Jon Rahm Storms Back from Four Strokes Down to Win His 1st Masters

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Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, GA — April 9, 2023

When play was suspended on Saturday, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm had completed six holes. It looked like Koepka was going to run away and hide. Both leaders birdied the second hole. Then, Rahm bogeyed four and five, and the lead swelled to four strokes. What a difference a day makes.

As players returned Sunday morning to complete their third round, the pressure of the Masters Tournament was already in full effect. Tiger Woods withdrew before finishing his third round.

Rahm birdied the seventh, and Koepka made a bogey for a two-shot swing. Both players carded two bogeys on the final nine, bringing the first-round co-leader within reach of Koepka at -11 and Rahm at nine-under-par.

Jon Rahm / Photo Credit: Augusta National

Viktor Hovland made six birdies, including five in a row on the back nine. Four bogeys on his round cost him the overall lead. But he drew within a stroke of Rahm at seven under. Patrick Cantlay shot a 68 to get to six under, and Russell Henley’s 71 brought him into play at five under after three rounds.

Sunday’s Final Round

Sunday’s drama started quickly as Rahm birdied the third hole and Koepka bogeyed number four. Another two-shot swing and the tournament was tied at -10.

Koepka made a bogey on the par three sixth hole when he missed the green short and chipped well past the hole requiring two putts to find the bottom of the cup. Rahm led by one.

As the leaders were playing the eighth, eight players were tied at six under, four strokes off the lead. Rahm birdied the hole to move to -11 and gain a two-shot lead over Koepka. Jordan Spieth and Henley moved to seven-under-par.

For the followers, it is likely too little too late as the holes were running out. Spieth, playing the 17th, added another birdie to go to eight under. Phil Mickelson, playing with Spieth, birdied 17 to get to seven under. Only Henley, who had just finished the front nine, had a realistic chance. Unless the two leaders stumble badly on the back nine.

Koepka three-putted the ninth to drop another stroke and fall into a tie with Spieth at eight under. Remarkably Rahm did the same thing, and with nine to go, the tournament took on a whole new appearance.

Mickelson birdied 18 to become the leader in the clubhouse at eight-under-par. Spieth yanked his tee shot left on the final hole and could not salvage a par. Missing his chance to join Phil in waiting out the leader’s final nine.

Slugging it Out

Koepka made a bogey on the par three 12th to drop three behind the leader. He quickly responded with a birdie on the par five 13th, only to see Rahm match the same score.

Both missed the fairway to the right on the next hole. Both got their second shot on the green, hitting out from between the pines. Koepka’s ball settled 40 feet away from the hole, and Rahm sat four feet away from a birdie and a four-shot lead with four holes to play.

Koepka three-putted for a bogey as Rahm sank his birdie putt to go to -12. When Koepka woke up Sunday morning, he had a four-stroke lead. In what must now seem like a nightmare, he trails by five strokes. Going from the lead to a four-way tie for third place.

Koepka in trouble on the 14th hole Sunday / Photo Credit: Augusta National

Koepka birdied the 15th and 16th holes to move back into second with a score of nine-under par, one stroke ahead of Mickelson at eight under. But still three behind Rahm.

Koepka bogeyed 17, and Rahm took care of business with pars on the final two holes. Earning his first green jacket. Mickelson and Koepka were left to ponder what might have been.

Jon Rahm celebrates his first Masters win / Photo Credit: Augusta National

Final Results of the 87th Masters from Augusta National Golf Club

POS PLAYER TOTAL FINAL RD RD 1 RD 2 RD 3 RD 4 STROKES
1 Jon Rahm -12 -3 65 69 73 69 276
T2 Phil Mickelson -8 -7 71 69 75 65 280
T2 Brooks Koepka -8 3 65 67 73 75 280
T4 Jordan Spieth -7 -6 69 70 76 66 281
T4 Patrick Reed -7 -4 71 70 72 68 281
T4 Russell Henley -7 -2 73 67 71 70 281
T7 Cameron Young -6 -4 67 72 75 68 282
T7 Viktor Hovland -6 2 65 73 70 74 282
9 Sahith Theegala -5 -5 73 70 73 67 283
T10 Matthew Fitzpatrick -4 -2 70 72 72 70 284
T10 Scottie Scheffler -4 -2 68 75 71 70 284
T10 Xander Schauffele -4 -1 68 74 71 71 284
T10 Collin Morikawa -4 E 69 69 74 72 284
T14 Gary Woodland -3 E 68 72 73 72 285
T14 Patrick Cantlay -3 3 71 71 68 75 285
T16 Tom Kim -2 -2 70 72 74 70 286
T16 Sungjae Im -2 E 71 76 67 72 286
T16 Joaquin Niemann -2 E 71 69 74 72 286
T16 Shane Lowry -2 1 68 72 73 73 286
T16 Justin Rose -2 1 69 71 73 73 286
T16 Sam Bennett -2 2 68 68 76 74 286
T16 Hideki Matsuyama -2 3 71 70 70 75 286
T23 Keegan Bradley -1 -1 70 72 74 71 287
T23 Chris Kirk -1 -1 70 74 72 71 287
T23 K.H. Lee -1 E 74 67 74 72 287
T26 Tony Finau E E 69 74 73 72 288
T26 Scott Stallings E E 70 77 69 72 288
T26 Ryan Fox E 1 70 71 74 73 288
T29 Sam Burns 1 E 68 71 78 72 289
T29 Si Woo Kim 1 E 73 72 72 72 289
T29 Harold Varner III 1 -2 72 71 76 70 289
T29 Mackenzie Hughes 1 -2 76 69 74 70 289
33 Tommy Fleetwood 3 2 72 71 74 74 291
T34 Tyrrell Hatton 4 4 71 73 72 76 292
T34 Cameron Smith 4 3 70 72 75 75 292
T34 Zach Johnson 4 1 75 70 74 73 292
T34 Talor Gooch 4 1 72 74 73 73 292
T34 J.T. Poston 4 -2 74 72 76 70 292
T39 Taylor Moore 5 6 73 72 70 78 293
T39 Abraham Ancer 5 4 72 71 74 76 293
T39 Adam Scott 5 2 68 74 77 74 293
T39 Jason Day 5 8 67 72 74 80 293
T43 Max Homa 6 6 71 73 72 78 294
T43 Harris English 6 3 71 71 77 75 294
T43 Mito Pereira 6 1 74 70 77 73 294
T46 Sepp Straka 7 6 70 73 74 78 295
T46 Seamus Power 7 5 73 72 73 77 295
T48 Thomas Pieters 8 5 74 73 72 77 296
T48 Dustin Johnson 8 3 71 72 78 75 296
T50 Charl Schwartzel 9 5 74 73 73 77 297
T50 Fred Couples 9 4 71 74 76 76 297
52 Billy Horschel 12 7 73 74 74 79 300