Spain’s Jon Rahm has won the 87th Masters at Augusta National.
Forty years after the late Seve Ballesteros won his second Masters title and on what would have been his 66th birthday, Rahm became the fourth Spanish winner at Augusta National after Ballesteros, Jose Maria Olazabal and Sergio Garcia.
The 2021 US Open champion carded a closing 69 to finish 12 under par, four shots clear of Phil Mickelson and long-time leader Brooks Koepka.
“History of the game is a big part of why I play and one of the reasons why I play, and Seve being one of them,” said Rahm, whose father took up golf after watching Ballesteros captain Europe to victory in the 1997 Ryder Cup at Valderrama.
“If it wasn’t for that Ryder Cup in ’97, my dad and I talk about it all the time, we don’t know where I would be or where as a family we would be.
“For me to get it done on the 40th anniversary of his win, his birthday, on Easter Sunday, it’s incredibly meaningful.”
He continued: “To finish it off the way I did, an unusual par, very much a Seve par, it was [unintentionally] a testament to him, and I know he was pulling for me today.
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“This one is for Seve. I knew he would be up there helping and help he did.”
Rahm was embraced behind the 18th green by two-time Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal while the fourth Spaniard to win at August, 2017 champion Sergio Garcia, also triumphed on 9 April.
“He said he hopes it’s the first of many more,” Rahm added.
“We both mentioned something about Seve and if had gone on 10 more seconds, I think we would have both ended up crying.
“I like to see history kind of repeating itself because when Ollie won his second Masters in ’99, Sergio was the low am. My first start was the year Sergio won.”