June 20, 2021
San Diego, California, USA
Torrey Pines Golf Course
MIKE DAVIS: Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. What a memorable conclusion to the 121st playing of the United States Open Championship. Let me first start by thanking Torrey Pines and the city of San Diego. Torrey Pines once again proved to be a great championship venue, and to the Torrey Pines grounds staff, you provided a superb test of golf. Really well done.
There have been 120 previous editions of the U.S. Open and 88 different champions. Today another competitor solidifies his place in history alongside those names etched in the trophy.
STU FRANCIS: Before we present the awards, let us all take a moment to thank Mike Davis. Mike has spent 31 years with the USGA while spending the last 10 as the executive director and then CEO. As many of you know, he will be stepping down in the coming days. Amongst his many accomplishment, his greatest is that he leaves the USGA and the game in a better place than when he first started. For that, we are all incredibly grateful.
Mike, while this may be your last U.S. Open as part of the USGA, your impact on the organization, this championship and on the game of golf will last for generations to come. Thank you.
MIKE DAVIS: Thank you.
STU FRANCIS: Now it is my honor to welcome the champion of the 121st United States Open. With a score of 278, the Jack Nicklaus Gold Medal for the winner of the 121st U.S. Open goes to Jon Rahm of Spain.
We are also thrilled to present the historic U.S. Open trophy given each year to the U.S. Open champion. Mike, you may present the trophy.
Q. We just chatted for a couple minutes a little bit earlier here. All the volatility here on the back nine at Torrey Pines, so difficult to win a U.S. Open. How were you able to survive and then thrive in the end?
JON RAHM: It's hard to explain. You hear about many people saying all you need to do is just hang on and let others make mistakes, and that simply just wasn't happening. After I missed those two short putts on 13 and 14, I told Adam, two 4s and two 3s wins the tournament, let's go get it.
It's incredible that I finished the way I did. Making that putt on this green when I got my first win, it's hard to describe. But staying in the present and just being aware of what you have to do, and sometimes you have to attack a golf course. I've done it here before, and those memories always help.
Q. Take us back to Saturday night at the Memorial. You had a six-shot lead, looked like you were on your way to winning again on the PGA TOUR. What have the last few weeks been like for you?
JON RAHM: This is the power of positive thinking. I was never resentful for one second for what happened. And I don't blame anybody. It's been a difficult year, and unfortunately COVID is a reality in this world, and it's affected a lot of people. I got out of what happened the best possible hand because nobody in my family got sick. I barely got any symptoms.
I have to mention, we have lost a lot of people back home. We have lost some friends. This one is to a friend of mine who was a journalist who had just started getting into golf and he was basically following me around the world of golf, and when he started he had no idea what golf was, and he passed away a few months ago from COVID. It was very quick; from the time he got it, he went to the ICU and passed away. Like him, there's many people in this world.
I know what happened a couple of weeks ago. Some people might say it wasn't fair, but it was what had to be done. We still have to be aware of what's going on in this world. Take care of yourself and everybody around you so we can get over this as quick as possible.
Q. This was your first ever Father's Day. You have your wife Kelley here and your parents here. Your father is here to watch you win, become the first Spaniard ever to capture a U.S. Open. How powerful is it to have this victory on this day with everybody you love surrounding you?
JON RAHM: It's the exact reason why I won. It had to happen in a beautiful setting like this. Nothing in my life has come easy, and definitely managing the emotions of knowing what could have been done today wasn't the easiest either, but I used it to my advantage in the last few holes.
Even though Father's Day in Spain is a different day, I'm forcing him to celebrate it today, and we're going to have fun because there's three generations of Rahms on this green right now. One of them doesn't really know what's going on, but I am glad he's going to get to see it in the future and enjoy it.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports