Jon Rahm overtakes Brooks Koepka, wins 2023 Masters Tournament


Jon Rahm stayed the course and has a green jacket to show for it. 

The Spaniard finished 12-under par to claim his first Masters victory on Sunday, overtaking Brooks Koepka and holding off Phil Mickelson in the fourth round at Augusta National Golf Club. 

This is Rahm's second major championship, having previously won the U.S. Open in 2021. Prior to Sunday, Rahm -- who is currently ranked No. 4 in the world -- had never finished higher than fourth at the Masters.

The 28-year-old overcame the elements in a weekend marked by rain delays and high winds that resulted in multiple trees falling around the course. After sharing the lead in the first round, Rahm slipped behind Koepka to second for the next two rounds but posted an impressive four birdies for a 3-under final round. 

He parred each of his final four shots, including this putt on the 18th hole to secure the win.

One of the underlying narratives of this year's tournament was the year-long tension between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, the Saudi-funded league that launched in 2022. While no major players had officially left the PGA Tour at the time of the 2022 Masters, Mickelson was notably absent from Augusta National. 

Mickelson was one of LIV's earliest and most vocal supporters in the lead up to the 2022 Masters, which coincided with him opting to take a hiatus from golf to “to prioritize the ones I love most and work on being the man I want to be.” 

Since then, a number of key players, including a total of six Masters champions, have officially left the PGA Tour in favor for LIV. 

The rivalry between the two leagues was on full display on Sunday with Raum taking on the LIV duo of Mickelson and Koepka.

Heading into the fourth round, Raum trailed Koepka by two strokes. Koepka gave him a window to chip away at the lead with three bogies in the first nine holes. The problems for Koepka continued around the back nine with three more bogies, but he did sink three birdies to keep himself in the race. 

Meanwhile, Mickelson soared 18 places up the leaderboard on Sunday. Mickelson, 52, shot 65, the lowest score of the day and the lowest Final Round for the three-time Masters champion. 

Mickelson and Koepka finished tied for second at 8-under.

As Raum walked off the green he was greeted by his family and 1994 and 1999 Masters winner and fellow countryman José María Olazábal. Raum is the fourth Spaniard to win a green jacket.

Behind Raum, Mickelson and Koepka was a tie for fourth between Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed, both former champions. 

Further down the leaderboard, Sam Bennett finished 2-under in a tie for 16th place. That was the best finish by an amateur since 2005 when Ryan Moore tied for 13th. 

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