New Masters champion Jon Rahm says victory is for Seve Ballesteros on milestone anniversary
The 28-year-old, who made his breakthrough in the majors by winning the US Open in 2021, added The Masters on the 40th anniversary of Seve Ballesteros claiming his second Green Jacket and also on the day that would have been his 66th birthday.
“He was up there helping, and help he did,” admitted Rahm as he spoke about joining Ballesteros, as well as another double winner in Jose Maria Olazabal and 2017 champion Sergio Garcia in winning the season’s opening major.
Rahm started the final round trailing his playing partner, Brooks Koepka, by two shots but took just six holes to get his nose in front and went on to claim an impressive four-shot success at the Georgia venue.
“Not throughout the entire round because obviously early on there was a lot of options, and Brooks was in the lead and the people supporting Brooks made themselves known,” said Rahm to being asked if he’d felt then patrons had been more behind him on this occasion than in past years.
“But I think it was around my birdie on eight, when I took a couple-stroke lead is when things turned a little bit.
“Even with that bogey on 9, the support was pretty incredible all throughout, and I kept hearing, ‘Seve! Seve! Seve! Do it for Seve!’ I heard that the entire back nine.
“That might have been the hardest thing to control today, the emotion of knowing what it could be if I were to win.”
In doing so, Rahm has returned to world No 1, jumping above both Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy.
He also succeeded where the likes of Ballesteros, Nick Faldo, Tony Jacklin, Sandy Lyle and others failed by winning this event and the US Open.
“I find it hard to believe, the first one,” he said of that achievement. “If there's anything better than accomplishing something like this, it is making history.
“To be the first-ever European ever to do that, hard to explain. Out of all the accomplishments and the many great players that have come before me, to be the first to do something like that, it's a very humbling feeling.”
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