Spain’s Jon Rahm held his nerve and patience to win his first Masters, outlasting American Brooks Koepka on the last day.
Rahm, 28, fired a three-under 69 to end on 12 under and won by four strokes, while Koepka, who led by two coming into the final round, posted a 75.
Koepka finished tied for second with veteran Phil Mickelson, who shot a surprising seven-under 65 to finish eight under.
Past champions Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed tied for fourth.
Farther back, reigning champion Scottie Scheffler was on four under, as was England’s US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick, who was the highest finisher from the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.
Rahm became the fourth Spanish player to win the Masters, and his victory came on what would have been the 66th birthday of renowned two-time champion Seve Ballesteros, who won in 1980 and 1983.
“I wasn’t sure how [the feeling] was going to come to me until I hit the third ball on the 18th,” said Rahm, who won his first major at the 2021 US Open.
“The history of the game is a significant part of why I play, and Seve is a big part of that history.”
“It was extra wonderful for me to do it on the 40th anniversary of his second Masters victory and on his birthday.”
“That was a really strange par, very much a Seve par – in a non-purposeful sense.” I know he was rooting for me, and it was a fantastic Sunday.”
See all of the reactions after Rahm’s shocking Masters victory.
How Rahm grabbed command to win the Green Jacket
After an outstanding year leading up to the first men’s major of the season, Rahm was one of the pre-tournament favorites, with Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, who missed the halfway cut, and world number one Scheffler.
Rahm has the form and pedigree to win at Augusta, with three PGA Tour wins this year and four top-10 finishes in six previous Masters appearances.
Surprisingly, he began his campaign on Thursday with a double bogey after a four-putt on the opening hole. After that, he hardly made a mistake.
Rahm displayed all aspects of his great all-around game, particularly his consistently enormous driving and nerveless putting, to achieve an opening round of 65 and then rounds of 69, 73, and 69.
Rahm not only won the historic Green Jacket for the first time, but he also regained his world number one ranking.
He was four strokes ahead with four holes to play and could afford to hit his final drive into the trees.
The ball ended up rebounding back into play and landing 150 yards from the tee, but he kept his cool to lay up and smash a beautiful chip to within a few feet for an unusual par.
Rahm shook his fists in the air after hitting his final putt.
His family – wife Kelley and two boys Kepa and Eneko – promptly joined him on the 18th green before he was congratulated further by friends and relatives.
Among them was Rahm’s compatriot Jose Maria Olazabal, a two-time Masters champion and Rahm’s mentor.
Koepka lags as LIV is denied victory
What appeared to be a tense two-way battle between Rahm and Koepka turned out to be a calm and clinical triumph for the Spaniard.
Besides with Rahm’s brilliance, a terrible final round from Koepka was a big reason.
Despite scarcely playing 72-hole events in recent months after electing to transfer to the controversial Saudi-backed LIV Golf tour, Koepka was vying for his fifth major championship – and first since 2019.
The LIV tournaments are played over 54 holes, but Koepka came into the Masters in good shape, having won last week’s event in Miami.
Nevertheless, his driving became erratic early in the final round, and once the momentum shifted to Rahm, Koepka was unable to recover.
When asked how he believed he played, Koepka responded, “Kind of ho-hum.” I didn’t perform really well. I made several good shots but ended up in some bad places. But, at the end, trying to make birdies while he’s ahead is difficult.
“Second isn’t very pleasant, so that’s motivation in and of itself.”