Jon Rahm has finally fulfilled his dream
Jon Rahm has finally achieved his dream of winning the Masters, one of golf’s most prestigious tournaments. The 28-year-old Spaniard came from behind on Sunday to claim his second major title, following his triumph at the 2021 U.S. Open.
Rahm started the final round two shots behind the leader, Brooks Koepka, who was looking to add a fifth major to his resume. But Rahm showed his resilience and patience, playing flawless golf on a challenging Augusta National course. He made four birdies and only one bogey in his final round of 69, finishing at 12-under-par for the tournament.
Koepka, on the other hand, struggled with his game and his health, as he was still recovering from a knee surgery he had in March. He made four bogeys and a double bogey in his final round of 75, dropping to a tie for second place with Phil Mickelson, who surprised everyone with a brilliant 67 at age 52.
Jon Rahm became the first European player to win both the Masters and the U.S. Open, joining an elite club that includes Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth. He also became the fourth Spaniard to win the Masters, following in the footsteps of his idols Seve Ballesteros and José María Olazábal.
Jon Rahm dedicated his victory to Ballesteros, who would have turned 66 on Sunday. He said he heard chants of “Seve! Seve! Seve!” from the crowd throughout the back nine, which motivated him to stay focused and calm.
“I can’t lie; I had goosebumps on almost every single hole,” Rahm said. “I tried to channel that energy into good golf.”
Rahm’s win was even more remarkable considering he had a disastrous start to the tournament on Thursday, when he four-putted for a double bogey on the first hole. But he did not let that affect him and bounced back with rounds of 68, 70 and 69.
“I knew I had 71 holes left,” Rahm said. “I knew I had a lot of golf ahead of me. I just tried to stay positive and play my best.”
Jon Rahm also overcame some personal challenges in the past year. He tested positive for COVID-19 twice, forcing him to withdraw from two tournaments when he was in contention. He also became a father for the first time in April, when his wife Kelley gave birth to their son Kepa.
Rahm said his family was his inspiration and motivation to win the Masters.
“It’s hard to describe how much this means to me,” Rahm said. “To share this moment with my wife and my son is something I will never forget.”
Rahm also thanked his caddie Adam Hayes, who helped him make some crucial decisions on the course.
“He was amazing today,” Rahm said. “He kept me calm and confident. He gave me some great advice and some great reads.”
Rahm’s win also boosted his ranking in both the PGA Tour and the LIV Golf league, which he joined earlier this year after rejecting an offer from Saudi Arabia’s rival circuit. Rahm said he was happy with his choice and that he felt supported by his fellow players and fans.
“I’m proud to be part of LIV Golf,” Rahm said. “I think it’s a great platform for golfers and golf fans. I think it’s good for the game.”
Rahm said he was looking forward to defending his U.S. Open title next month at Oak Hill Country Club in New York, where he hopes to continue his stellar form.
“I feel like I’m playing some of the best golf of my life right now,” Rahm said. “I’m confident and hungry for more.”
But before that, Rahm said he wanted to enjoy his Masters win and celebrate with his family and friends.
“This is a dream come true,” Rahm said. “This is what I’ve worked for my whole life. This is what I’ve always wanted.”