Jon Rahm won the 2023 Masters on Sunday, clinching his first green jacket and second career major with an unflappable showing at Augusta National.
The Spaniard put on a clinic in consistency to ease to a four shot victory ahead of LIV Golf Series duo Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson.
After two days of miserable weather had seen multiple suspensions of play at the 87th edition of the historic major, it was fitting that blue skies and sunshine set the backdrop for the crowning of Rahm, whose victory sees him leapfrog reigning Masters champion Scottie Scheffler as world No. 1.
Having begun his tournament with a four-putt double bogey, Rahm recovered immediately and never looked back, carding a final round three-under 69 to finish 12-under.
On the birthday of late Spanish golf icon Seve Ballesteros – champion in 1980 and 1983 – Rahm became the fourth Spaniard to win the green jacket and the first European golfer to win both The Masters and the US Open, following victory at Torrey Pines in 2021.
Ballesteros, José María Olazábal, and Sergio Garcia were the only three of Rahm’s compatriots to have donned the green jacket previously, and Olazábal was one of the first to embrace the tearful new champion at the 18th green.
“History of the game is a big part of why I play and one of the reasons why I play, Seve being one of them,” Rahm said.
“If it wasn’t for that Ryder Cup in ’97, my dad and I talk about it all the time, we don’t know where I would be or where as a family we would be.
“For me to get it done on the 40th anniversary of his win, his birthday, on Easter Sunday, it’s incredibly meaningful … I know he was pulling for me today.”
Rahm made short work of the two shot lead taken into the final round by Koepka, who slid to a frustrating three-over 75 finish. The American had held at least a share of the lead from the end of the first round, but saw his dreams of a first green jacket and fifth career major fade quickly amid Rahm’s relentless afternoon charge.
Mickelson rolled back the years with a final round-best 65 to become the oldest golfer ever to finish inside the top-five at the major. A three-time green jacket winner, the 52-year-old was all smiles as he eased round Augusta with eight birdies.
It marks the lowest round ever posted by a player aged 50 or above, coming a day after Fred Couples became the oldest player to ever make the cut at the major. Source: CNN