Who is Jon Rahm? Meet Your 2023 Masters Champion


Students watch Jon Rahm’s winning putt at the 2023 Masters.

After a messy weekend at the Masters, we finally have a green jacket winner. Jon Rahm, second time major winner, was named champion on Sunday evening. Prior to the last day of the championship, Rahm had never climbed higher than fourth place at the Masters. But at just 12 under par and four strokes ahead of the competition, Jon Rahm won his first Masters after seven appearances at Augusta National. 


The Spaniard golfer turned pro in 2016, and has had 11 career wins since. With a total of 142 events played, eight international and 11 on the tour, Jon Rahm has had a very successful professional career. view his professional player profile 


Jon Rahm was born in Barrika, Spain. As an amateur golfer he represented Spain on different levels and various teams. His major contributions for Spain were winning the 2011 European Boys’ Team Championship and the 2014 European Amateur Team Championship. 


He went to college at Arizona State University on a golf scholarship and got his BA in Communications. There he won 11 college golf tournaments, second to the school record of Phil Mickelson, who also attended ASU and won 16. Ironically, the tables turned in Augusta this weekend when Mickelson came in second place to Rahm. 


The leaderboard finished pretty tight, with both Brooks Koepka and Mickelson sitting near second place at -8 over the entire tournament. Koepka, four time major winner, was in the lead all the way up until Sunday morning, where ended up shooting +3. Rahm was trailing Koepka going into Sunday’s round, and his surefire Masters win came only after a battle on the 8th hole, where Rahm was set up for a tap-in putt and placed two strokes ahead of Koepka. 


There was a lot of back and forth through the end of the competition, but ultimately Jon Rahm stood on the green of hole 18 victorious and on the verge of tears. “Never thought I was going to cry by winning a golf tournament, but I got very close on that 18th hole,” he said in his speech. 


After adjusting his stance over and over, he putt in his final stroke of the round, and immediately knew he had won. Before the ball even dropped in the hole, he threw his clenched fists in the air, covered his face and bent back in overwhelming joy and pride. He then picked up his ball and humbly tipped his hat to the roaring crowd of supporters. He was rushed by his caddy, followed by his wife Kelley and son Kepa. 


It was an emotional weekend for everybody, including Mother Nature. The Masters second round on Friday was suspended because of inclement weather, as well as the third round being pushed from Saturday to Sunday because two trees fell toward spectators, with a massive tree falling in the middle of the fairway.


It was a frustrating weekend that led to a lot of suspended play. There is something to be said about the results of the cut that could be blamed on circumstances such as these. Some of the surprising misses for the cut were Rory McClroy, Justin Thomas, and Tiger Woods. 


Overall, the Masters deviated heavily from expectation, while also accurately honoring those who have worked hard and had been moving up in the PGA tour. It showcased names we had never heard of in the majors and brought excitement to newcomers, but highlighted the importance of those who have always represented professional golf well. It was refreshing and something different than what we had seen, whether that was the expected changes or unexpected changes that made it that way.


If anything was up to circumstance, it was that of Jon Rahm’s manifestation just 10 years prior to his final putt at Augusta. As soon as he won, fans got to digging on Twitter. Jon Rahm had written the caption “I am gonna win The Masters!” under a photo of his Panda Express fortune that said “Your talents will be recognized and suitably rewarded.”


And he did, and they were.