It was a made in heaven final round script that was not going to be denied.
What started with a four-putt double-bogey at the opening hole on Thursday ended with Jon Rahm securing a four shot maiden Masters triumph. On the exact day of what would have been Seve Ballesteros’ 66th birthday, and the occasion also of 40-years since Seve’s 1983 Masters triumph and Rahm delivered Spain its fourth Masters champion.
More remarkable is that fellow Spaniard Sergio Garcia also captured his 2017 Masters title also on the 9th of April.
Waiting to greet Rahm at the back of the 18th green was Seve’s closest friend in Jose Maria Olazabal, himself a double Augusta National green jacket owner. It was a tremendous and emotional sight, and one ‘Ollie’, as winner of the 1994 and ’99 Masters remarked: “Sometimes the stars align for a wonderful script.
“Funnily enough, we talked about it last Sunday, the fact that today is Seve’s birthday”. Rahm’s triumph is an incredible sixth win in 14 worldwide tournaments, and exactly six months to the day in winning his own Spanish Open.
Rahm’s victory also is a super lift for Luke Donald in Europe’s quest to regain the Ryder Cup come September. For now, Olazabal is predicting Rahm could become one of the greats of the game, if he’s already.
“Jon has the full package; a great long game, a great short game … if there are no injuries we’re seeing Jon win for a number of years to come,” Olazabal said.
Of course, it was Rahm being taken as a school boy by his parents to the ’97 Ryder Cup at Valderrama that first set the path to Sunday’s sight of him being fitted into an Augusta National member’s green jacket.
And looking on was an emotional Olazabal, and shortly afterwards revealing how he was first introduced to the golfer affectionately known as ‘Rahmbo’.
“I’m a little bit emotional, yes,” he said. “I first met Jon as a 14-year-old at a junior event for Lacoste, in Spain. I didn’t believe he was 14. He was taller than me. He was stronger. He hit it a bloody mile. He had a strong temperament, but it was what impressed me the most. “To see him become a Masters champion, the way he was so patient today, is really special.”
It was skywards a teary-eyed Ollie had looked in 2012 when he led Europe to triumph in the `Miracle at Medinah’ and also it was to the heavens as we saw Rahm also do at Sunday’s green jacket presentation.
“The history of the game is a big part of why I play golf and Seve is one of them,” said Rahm. “If it wasn’t for my parents taking me to the Ryder Cup in ’97, and my dad and I talk about it all the time, I wouldn’t know where I would be.
“So, for me to get it down on the anniversary of Seve’s win, the anniversary of his birthday and it being Easter Sunday. It’s just incredible, and to finish it off in the way I did with an unusual par. Very much a Seve par. In a non-purposeful way it was testament to him.
“I know Seve was pulling for me today and he was great for me today”.
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