Last Saturday, Jon Rahm has won his first green jacket and second career major victory at the 2023 Masters tournament held at Augusta National Golf Club. The Spaniard put on a dominant performance, finishing 12-under and cruising to a four-shot win ahead of LIV Golf Series players Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson.
After a tough start to the tournament with a four-putt double bogey, Rahm recovered quickly and never looked back, carding a final round three-under 69. His victory sees him leapfrog reigning Masters champion Scottie Scheffler as world No. 1.
Rahm’s win on the birthday of late Spanish golf icon Seve Ballesteros, who won the Masters in 1980 and 1983, makes him the fourth Spaniard to win the green jacket and the first European golfer to win both The Masters and the US Open, following victory at Torrey Pines in 2021.
Ballesteros, José María Olazábal, and Sergio Garcia were the only three of Rahm’s compatriots to have donned the green jacket previously, and Olazábal was one of the first to embrace the tearful new champion at the 18th green.
“History of the game is a big part of why I play and one of the reasons why I play, Seve being one of them,” Rahm said. “If it wasn’t for that Ryder Cup in ’97, my dad and I always talk about it. We don’t know where I would be or where as a family, we would be. So for me to get it done on the 40th anniversary of his win, his birthday, on Easter Sunday, it’s incredibly meaningful. I know he was pulling for me today.”
Koepka, who held at least a share of the lead from the end of the first round, saw his dreams of a first green jacket and fifth career significant fade quickly amid Rahm’s relentless afternoon charge. Mickelson rolled back the years with a final round-best 65 to become the oldest golfer to finish in the top five at the major.
Rahm’s win marks the lowest round ever posted by a player aged 50 or above, coming a day after Fred Couples became the oldest player ever to cut the major.
Jordan Spieth shot nine birdies in a blistering closing 66 to finish seven-under. The 2015 champion finished level with Russell Henley and Patrick Reed, who made it three LIV Golf players inside the top four.
The tournament was affected by two days of miserable weather, which saw multiple suspensions of play. However, clear blue skies finally broke above Augusta National on Sunday, prompting the green light for the race to escape a first Monday finish at the major since 1983.
Despite visibly struggling with movement throughout the weekend, 15-time major champion Tiger Woods battled to a record-equaling 23rd cut, only to announce his withdrawal due to injury hours before play resumed on Sunday.
Rahm’s victory confirms his status as a dominant force in golf and cements his place among the game’s greats.