great opportunity for him to break through and establish himself as the one to watch. Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, and Rory McIlroy, among others, have threatened to make the era their own, but none have been able to deliver on a consistent basis, especially Spieth and McIlroy, although they remain perennial figures in the betting odds for major tournaments in the golf betting tips.
In his 20th major, Rahm rose to the occasion with a brilliant performance on the final day of the competition. The 26-year-old will now look to build on his achievement, having already pulled level with compatriot Sergio Garcia for major wins. He will now attempt to pass Garcia and join Jose-Maria Olazabal next on the list of Spanish victors with two crowns. The late Seve Ballesteros is the most successful Spanish golfer of all time with five titles to his name, winning the Masters twice and the Open Championship on three occasions.
A triumph for Rahm would continue a run of Spanish success at the Masters. Out of the nine majors that men from Spain have claimed, five have come from the course at Augusta. It says something about the culture and the mentality of the players from Spain that they are able to thrive in the most challenging of golfing environments. Rahm appears to be continuing that trend with his solid record in the Masters, and he will be determined to take the next step.
The passionate Spaniard broke through a mental barrier with his performance at Torrey Pines. In the past, Rahm has let his emotions get the better of him on the course. This has resulted in a downturn in his performance and ruined his hopes of competing for major honors. However, in the US Open, Rahm held his composure even when it appeared that matters were not going his way. He put himself in contention for the crown on the opening but failed to build on his momentum in his second and third rounds.
There was pressure on Rahm to produce a flawless performance on the final day, and even though he endured a setback in the early stages of his round, he held his nerve to sink the final putt and claim the victory. Had he not notched a birdie on the final hole, it would have taken the contest to a playoff against Oosthuizen and who knows where that would have led to. The 26-year-old can now enter future tournaments with the monkey off his back.
If Rahm can turn the consistency of his top-ten performances into victories, he could well surpass the great Ballesteros. There is a good chance that he could become the greatest Spanish golfer of all time.