The solid Jon Rahm, who channeled Spain’s great Seve Ballesteros on the late hero’s birthday, survived a marathon day to take an emotional Masters win at Augusta National on Sunday, reaching the watershed of LIV golf. Denied victory.
Rahm, who started day four with the lead, recovered in the final round with a 3-under-par 69 to win the final round with a total of 12-under-par 276, giving a crucial four-shot to LIV flag-bearer Brooks Koepka and evergreen Phil Mickelson. We have won.
The victory was Rahm’s fourth of the season and his second career major title along with the 2021 US Open title.
He also regained the world No. 1 ranking from defending champion Scotty Schaeffler.
Sitting at the top of the leaderboard for three rounds, Koepka ultimately couldn’t get into gear and struggled to a three-over 75. Meanwhile, his 52-year-old Mickelson, winner of three greens in his jacket, turned his watch back and played a card. He finished the day’s round – a sensational 7 under 65 – and tied for second.
Marking Ballesteros’ 66th birthday and the 40th anniversary of his second Green Jacket victory, Rahm received a rapturous ovation as he walked the 18th fairway on a four-stroke cushion.
Fighting to keep his composure, the 28-year-old won on a 4-foot par putt to cap off a marathon day of golf that began at sunrise and ended at dusk in Georgia.
“The history of the game is a big part of why I play and one of the reasons I play. Seve is one of them,” said Rahm. “To do it on Easter Sunday, his birthday, the 40th anniversary of his victory, means a lot to me.
“I closed out like I did. It was Seve’s par. That was testament to him. I know he pulled me out today and it was a great Sunday.”
After two days of play interrupted by torrential rain and ferocious winds that knocked over trees, the 53-man field returned to a soggy course on Sunday to complete the third round.
After leading Rahm by four strokes overnight, Koepka was leading by two by the end of the round.
LIV Tour tournaments are contested over 54 holes. If the action in Augusta had ended after the third round ended, Koepka would have worn Greene’s jacket.
Unfortunately for Koepka, a major takes 72 holes to find a winner.
By the time the two reached the fourth round turn, two servings of the Spaniard were in charge.
Koepka finished 22 holes without a birdie, while Rahm made consecutive birdies on 13 and 14 to play 4 and move up to fifth.
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https://www.newsmax.com/us/masters-augusta-georgia/2023/04/09/id/1115562 Spain’s Joe Rahm Leads Idol Ballesteros To Masters