Daily Digest: A Look at the Contenders
By Ron Driscoll and David Shefter, USGA
Shane Lowry holds a four-stroke lead entering the final round of this, his 14th major championship. He has been in the top 10 through 54 holes in a major once previously (T-5, 2015 U.S. Open) and he went on to finish T-9. Lowry is No. 41 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Angel Cabrera was also ranked 41st when he won the 2007 U.S. Open at Oakmont.
Andrew Landry is attempting to win the U.S. Open on his first attempt. Francis Ouimet (1913) was the last player to accomplish that feat. Landry (No. 624 in the world) is the lowest-ranked player to be in the final pairing of the U.S. Open since Jason Gore (No. 818) in 2005, and he is attempting to become the lowest-ranked player to win a major championship. The current record is owned by Ben Curtis (No. 396, 2003 Open Championship).
Dustin Johnson has been in the top 10 through 54 holes in seven of the last eight major championships (he did not play in the 2014 PGA Championship). He is attempting to become the fifth player to win a U.S. Open the year after finishing runner-up. The others are Bob Jones (1922-23; 1925-26; 1929-30), Jack Nicklaus (1971-72), Payne Stewart (1998-99) and Tiger Woods (2007-08).
If Lee Westwood wins, he would be the third-oldest player (43 years old) to win his first major championship. Roberto de Vicenzo was 44 when he won the 1967 Open Championship and Jerry Barber was 45 when he won the 1961 PGA Championship.
If Jason Day rallies to win, it would be the largest 54-hole (Jack Fleck, nine strokes, 1955) and 18-hole (Arnold Palmer, seven strokes, 1960) comebacks in U.S. Open history.
No player in the current top eight has won a major championship and only four players in the current top 20 (Day, Zach Johnson, Jason Dufner, Adam Scott) have won a major championship.
Rahm Closes Amateur Career With Silver Medal
With a 3-foot par putt on the 18th hole, Jon Rahm put an exclamation point on his amateur golf career. Rahm, 21, of Spain, will turn professional on Monday, but before joining the play-for-pay ranks, the 2015 Mark H. McCormack Medal recipient earned low-amateur honors and the silver medal in the 116th U.S. Open Championship at Oakmont Country Club.
One of 11 amateurs to earn a place in the 156-player field, Rahm was the only one to make the 36-hole cut. The recent Arizona State University graduate posted rounds of 76-69-72-70, 7 over par. He was exempt into the championship by virtue of being the 2015 McCormack Medal winner, given annually to the No. 1 player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking™ (WAGR).
Next week, Rahm will tee it up in the PGA Tour’s Quicken Loans National at Congressional Country Club, one of four sponsor’s exemptions he has lined up over the next several weeks.
“It's a special moment being where I am and being on this course, and today the last day of my amateur career,” said Rahm, who won 11 college tournaments, five shy of the ASU record held by five-time major champion Phil Mickelson. “I felt great. After six holes, I was really feeling it. I was hitting the ball great but at Oakmont, you can't get too cocky because it's going to get you. I made a couple of bogeys coming down the stretch. I finished even par [for the round]. I’m really happy about it for sure.”