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Enhorabuena, Espana!

Jon Rahm is the new Masters champion.

On what would have been the late Seve Ballesteros’ 66th birthday, the 28-year-old Spaniard closed with a three-under 69 to win the Green Jacket by four shots from Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson.

The victory gives Rahm his second career major, following the 2021 US Open, and he becomes the fourth Masters champion from Spain, following in the spikemarks of Seve, Jose Maria Olazabal, and Sergio Garcia.

• 9 things Jon Rahm gets for winning The Masters

• Tiger Woods explains Masters withdrawal

He also returns to the top of the Official World Golf Ranking and banks a cheque for a cool $3,240,000.

“It’s hard to put it into words,” said the new champion. “Obviously, we all dream of things like this as players, and you try to visualise what it’s going to be like and what it’s going to feel like.

“When I hit that third shot on the green, and I could tell it was close by the crowd’s reaction, just the wave of emotion just overtook me. I never thought I was going to cry by winning a golf tournament but I got very close on that 18th hole.

“It’s Spain’s tenth major, I’m the fourth player [from Spain] to win the Masters, and it’s my second win. It’s pretty incredible.

“It hasn’t sunk in. I’m looking at the scores, and I still think I have a couple more holes left to win. I can’t really say anything else. This one was for Seve. He was up there helping, and help he did.”

• Record prize money announced for Masters

Rahm trailed long-time leader Brooks Koepka by four shots as the third round resumed at 8.30am local time on a marathon Masters Sunday. Within minutes, he had cut that deficit to two and, after Koepka bogeyed the sixth hole in the final round, he took the lead for the first time.

He never looked back.

A stumble at nine made no material difference. He maintained his lead throughout the back nine with a measured, controlled display of exceptional course management.

People describe him as a fighter. Why? He’s not totally sure.

“Maybe it’s a little bit related to determination,” added Rahm. “When I’m out there, I have a job to do, and it’s to hopefully be here answering these questions.

“I know we all do, but weIput in a lot of effort to try to beat the best guys in the world. So maybe that level of intensity and that determination is what you see and that’s why I’m characterised as a fighter.

• 5 big names who missed The Masters cut

“I’m also never going to give up. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I didn’t try my hardest on every shot, so maybe that’s where it comes from.”

Victory at Augusta puts Rahm halfway to the career grand slam. He could even complete it before the year is out, should he win the US PGA next month and The Open in July.

“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves,” he laughed. “But it would be amazing. It would be great. Not many people have been able to do it, and to be able to finish it out and close out and do a grand slam would be absolutely amazing.”

Amazing and, right now, kind of inevitable.

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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