Rahm becomes first European to win Masters and US Open

Ronan MacNamara

Jon Rahm admits it’s hard to believe he is the first European golfer to win both the US Open and the Masters after he became the fourth Spaniard to don the green jacket at Augusta National.

Rahm produced a final round performance of excellence and control as he came from behind to beat Brooks Koepka while he shirked the late challenge of three-time Masters winner Phil Mickelson as he broke new ground for European golf.

“I find it hard to believe, the first one. You know, there’s — if there’s anything better than accomplishing something like this, is making history,” said Rahm who claimed his first major since 2021 and will return to world number one.


“So the fact that you tell me that, to be the first-ever — first European ever to do that, hard to explain. Out of all the accomplishments and the many great players that have come before me, to be the first to do something like that, it’s a very humbling feeling.

“I still can’t believe I’m the first. I don’t know what to tell you. It is — it is a pretty good duo of majors. The U.S. Open is about as hard a test as you’re ever going to find, and, you know, I was trying to think, I was never going to win a major again unless it was at Torrey Pines. To come somewhere that — it’s not like it was that long ago, but to come somewhere where I’ve been comfortable. I kept seeing the stats, the lowest score to par out of two starts and how great I’ve done here in the past but never gave myself a chance to win. All I asked for was a chance, and I got it.”

Rahm endured a torrid time in the four major championships last year with questions about his temperament thrown at him as a stumbling block for further success.

Sunday’s final round exuded patience and control with Rahm rarely looking frazzled as he hit his ball from A to B with minimal stress.

In fact, that calmness was portrayed for 71 holes after he had opened his campaign with a four-putt double bogey. Rahm played his next 17 holes on Thursday in 59 strokes to share the overnight lead and even though he was on the wrong side of Mother Nature’s draw, he didn’t let that faze him.

Mission complete on Seve’s birthday.

“I was calm. I never got frustrated. I never really got — felt like anything was out of control. But obviously you’re nervous, right. There’s tension out there. That bogey on 9 timing-wise was bad because Jordan and Phil came in making birdies, right. So what looked like a 2-, possibly more, shot lead, narrowed it down very, very quickly with the chance of them making a birdie on 18, right.

“So made those 10, 11, 12 holes harder. Again, I might have looked calm, but I was definitely, definitely nervous out there. I’m glad that’s the way it looked. That’s what you strive for, right? You don’t want to panic, and I never panicked. I felt comfortable with my game, and I had a plan to execute, and that’s all I can do.”

Rahm is now halfway towards completing the career grand slam while Rory McIlroy will have to wait another year before Jordan Spieth has his sixth tilt at golf’s most exclusive club at the PGA Championship next month.

“I mean, it would be amazing. It would be great. Not many people have been able to do it, and to be able to finish it out and close out and do a Grand Slam would be absolutely amazing.

“I don’t know how else to say. I would like to say that I entered the race when I won the U.S. Open, but of course, you’re so far away, you don’t want to think about it, right. But as players, it’s on your mind. It’s on your mind. It’s something else that would be amazing. But it’s a long road ahead to be able to accomplish that. Something that two players like Phil and Arnie weren’t able to do, it speaks a lot.”

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