Masters 2023: Jon Rahm defeats Brooks Koepka,Phil Mickelson to clinch green jacket


Spain’s Jon Rahm celebrates with his green jacket and the trophy after winning The Masters on April 9, 2023. — Reuters

Spanish golfer Jon Rahm has secured his second major title and first 2023 Masters green jacket on Sunday defeating Brooks Koepka of the US.

His remarkable performance at Augusta National Golf Club enabled him to tighten his grip on the green jacket.

Rahm, who started the day four off the lead, rallied behind a final round three-under 69 for a winning total of 12-under 276 and a decisive four-shot victory over LIV standard bearers Brooks Koepka and evergreen Phil Mickelson.

It seemed extraordinary to recall Rahm’s Masters opened with a four-putt, double-bogey six. By the close of play, he had raced to 12 under par. The victory was by four shots.

Jon Rahm of Spain and Brooks Koepka of the United States walk on the first hole during the final round of the 2023 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 09, 2023, in Augusta, Georgia. — AFP
Jon Rahm of Spain and Brooks Koepka of the United States walk on the first hole during the final round of the 2023 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 09, 2023, in Augusta, Georgia. — AFP

Rahm, who went out in the final pairing and two shots back of Koepka, carded a three-under-par 69 that left him at 12 under on the week.

The win comes on the 66th birthday of the late Seve Ballesteros who was laid to rest in 2011, and on the 40th anniversary of Seve’s second Masters’ victory, in 1983.

Rahm, 28, said, while recalling the former number-one Spanish golfer, “This one was for Seve. He was up there helping … and help he did. If it wasn’t for Seve and that Ryder Cup in ’97 — my father and I talk about it all the time — I don’t know where I’d be today.”

Spain’s Jon Rahm said: “Still really hasn’t sunk in yet. I’m looking at the scores, and I still think I have a couple more holes left to win,” while looking towards the with his hands in prayer after his winning putt.

Rahm also noted: “To get it done in the 40th anniversary of his [1983] win, on his birthday and on Easter Sunday … it was a testament to him. I know he was pulling for me today.”

Amid bad weather and difficulty to resume the game, the third round was resumed on Sunday morning in which Brooks Koepka was 13-under par and had a four-shot lead on Rahm as they finished the seventh hole.

Seve had inspired a generation of golf players in his country and had two major titles among five major championships in his name.

Rahm trailed Brooks Koepka by two shots entering the final round and needed four holes to close the gap, pulled ahead at the par-three sixth and never relinquished the lead.

“I was told a lot of things about why this could be the year, and I just didn’t want to buy into it too much,” said Rahm.

Despite his turbulent start, he did not let the moment influence his overall gameplay.

“I kept hearing, ‘Seve! Seve! Seve! Do it for Seve!’ I heard that the entire back nine,” he said.

“That might have been the hardest thing to control today, is the emotion of knowing what it could be if I were to win; that might have been the hardest thing.”



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