HomeNewsMasters 2023: Jon Rahm wins, beating Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson

Masters 2023: Jon Rahm wins, beating Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson

Spain’s Jon Rahm kept his nerve and patience to win a first Masters, swinging an exciting final day in his favour from American Brooks Koepka.

Rahm, 28, carded a three-under 69 to finish on 12 under and win by four shots as Koepka, who led by two going into the final round, shot 75.

Koepka ended joint second with veteran Phil Mickelson, who shot a a stunning seven-under 65 to finish eight under.

Former champions Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed finished joint sixth.

Further back was defending champion Scottie Scheffler on four under, along with England’s US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick, who was the highest finisher from Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Rahm became the fourth Spanish player to win the Masters and his victory poignantly came on what would have been the 66th birthday of the legendary two-time champion Seve Ballesteros, who won in 1980 and 1983.

“I wasn’t sure how [the emotion] was all going to come to me until I hit the third shot on the 18th,” said Rahm, whose first major win came at the 2021 US Open.

“The history of the game is a big reason why I play and Seve is a big part of that history.

“For me to get it done on the 40th anniversary of his second Masters win and on his birthday was special.

“It was a very unusual par, very much a Seve par – in a non purposeful way. I know he was pulling for me and it was a great Sunday.”

Not only did Rahm win the iconic Green Jacket for the first time, he also returned to the world number one ranking.

What looked set to be a tight two-way duel between Rahm and Koepka ended up being a controlled and clinical victory for the Spaniard.

Leading by four shots with four holes left to play, he maintained that advantage going into the 18th hole and could even afford to hit his final drive into the trees.

The ball ended up bouncing back into play and landing 150 yards from the tee, but he retained composure to lay up and knock a sublime chip to within a few feet for an unorthodox par.

After sinking his final putt, Rahm shook his clenched fists while looking up the sky.

His family – wife Kelley, along with two sons Kepa and Eneko – quickly joined him on the 18th green before he was congratulated further by friends and family.

Those included compatriot Jose Maria Olazabal, another two-time Masters champion and one of Rahm’s mentors.

More to follow.

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