KSLSPORTS FEED

Jon Rahm Rallies To Win Masters As Spanish Stars Align

Apr 9, 2023, 6:41 PM

Follow @kslsports...

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP)Jon Rahm turned the longest day into his sweetest victory, starting Sunday with a four-shot deficit in the morning chill and finishing in fading sunlight as the fourth Spaniard to become a Masters champion.

Rahm closed with a 3-under 69 to pull away from mistake-prone Brooks Koepka. He won by four shots over Koepka and 52-year-old Phil Mickelson, who turned in a tournament-best 65. He is the oldest runner-up in Masters history.

It was Mickelson who declared Rahm would be among golf’s biggest stars even before the Spaniard turned pro in 2016. Rahm now has a green jacket to go along with his U.S. Open title he won in 2021 at Torrey Pines.

Rahm made up two shots on Koepka over the final 12 holes of the rain-delayed third round and started the final round two shots behind. He seized on Koepka’s collapse and then surged so far ahead that Mickelson’s amazing closing round — the best final round ever at Augusta National for the three-time Masters champion — was never going to be enough.

Nothing was more satisfying than an uphill climb to the 18th green to claim the green jacket on a day when Spanish stars aligned. Sunday is the birthdate of his idol, the late Seve Ballesteros, and this is the 40-year anniversary of Ballesteros winning his second Masters title.

RELATED: Tony Finau Finishes In Top 30 At 2023 Masters Tournament

Rahm embraced his wife and two children, and as he walked toward the scoring room, there was two-time Masters champion José María Olazábal in his green jacket for the strongest hug of all.

Rahm won for the fourth time this year — just as Scottie Scheffler did a year ago when he won the Masters — and reclaimed the No. 1 world ranking from Scheffler.

This Masters had a little bit of everything — hot and humid at the start, a cold front with wind that toppled three trees on Friday, putting surfaces saturated from rain on Saturday and a marathon finish Sunday as Rahm and Koepka went 30 holes.

Koepka helped to pave the way with one miscue after another, losing the lead for the first time since Thursday afternoon when he chipped 20 feet past the hole from behind the par-3 sixth and made his second bogey. There would be more to come.

Worse yet, Koepka went 22 consecutive holes Sunday without a birdie — from the par-5 eighth hole in the morning of the third round until the par-5 13th in final round. By then, he was three shots behind and Rahm all but sealed it with his next shot.

He hit a low cut around a tree from right of the 14th fairway and it caught a slope just right on the 14th green and fed down to 3 feet for a birdie. When Koepka three-putted for bogey, it was a matter of finishing.

Rahm hooked his tee shot into the trees on the final hole and didn’t reach the fairway. No matter. He played up the fairway, hit wedge to 3 feet and tapped in for the victory.

The leaderboard was littered with major champions and a tinge of Saudi-funded LIV Golf. Mickelson and Koepka both are part of the rival circuit. Former Masters champion Patrick Reed, another player who defected to LIV, closed with a 68 and tied for fourth with Jordan Spieth (66) and Russell Henley.

KSL 5 TV Live

KSLSports Feed

Follow @kslsports...

KSL Sports

Former BYU Coach Bronco Mendenhall Excited For Next Journey At New Mexico

The former headman at BYU is back in the Mountain West Conference.

8 hours ago

Follow @kslsports...

KSL Sports

Five Utah Jazz Takeaways From Salt Lake City Summer League

The 2024 Salt Lake City Summer League is complete as the Utah Jazz prepare to join 29 other teams heading to Las Vegas.

11 hours ago

Follow @kslsports...

KSL Sports

Utah State Football Interim Head Coach Nate Dreiling Focused On Moving Forward After ‘Whirlwind’ Past Two Weeks

It may not be how he wanted to become a head coach, but Utah State interim head coach Nate Dreiling has the keys to the car

12 hours ago

Follow @kslsports...

KSL Sports

What You Need To Know About The NBA’s Upcoming Media Rights Deal

The NBA's new media rights deals nearly put the league in the same economic arena with the media behemoth that is the NFL.

12 hours ago

Follow @kslsports...

KSL Sports

Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark Says Conference Is In Great Spot With Utah, BYU

Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark has big hopes for the conference's newest rivalry between the BYU Cougars and Utah Utes.

14 hours ago

Follow @kslsports...

KSL Sports

60 In 60: No. 36 Utah’s Landen King (Tight End)

The countdown is on for Hans & Scotty’s 60 in 60 for the 2024 college football season. Landing at No. 36 is Utah tight end Landen King.

14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

A kitchen in a modern farmhouse....

Lighting Design

A room-by-room lighting guide for your home

Bookmark this room-by-room lighting guide whenever you decide to upgrade your lighting or style a new home.

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Jon Rahm Rallies To Win Masters As Spanish Stars Align