Golf: Spain's Jon Rahm holds nerve to prevail in nail-biting US Open finish

Spain's Jon Rahm has capped a remarkable turnaround from two weeks ago to capture his first major championship on Monday (NZ time) at Torrey Pines in San Diego.

Rahm's four-round total of six under was good for a one-shot victory on South African Louis Oosthuizen, shooting four under-par 67 in the final round.

Rahm had birdies on the final two holes - both with putts of more than 18 feet - to move to the front, but Oosthuizen, who was in the final pairing, had three holes to play at that point.

Oosthuizen secured five consecutive pars after a bogey on the par-3 11th, but a bogey on No. 17 pretty much ended his chances, unless he could produce an eagle on the last hole -something he pulled off on Sunday.

Not this time, as he settled for birdie and a final-round 71.

Two weekends ago, Rahm dealt with devastation, when a positive COVID-19 test meant he was forced to withdraw from the Memorial, despite holding a six-shot lead after three rounds. That sent him into quarantine, putting his entry into the US Open in jeopardy.

Rahm, 26, tied for third place in the 2019 US Open for his previous best outing in a major. His background at the championship was notable because he was the low amateur in 2016, when he tied for 23rd.

Rahm tied for the best score in the field on Monday, with Patrick Reed and South Africa's Branden Grace also shooting 67s.

Oosthuizen has won one major (2010 British Open) and he now has six runner-up spots in majors. That list includes tying for second at last month's PGA Championship.

Harris English finished third at three under, with his final-round 68 his lone sub-70 score of the tournament. He had bogeys on three of the first four holes, but played the last five holes in three under.

Brooks Koepka (69), Collin Morikawa (70) and Italy's Guido Migliozzi (68) were at 2 under to share fourth place.

Russell Henley and Canada's Mackenzie Hughes, who along with Oosthuizen were tied atop the leaderboard through three rounds, weren't factors. Henley (76) tied for 13th at even for the tournament and Hughes (77) tied for 15th at one over.

There were 20 golfers within five shots of the lead when the round began.

Defending champion Bryson DeChambeau was two shots off the lead when the day began and was two under for the round through eight holes. He tumbled out of contention, playing holes 11 to 17 in eight over and ending up with a 77. His quadruple-bogey eight on No. 17 was the final damage.

PGA Championship winner Phil Mickelson shot 75 and finished 11 over, tying for 62nd place.