Rahm wins Masters in historic day for Spanish golf

John Shortt

Jon Rahm of Spain and his caddie Adam Hayes react as they approach the 18th green at Augusta National Golf Club (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

John Shortt

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Mark this day in your calendar. Jon Rahm wins his second Major tournament, The Masters on 9th April, Seve’s birthday (he would have been 66) at Augusta National and returns to World number 1.

There is little doubt that with two Majors now in the bag (US Open 2021 was the other) Rahm will go on to win many more and if you can cast your mind back to Thursday morning of this 87th Masters, Rahm started with a double bogey on the first hole and said at the time, “If you’re going to make a double or four-putt or anything, it might as well be the first hole, 71 holes to make it up. After that, it was more, I was focused on the fact that all the strokes were good.”

Yes indeed, good is the word to use. You could also throw a few other superlatives in there if you so wished, for the man who has now joined Ballesteros (1980 & 1985), Olazabal (1994 & 1999) and Garcia (2017 – also on Seve’s birthday) as Spanish winners of the green jacket. He also joins Seve as the first player from Spain to win two different Majors.

It all started with Seve of course and it is symbolic that Rahm’s win comes on his birthday, particularly as Seve was his idol.

“But my idol. It’s always been Seve. I try to emulate what he inspired on the golf course,” said Rahm prior to the event this week.

And so at the seventh time of asking Rahm finally has the ‘W’ to eclipse his other best Masters finishes of 4th (2018) and T5 (2021) and on Sunday he was supreme in terms of managing his game and his emotions, on the biggest of stages.

For every winner there must be a loser though and with Brooks Koepka starting the final round two strokes ahead it was anyone’s guess how it was all going play out.

An outward nine of 39 strokes to Rahm’s 35 saw the lead switch on the 6th hole in favour of the Spaniard and once he had his nose in front he never looked back.

Birdies on 13 and 14, combined with rock steady pars on the back nine did all the damage and if Koepka was going to challenge he was going to have to do it the hard way.

As it turned out Rahm’s challenge would be from Koepka and Phil Mickelson who turned in a magical final round 65 to post an 8-under par total in the clubhouse which in truth was never going to bother Rahm who parred 15, 16 and holed a solid putt 17 to stand on the 18th tee with a 4-shot lead.

He gave us all a scare with his tee shot towards the left trees on 18, but he survived and even though he didn’t reach the fairway with the tee shot he parred, ‘A Seve-style par’, for a 4-shot victory!



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