John Rahm becomes fourth Spanish winner of The Masters, 40 years after Seve Ballesteros’ success; Rahm held off Brooks Koepka and survived a Sunday charge from Phil Mickelson to secure the Green Jacket in impressive fashion.
By: Ali Stafford at Augusta National
6:30, UK, Monday 10 April 2023
Jon Rahm cruised through Sunday’s showdown with Brooks Koepka to claim a dominant four-shot victory and secure a return to the Masters world No.1.
The Spaniard was four strokes back heading into Sunday’s marathon at Augusta National, where the players had to return early to complete their third round, and Rahm was still two strokes behind Koepka when the pair entered the final group in the fourth round.
Koepka’s early errors saw Rahm climb to the top of the leaderboard inside six holes, where the 28-year-old never relinquished control as he fired a 3-under 69 to comfortably hold off the chasing pack and claim his fourth win of 2023 :
Rahm, who birdied his opening hole in the tournament, finished the week at 12 under to capture his second major title, and with the win he also leapfrogged Scotty Scheffler, who ended his title defense in a tie for 10th at the top. world ranking.
How Rahm had more success
An eventful start to the final round saw Koepka pull his opening drive into another fairway before firing a superb approach over the trees to set up a two-stroke par as Rahm went up and down the back of the green to stay on the back nine. under.
Both players missed birdie opportunities at the fifth, but Rahm closed the gap with a 10-foot birdie at the third, then moved to a share of the lead when Koepka failed to make par from a greenside bunker.
Koepka bogeyed the sixth after a rough chip to the back of the green, while Rahm responded to another missed birdie opportunity at the seventh by making a perfect pitch to set up a tap-in at the next and go two up.
The pair missed the ninth green to finish with a bogey on their front nine, with Phil Mickelson moving into a tie for second alongside Koepka after five birdies in his final seven holes saw him target the clubhouse at eight under.
Koepka bounced back from the bogey at the 12th, getting up and down to take advantage of the next par five, where Rahm also took a shot for the first of the back-to-back birdies to open up a four-shot cushion.
Over the next three holes, Pars pushed Rahm closer to his winning goal as Koepka temporarily tied for second at the 15th, but he then bogeyed the 17th and slipped back into a tie for second with Mickelson.
Rahm was elected to the fourth after a nervous final putt and hit the green with a brilliant up-and-down to complete an emphatic win and see him become the first European to win both. Masters and US Open.
The final bogey saw Jordan Spieth shoot a 6-under 66 to finish in a tie for fourth with Patrick Reed and Russell Henley, while Victor Hovland, who was three off the final round, finished tied for seventh : six under after two 74s.
What he said
“We all dream of things like this as players, and you try to imagine what it’s going to be like and how it’s going to feel,” Rahm said.
“When I hit my third shot on the green and I could tell from the reaction of the crowd that it was close, the emotion of so many things just came over me.
“I never thought I was going to cry winning a golf tournament, but I came so close on that 18th hole.
“A lot because of what it means for me and for Spanish golf. this is Spain’s 10th major, the fourth player to win the Masters and my second major win. It’s pretty incredible.”
Rahm is scheduled to play it Thursday in the RBC Heritage at Harbor Town Golf Links, the last of the PGA Tour’s top events. Early action starts from midday on Sky Sports Golf until full coverage at 7pm.
The men’s major season continues next month at the PGA Championship, where Justin Thomas returns as the defending champion and Spieth has a chance to end his career at a Grand Slam. Watch all four rounds at Oak Hill from May 18-21 exclusively live on Sky Sports Golf.
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