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Jon Rahm hails Seve Ballesteros influence after Masters win

Rahm hails Ballesteros influence after Masters win
© Reuters
Jon Rahm hails the influence of the late Seve Ballesteros after he won the Masters on what would have been the 66th birthday of his idol.

Jon Rahm has admitted that he struggled to keep his emotions in check as he won the Masters on what would have been the 66th birthday of Seve Ballesteros.

Rahm begun the latest edition of the tournament with a double bogey, but he was still able to record a four-shot victory to claim his second major.

The Spaniard started the final round two shots adrift of Brooks Koepka before finding himself at least two shots clear for much of the back nine.

Heading down the last with a four-shot lead, there was a minor blip as Rahm miscued his drive, fortunately still finding the fairway albeit too far back to make the green with his approach.

Nevertheless, the 28-year-old was still able to post par to celebrate the biggest win of his career, adding to the US Open that he won in 2021.

Rahm's victory at Augusta also has significant emotional value with his triumph coming on what would have been the 66th birthday of his idol Ballesteros, who also won the Masters 40 years ago.

Speaking after donning the illustrious green jacket, Rahm spoke about the influence of his compatriot, acknowledging that he would not be enjoying the success that he is without his legendary compatriot.

Rahm said: "I wasn't sure how [the emotions] were going to come until my third shot on the 18th. The history of the game is one of the big reasons why I play.

"If it wasn't for that Ryder Cup in 1997 (at Valderrama in Spain where the late Seve Ballesteros was the winning captain), I never would have played the game, so for me to get it done on his birthday - it's incredibly meaningful. It was a testament to him."

Jon Rahm during final round of 2023 Masters on April 9.© Reuters

"I thought eight was a key birdie. I didn't expect that bogey on nine. Phil [Mickelson] and Jordan [Spieth] were making birdies and finishing strong so making sure I didn't put myself in a difficult spot in 10 and 11 was key.

"It's not really one moment but if I had to pick one, hitting that perfect draw on 13 was the start of it."

Mickelson shot a final-round 65 to finish in a share of second with Koepka, while Spieth was one shot further back after bogeying the final hole.

Rahm has returned to the top of the World Golf Rankings, edging ahead of Scottie Scheffler, and the pair are now considerably ahead of Rory McIlroy after the Northern Irishman's missed cut.

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Jon Rahm during final round of 2023 Masters on April 9.
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