Jon Rahm cruised to a magnificent Masters victory yesterday with an efficient display of great driving, sensible approach shots and nice putting. He won comfortably by four shots in the end.
Going into the final round there were only really two players in contention, Rahm and Brooks Koepka. Koepka had been fantastic in the first two rounds but was struggling on the weather interrupted third round. Given how far back the rest of the field was it would take poor final rounds to get caught.
Unfortunately for Brooks that is what happened. A final round 75 left him in tied second with Phil Mickelson. Phil, along with Jordan Speith were the group to watch in the afternoon. Vintage Phil, out of nowhere, and Jordan just being Jordan. 65 and 66 respectively pushed these guys way up the leaderboard.
Rahm was not flawless, he did have a bogey on the final round, but it was so controlled, tee shot on 18 excluded. Even then he still managed to leave himself a putt from a couple of meters to win the green jacket for the first time.
This was his second Major, and the stories of the day we not lost to him:
- Seve‘s birthday
- The caddie’s bib number was 49 (4/9 US date format)
- Sergio won the last time the Masters finished on Easter Sunday
- JM Olazábal won his masters title aged 28
- Rahm was the fourth Spanish winner
For Rahm, as well as a Masters invite for life, this moves him back up to number one in the world. It also negates some of the rather lacklustre performances in the past couple of tournaments (by his rather high standards).
Although Brooks faded over the final two rounds I think that he is back. It is great to see him healthy and competing again at the highest level. Look out for him in the coming Majors – I feel that he will be in contention again.
The final paring of these two was intense. Two of the most focused and intimidating golfers on the greatest stage. It was a shame Brooks couldn’t keep up but the signs are good. I hope that the slow play in front of them didn’t affect them too much.
All the #livBots will be going crazy with the success of their players. To me, and probably the players themselves, it was just about the golf. It was great to see such a strong field of players from a pool of the greatest players in the world.
I don’t hate LIV, I don’t find it particularly exciting and do question how good the competition really is, but what I don’t like aside from the “how great we are” BS is the fact that #LIV has diluted the #USPGA and to some extent the DP World Tour.
Of course, the benefitting parties are the Majors themselves. I really hope there is some way to allow or keep qualification to these tournaments for the players that don’t get OWGR points for their normal competition play.
I asked just how good are professional golfers recently and if this tournament is a benchmark to see how they are performing then they are still pretty good.
Five LIV players qualified for the tournament through OWGR rankings and will drop out for sure. There are many past Masters champions on the tour, which they don’t hold back from bragging about, and a total of 18 LIV players were in the field.
|Rank||Player||Score to Par|
|T29||Harold Varner III||+1|
No doubt LIV will be rejoicing, but as I said it is not about LIV v PGA. It is about the golf but it is great was great to see Phil back, smiling and “thumbs upping” – he obviously knew the significance of the putt on the 72nd hole.
The weather played a factor, both with the physical affect on the players and on the course – there were some bizarre spins to greens that were probably more responsive than normal. But Augusta was beautiful as always. There were some fine shots that will go down in the video vaults, for example Rahm’s 2nd shot on the 14th on the final round, lots of traditions and memories, past champions (Mize and Lyle said farewell this year) and new records that will be part of The Masters folklore.
It is funny not to be taking a lot about Rory after a major but another missed cut at The Masters means that he slinks into the background for the time being. Will he ever win a green jacket? Time will tell, but unfortunately I think not.
Had Rahm not four putted the first hole, this could have been a procession from start to finish. He was in control for the most part and, although Brooks held the lead for a long time, he was always lurking.
My favourite major is over for another year. I’m already counting down the days until the next one.