Jon Rahm hailed his Masters victory as “incredibly meaningful” after securing a second major title on the 40th anniversary of his idol Seve Ballesteros claiming a second win at Augusta National.
On what would also have been the 66th birthday of his fellow Spaniard, Rahm carded a closing 69 for a four-shot win over Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson rounded off by the kind of par on the 18th of which Ballesteros would have been proud.
“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.”
Rahm’s drive on the 18th failed to reach the fairway after hitting a tree and bouncing back towards the tee, but the former US Open winner hit a superb third shot and holed from four feet for par.
“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,” Rahm added.
“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 April 9.
Quote of the day
Rahm dedicated his win to the late Seve Ballesteros, who won his second Masters title 40 years ago and would have celebrated his 66th birthday on the final day.
Shot of the day
Rahm manufactured a superb approach to the 14th to set up a birdie and move four shots clear with four to play.
Round of the day
Phil Mickelson birdied five of his last seven holes in a superb 65.
Statistic of the day
Rahm’s week started in terrible fashion with a double bogey on the first hole after four-putting, but it ended in triumph.
The par-five second played to an average of 4.509, Sam Burns and Mackenzie Hughes making eagles and 28 players making birdie.
The par-three 12th, which played a vital role in 2019 when Tiger Woods won, played to an average of 3.340 with defending champion Scottie Scheffler making a double bogey and Mito Pereira a triple. Phil Mickelson and Patrick Reed made the only birdies.
When is the next major?
The 105th US PGA Championship will be held from May 18-21 at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester.