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Jon Rahm wins the Masters in 2023

Spain’s Jon Rahm held his composure and patience to win his first Masters, outlasting American Brooks Koepka on an entertaining closing day. 

Rahm, 28, fired a three-under 69 to finish on 12 under par and win by four strokes, while Koepka, who led by two coming into the final round, posted a 75. 

Koepka finished tied for second with veteran Phil Mickelson, who scored a seven-under 65 to finish eight under. 

Past champions Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed tied for fourth place. 

Defending winner Scottie Scheffler finished four strokes back, as was England’s US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick, the highest finisher from the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. 

Rahm became the fourth Spaniard to win the Masters, and his victory came on the 66th birthday of renowned two-time champion Seve Ballesteros, who won in 1980 and 1983. 

“I wasn’t sure how [the emotion] was going to come to me until I hit the third ball on the 18th,” said Rahm, who won his first major at the US Open in 2021. 

“I play for the history of the game, and Seve is a huge part of that history.” 

“It was special for me to accomplish it on the 40th anniversary of his second Masters victory and on his birthday.” 

“That was an odd par, very much a Seve par – in an unintentional way.” I knew dad was rooting for me, and it was a fantastic Sunday.” 

See all of the reactions after Rahm’s incredible Masters victory. 

How Rahm took command and won the Green Jacket 

After an outstanding year leading up to the first men’s major of the season, Rahm was one of the pre-tournament favorites, along with Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, who missed the halfway cut, and world number one Scheffler. 

Rahm has the form and historical credentials to win at Augusta, with three PGA Tour wins this year and four top-10 finishes in six previous Masters appearances. 

Surprisingly, he began his campaign on Thursday with a double bogey following a four-putt on the opening hole. He barely made a mistake after that. 

Rahm displayed all parts of his great all-around game, particularly his endlessly massive driving and nerveless putting, to produce an opening round of 65 and then rounds of 69, 73, and 69. 

Rahm not only won the historic Green Jacket for the first time, but he also regained the world number one ranking. 

With four holes remaining, he maintained his four-shot lead going into the 18th hole and could even afford to knock his final drive into the trees. 

The ball bounced back into play and landed 150 yards from the tee, but he kept his cool to lay up and smash a beautiful chip to within a few feet for an unusual par. 

Rahm shook his fists and looked up at the sky after hitting his final putt. 

His family promptly joined him on the 18th green, including wife Kelley and two kids Kepa and Eneko, before he was applauded further by friends and family. 

Among them was Rahm’s compatriot Jose Maria Olazabal, a two-time Masters champion and one of his teachers. 

As LIV is denied victory, Koepka declines. 

What appeared to be a close two-way battle between Rahm and Koepka turned out to be a calm and clinical triumph for the Spaniard. 

Besides from Rahm’s brilliance, Koepka’s terrible final round played a key role. 

Despite scarcely playing 72-hole events in recent months after electing to transfer to the controversial Saudi-backed LIV Golf tour, Koepka was vying for his fifth major championship – and first since 2019. 

The LIV tournaments are played over 54 holes, but Koepka came into the Masters in good shape, having won the previous week’s event in Miami. 

But his driving became erratic early in the fourth round, and once the tide shifted to Rahm, Koepka was unable to recover. 

When asked how he believed he played, Koepka replied, “Kind of ho-hum.” I didn’t play really well. I nailed some solid shots but ended up in some bad places. It’s difficult at the end to make birdies when he’s ahead. 

“Second isn’t much fun, so that’s motivation in and of itself.”

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