On Seve’s trail: Rahm seeks spot with Spain’s Masters legends

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April 8, 2018 12:00 am Published by

AUGUSTA (UNITED STATES) (AFP) – 

World number three Jon Rahm has a chance to follow in the legendary footsteps of Spanish compatriot Seve Ballesteros by winning a Masters green jacket at age 23.

Rahm fired a bogey-free seven-under par 65 in Saturday’s rain-hit third round at Augusta National to stand fourth after 54 holes on 8-under par 208, six strokes adrift of leader Patrick Reed.

A year after Spain’s Sergio Garcia won his first major title following 73 failures on what would have been the 60th birthday of his idol Ballesteros, Rahm matched the week’s low round to give himself a chance to add to Spain’s impressive Masters history, including two titles each for Ballesteros and Jose Maria Olazabal.

“Doing it at Augusta, where all the Spanish history is so big with Seve and Sergio and Jose, it means a lot,” Rahm said.

Three-time British Open champion Ballesteros, who died of brain cancer in 2011 at age 54, won his first Masters just four days after turning 23 in 1980 and added another green jacket in 1983.

“Seve inspired everybody, right? It’s just the fact that if you believe that you can do something, you’ll be able to accomplish it,” Rahm said.

“He was able to win here as the first non-American besides Gary Player as a 23-year-old. He actually had a huge lead here in the final round. He was doing unimaginable things, same way Tiger did the first time he won here.

“And then Sergio doing it, it’s something that just shows, I mean, maybe the Spanish character and the Spanish game is built for this place.”

Olazabal won in 1994 and 1999.

“If they have done it before, and if Miguel (Angel Jimenez) has had a good history before, before Seve and Ramon Sota had a good history here before, why couldn’t I follow that?

“I’m just trying to follow the leader, get on the train at some point in my career. But still a lot of golf to be played for that point.”

“Seve inspired everybody, right? It’s just the fact that if you believe that you can do something, you’ll be able to accomplish it.”

“He was able to win here as the first non-American besides Gary Player as a 23-year-old.”

“He actually had a huge lead here in the final round. He was doing unimaginable things, same way what Tiger did the first time he won here.

“And then Sergio doing it, it’s something that just shows, I mean, maybe the Spanish character and the Spanish game is built for this place.”

“If they have done it before and if Miguel (Angel Jimenez) has had a good history before, before Seve and Ramon Sota had a good history here before, why couldn’t I follow that?

“I’m just trying to follow the leader, get on the train at some point in my career. But still a lot of golf to be played for that point.”

by Jim SLATER

© 2018 AFP

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