Rahm Closes Amateur Career With Silver Medal
By David Shefter and Ron Driscoll, USGA
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.”
In as an Alternate, Summerhays Secures Spot in 2017 Field
Daniel Summerhays had to sweat out whether he got into the 116th U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club, but he won’t have to worry about a spot in the 2017 field at Erin Hills.
Summerhays was the odd man out of a 6-for-5 playoff at sectional qualifying in Powell, Ohio, and made the 156-man field as an alternate.
He tied for eighth at 2-over-par 282, earning a spot in the 2017 field as one of the 10 low scorers and ties, one of the 15 exemption categories for the U.S. Open.
The rest of the top 10 at Oakmont did not have to go through qualifying for this U.S. Open: winner Dustin Johnson, Jim Furyk, Scott Piercy, Shane Lowry, Sergio Garcia, Branden Grace, Kevin Na, Jason Dufner, Zach Johnson and Jason Day.
Johnson's Victory Realized
Dustin Johnson is the third consecutive first-time major champion, following Jason Day (2015 PGA Championship) and Danny Willett (2016 Masters Tournament). The last time three consecutive major winners were first-time champions was in 2011-12: Keegan Bradley (2011 PGA Championship), Bubba Watson (2012 Masters) and Webb Simpson (2012 U.S. Open).
This was Johnson’s third consecutive top 5 in a U.S. Open. He is the third player to accomplish this feat since 1980. The others are Curtis Strange (1987-89) and Tom Lehman (1995-98). It is also his 12th top-10 finish in 29 majors.
Johnson has shot rounds of par or better in 24 of his last 32 rounds in major championships, dating to the 2014 U.S. Open.
Johnson’s closing birdie was only the second birdie on the 18th hole in the final round. The other was made by Zach Johnson. The 18th played as the most difficult hole in the final round (4.45 stroke average).
The runner-up finish by Jim Furyk is his third in a U.S. Open and his seventh top-5 finish in the U.S. Open.
The runner-up finish by Scott Piercy is his best finish in 13 major-championship starts. His previous best finish was a tie for fifth in the 2013 PGA Championship.
The runner-up finish by Shane Lowry is his best finish in 14 major-championship starts. His closing 76 is the worst round by a 54-hole leader since Dustin Johnson’s 82 in 2010.
Sergio Garcia (T-5) has finished in the top 10 in a major championship in 14 of the last 16 years.
For the week, the par-4 first hole was the toughest hole at a 4.45 stroke average, followed by the par-4 ninth (4.43), the par-4 15th (4.39) and the par-4 10th (4.33). No. 18, which played to a 4.60 stroke average in the 2007 U.S. Open and was the toughest hole, ranked sixth in 2016 at 4.32.