AUGUSTA, Ga. — The birth of his first child two Saturdays ago left Jon Rahm with little time to prepare for the Masters tournament. He got in only nine practice holes before teeing it up Thursday.
Perhaps not surprisingly, he opened the tournament with three straight even-par 72s. But Sunday he got off to a birdie-eagle start and kept it going for a 6 under 66, the low round of the day that allowed him to finish tied for fifth with Marc Leishman.
After starting the day 11 strokes back of eventual champion Hideki Matsuyama, Rahm didn’t even entertain hopes of winning until he got to the famous par-3 12th hole, where he made birdie to get to 5 under.
“It was all fun and games up until I made that birdie on 12 and I looked up and I'm like, ‘I'm not that far away,’ ” Rahm said.
He could only manage one more birdie, though, on the par-5 15th hole.
“I tried my best at the end,” Rahm said. “It's just with the wind gusts and the greens being that firm, pars are obviously great. I played really, really, really good golf today.”
Rahm now turns his attention in two weeks to the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. He and Ryan Palmer, who tied for 34th, won the last Zurich team event in 2019. Last year’s tournament was canceled by the pandemic.
“Hopefully we can go two in a row,” Rahm said.
Reed makes a run
Former University High golfer Patrick Reed tied for his best Masters final round Sunday, even better than when he won the green jacket in 2018.
Reed shot a 69, Sunday’s only other round in the 60s, to tie for eighth at 284. The big highlights were his first career eagle at the par-5 second hole when he hit a 4-iron from 254 yards to 10 feet and four straight birdies from Nos. 13-16.
“I was having to scramble all day,” Reed said. “The good thing is I was able to manage it and capitalize when I had an opportunity, and I was able to get myself out of trouble on most of the holes.”
It was Reed’s second-best Masters finish in eight starts and third top-10 overall. He tied for 10th in November.
“Here’s a really good positive: I’m going home with some crystal,” Reed said. Players making eagle get a pair of crystal glasses.
Spieth dominates the 10th
The 495-yard par-4 10th hole has historically been the hardest hole at Augusta National.
It wasn’t that this week for Jordan Spieth.
The 2015 Masters champion went 3-3-3-3 on No. 10 this week, the first player ever to do that.
The run at 10 helped Spieth shoot a 70 Sunday and finish in a tie for third at 7 under 281. It’s his fifth top-three finish in eight Masters starts.
Bryson’s lost Masters
Bryson DeChambeau bombed a 374-yard drive over the bunkers left of the 18th fairway, pitched onto the green from 86 yards and made his birdie.
Unfortunately for the reigning U.S. Open champion, highlights like that were few this week.
Once again, DeChambeau failed to find the formula to Augusta National. His final-round 75 left him at 5 over for the tournament and in a tie for 46th.
In five Masters starts, DeChambeau has yet to improve on his tie for 21st in 2016, his rookie Masters appearance. He tied for 34th in November.
Drive, Chip and Putt
Registration is now open for the 2021-22 Drive, Chip and Putt competition, with two local qualifying sites set for southeast Louisiana and southern Mississippi.
Qualifying will take place June 4 at Greystone Country Club in Denham Springs and June 15 at Diamondhead Country Club in Diamondhead, Mississippi. There is also a local qualifier June 11 at the David Toms Academy in Shreveport.
Boys and girls ages 7-15 are eligible to participate. Winners advance from local to subregional and regional qualifiers, with 40 boys and 40 girls in four age groups advancing to the 2022 DCP Finals, April 3 at Augusta National Golf Club.
There is no entry fee. For more information visit www.drivechipandputt.com.
Here are the dates for the next three Masters tournaments:
• April 7-10, 2022
• April 6-9, 2023
• April 11-14, 2024