There are many things that have changed the landscape of golf in the past few years, such as the controversial LIV series that can tear golf apart, but the tradition that has reigned in the US Masters for the past 89 years will remain unshakable.
This is what the 28-year-old Spaniard Jon Rahm showed early Monday morning (US time) at Augusta National when he joined three of his Spanish compatriots – Severiano Ballesteros (1980, 1983), José Maria Olazabal (1994, 1999) and Sergio Garcia (2017) ) – joined who previously also won this tournament.
Rahm, who finished the final round in 69 strokes, finished at 276 strokes (-12). He fended off the onslaught of the American Brooks Koepka (280, -8), who is one of the big attractions in the LIV series, with contempt.
The 52-year-old veteran Phil Mickelson, another one of the greats in LIV golf, was joint second with Koepka after recording a brilliant 65 shots (which included five birdies over the last seven holes).
They were followed by three more Americans – Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed and Russell Henley – together fourth at 281 (-7), with the Norwegian Viktor Hovland and another American, Cameron Young, together seventh at 282 (-6).
Rahm earned around R55.4 million with his victory, with Mickelson and Koepka both pocketing around R18.8. Compare this with the US$1,500 (almost R18,000) that Horton Smith won with his victory in the first Masters in 1934.
Rahm paid tribute to Ballesteros after his victory.
“I play golf because of the history of the game and Seve Ballesteros plays a big role in that history. It means a lot that on the 40th anniversary of his second victory in the Masters, I could have also accomplished it,” Rahm said after his victory, according to the website of the US PGA Series.
Rahm, who has already won three tournaments in the American series this year, moved up to first place in the golf rankings with his victory.
Rahm was four strokes ahead on the 18th hole, but his tee shot landed between the trees, where it splashed back onto the fairway, in true Ballesteros tradition.
Rahm went on to make par to clinch the title.
He threw his arms in the air, clenched his fists and looked up as his wife, Kelley, and their two young sons, Kepa and Eneko, along with Olazabal, one of his great mentors, were on hand to share in his joy. Share.
* South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel finished 50th on 297 strokes.
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