AUGUSTA, Ga. – Jon Rahm started his final round at the Masters more than two hours and 11 strokes behind front-runner Hideki Matsuyama.
“I never really thought there was going to be a chance unless I posted a record-breaking score, which needed to be 9, 10 under,” Rahm said.
The Spaniard didn’t go that deep on Sunday but his final-round 66 was impressive, nonetheless. Rahm got off to a dream start with a birdie at No. 1 followed by a tap in for eagle at the second. When he added another birdie at the 12th his eyes drifted to the scoreboard.
“When I made that birdie on 12, Hideki had just started and I believe he was 1 over after one, and I'm like, I'm five shots back,” Rahm said. “You're thinking, maybe birdie 13 and 15 and you add one more there, 8 under, he's at 10, he doesn't have the best front nine, all of a sudden I'm in the mix.”
Rahm managed just one more birdie (at No. 15) for a 6-under total and a tie for fifth place. It was a solid finish for a player who was limited to just a single nine-hole practice round after arriving at Augusta National later than he would normally, following the birth of his first child last weekend.
Although he was pleased with his finish he said has no plans to use this week’s preparation as a blueprint going forward.
“God no,” Rahm said. “I slowly got a little bit more comfortable on the greens. It's that simple. I got here on Wednesday, and they're a little bit faster than the average country club green, and there was a bit of an adjustment to it, especially if you haven't hit a putt in a while.”