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US Masters Review: Rahm captures Green Jacket

Spanish sensation Jon Rahm sent another reminder that he is the player to beat in the world of golf following his superb four-shot victory at the US Masters.

The 28-year-old showed real steel throughout his triumph at Augusta National, having overcome a double-bogey on his very first hole of the tournament to end up clinching the coveted Green Jacket at -12.

He finished four strokes clear of Brooks Koepka, who struggled to a three-over-par 75 to finish in tied-second at 8-under alongside the superb Phil Mickelson, who at the age of 52, is the oldest player to secure a top-five in the history of the US Masters.

Former champions Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed and their fellow American Russell Henley rounded out the top-five at 7-under, while Viktor Hovland and Cameron Young both ended up on -6.

What2024 US Masters
WhereAugusta National, Augusta, Georgia
WhenThursday, April 11 to Sunday, April 14, 2023
How to WatchCBS

Versatile Rahm proves his worth

Ahead of this year's event, a lot of talk was again about the possibility of Rory McIlroy completing the Grand Slam and whether Scottie Scheffler could become the first player since Tiger Woods in 2002 to successfully defend the title.

Despite Rahm being one of the pre-tournament favourites, his withdrawal from The Players Championship and a group-stage exit from the WGC-Match Play in his two starts prior to the Augusta test had appeared to dampen hopes of a victory.

And those fears were brought into full view when he four-putted his opening hole on Thursday for a double bogey, a score that put him behind the eight ball straight away and gave him some early work to do.

However, that seemed to kick Rahm into gear and he produced some sublime golf over the next 71 holes, making the most of good scoring conditions while also battling through the bad weather that came on Saturday.

The 11-time PGA Tour winner is the fourth Spanish player to win the US Masters, joining Seve Ballesteros, Jose Maria Olazabal and Sergio Garcia, while Rahm and Seve are the only players from their country to win two different Majors.

Having now added the Green Jacket to his US Open triumph from 2021, Rahm has also moved to the top of the world rankings and that is a position he won't want to give up anytime soon.

LIV players have something to offer

Whether or not you agree with the decision for LIV members to be allowed to play in the Majors, the inclusion of some of the breakaway tour players certainly added some spice to the US Masters.

It was actually set up perfectly heading into the final 18 holes, with Koepka a couple of shots ahead of Rahm. 

Koepka may have faltered on Sunday, but he provided superb entertainment throughout the week, while Mickelson's sparkling return to form showed us he is not ready to quit just yet.

'Lefty' signed for a sensational seven-under-par 65 to charge up the leaderboard on Sunday and he did give Rahm something to think about, with the American setting the clubhouse target as the tournament drew to a close.

McIlroy needs new Augusta plan

With a victory and two top-five finishes to his name heading into the US Masters, Rory McIlroy arguably couldn't have been in finer form in his quest for a first Green Jacket and the Grand Slam.

However, the Northern Irishman failed to replicate his good form from this season and a five-over-par 77 for his second round ended his chances with a damp squib.

Plenty has been made of McIlroy's decision to talk through his approach shot to the ninth hole on day one, as he had earbuds in while talking to the TV provider so the whole world could get an insight into his thinking.

Major season in full swing

Now the US Masters is done and dusted for another year, the remaining three of the 'big four' events will come into full focus.

After the PGA Championship in May, it is the turn of the US Open at Los Angeles Country Club from June 15th to 18th, before The Open Championship takes place at Royal Liverpool Golf Course from July 20th to 23rd.

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