87th Masters Tournament Sees Jon Rahm with the Green Jacket

The 87th Masters Tournament concluded on Sunday, April 9 after Jon Rahm ended twelve under par to notch his second men’s major golf championship win. The first of the four majors in professional golf every year in April, the Masters always excites fans as they wait to see who hoists the esteemed green jacket. The event, which is the only major golf tournament held at the same course every year, returned to Augusta National Golf Course in Augusta, Georgia for yet another closely competitive four rounds. 

The field this year included 88 golfers, including those both from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, after controversy about whether the latter would be able to join the field. As per usual, the field featured some of the biggest names in golf, such as Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Patrick Reed, Brooks Koepka, and many more. Thursday unfortunately saw two golfers, Kevin Na and Will Zalatoris, withdraw from the tournament. Na visibly struggled on the first nine hours shooting four over par and dropped out citing an unspecified illness. Zalatoris withdrew before starting his round on Thursday, as a lingering back injury continued to bother him days leading up to the tournament. On day one, Jon Rahm, Viktor Hovland, and Brooks Koepka all tied for first place after shooting 65s. In fourth place, Jason Day and Cameron Young sat tied with 67’s. Interestingly, the amateur Sam Bennett also impressed, topping off the leaderboard list tied for sixth place after a score of 68. 

Friday and part of Saturday hosted the second round after play was suspended on Friday due to two trees falling near the spectator area. Brooks Koepka earned himself a strong 67, which was the best of all golfers in the round. Koepka’s two-round score of 132 put him in sole possession of first place heading into the third round. Jon Rahm strayed not far behind, scoring a 69 to bring himself to second place with a score of 134. The amateur Sam Bennett continued to impress with all eyes on him, solidifying his spot in third place with a 68. For fourth place, Hovland and Morikawa were tied, as Hovland shot a 73 and Morikawa shot a 69 to bring both of their overall scores to 138. Sam Burns led a list of four that tied for sixth place, all with scores 139. Russell Henley along with five others each finished the round with a 140, placing them all in a tie for tenth place. The cut line ended up being three over par; notable golfers who missed the cut included Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, and Bryson DeChambeau.

The third round took place on the remaining portion of both Saturday and Sunday, as heavy storms continued to affect play. Again, Augusta had to close early on Saturday due to rainy conditions unfit for competition. Koepka maintained his first-place lead by scoring a 73 and bringing his overall score to 205. Rahm took sole control of second place by also shooting a 73 and having an overall score of 207, and Hovland jumped into third place with a final score of 208. Perhaps the most renowned name in the golf world, Tiger Woods, made his 23rd consecutive cut at the Masters but unfortunately withdrew from the tournament in the third round due to a recurring foot injury.

The final round was nothing short of exciting. As Koepka went into the second portion on Sunday with a two-stroke lead over Rahm, the two remained close until Rahm finally was able to secure and maintain the lead. Rahm remained consistent as he had been with a score of 69, and solidified himself as the best golfer at the tournament. On the other hand, Koepka could not eliminate his mistakes, adding untimely bogeys to put himself out of the race. Koepka ended his final round three over par, which was an unfortunate collapse considering how great he had played all weekend. Out of nowhere, Mickelson silenced the critics with a stunning 65 to tie Koepka for the second spot with a final score of 280. Hovland, who was in fourth place in the previous round, finished the tournament in seventh place, taking a huge drop down the leaderboard. Ultimately, Rahm’s epic Masters performance added a second major to his budding career. Rahm continues to build himself up among his peers, and it would not be surprising if he adds another green jacket to his resume down the road.