Jon Rahm had never been here before. Kelley Rahm, his wife, didn’t either. Of course not her newborn son Kepa either. Phil Mickelson had that and pulled up a chair.
Jon Rahm birtled his penultimate hole to tie for the lead during the final round of the US Open last month, and then his final birdie at Torrey Pines to take it. But don’t win. Not yet. Louis Oosthuizen, was one shot behind and played the 15th. Rahm signed his scorecard, got his brains up and went to the shooting range to prepare for a possible playoff.
As seen in a video that Golf Channel’s Kira K. Dixon originally posted on Twitter, Mickelson escorted Kelley and Kepa downstairs to watch, a vacant chair in hand to sit on.
Phil Mickelson and Kelley Rahm celebrate Jon Rahm’s victory at the US Open
“I can tell you, as much as I was nervous, he was probably a lot worse,” Rahm said on this week’s episode of the Subpar podcast.
Still, no one was in the field more than Mickelson in that place – Lefty is a six-time major champion, the sixth coming a month earlier at the PGA championship. If you needed someone to teach you what might be next in the next lesson or so, you couldn’t do better. When Kelley had questions, when her husband had to strike, the family’s longtime friend had answers.
“Phil was a gentleman,” Rahm said on the podcast. “Kelley has never been in this situation before so she asked him what to do, whether or not to stand next to me, and Phil was really nice to get the chair, to talk so she can forget and you just.” says what to do to do. “
Oosthuizen would have par 15 and 16. On the 17th he hit his tee shot into the penalty area on the left. This is where the Rahms and Mickelson made their way to the shooting range, and where Jon saw Rahm on a phone, Oosthuizen made 17 to drop two back. On 18, Oosthuizen hit his drive to the left, played his next par-5 stroke and had to pocket his third hole for a tie.
The driving range gallery rose from their chairs.
The unexpected gift Phil Mickelson gave Jon Rahm after winning the US Open
“When Louis was about to hit his layup, they walked down the fairway because I had a feeling Phil knew he wasn’t going to pocket that shot,” Rahm said on the podcast. “You couldn’t turn it back because he was so close. He had to land it just before the needle. It’s hard to hollow it out, but in my opinion it could still hollow it out.
“And they came up slowly and when I saw them it was five, ten seconds later when they told us he’d missed it. We also heard a little cheering. You never know what’s going on. “
Two weeks after he was forced to retire from the Memorial by six shots in the final round due to a positive Covid test on the pitch where he suggested Kelley on his first Father’s Day, Rahm was a first major winner. His wife, son, and friend watched it unfold from the folding chairs in the front row.
“I’ve seen the images and the replay, and there are about five seconds that I freeze,” said Rahm. “Where they tell me it’s over and I freeze. And I think I could handle it because I just couldn’t believe it. I guess I thought, like everyone else thought, I can’t believe I was three weeks or two weeks ago and a bit up to this point – what happened?
“And the fact that I won at Torrey Pines on Father’s Day and everything that came together in those two weeks, I just couldn’t believe how many fairy tales we had. And yes, I mean, it was pretty incredible. ”
To watch the full interview with Rahm, please click below.
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