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Tournament Highlights – Masters Tournament 2023

Tournament Highlights - Masters Tournament 2023
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Discover everything you must know about the 2023 Masters tournament, encompassing Jon Rahm’s victory and course insights.

Location

Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Ga.

Yardage

7,545; par 72

Tournament Record

268 – Dustin Johnson (2020)

Purse

$18 million (2022)

Tournament Insight

The first of the four men’s major championships is held annually at Augusta National and is considered a rite of passage. The invitational field is limited to less than 100 players drawn from PGA TOUR event winners, other top players from the PGA TOUR, the top 50 on the Official World Ranking, select amateurs, and past Masters champions.

The event began in 1934 when it was hosted by amateur great Bobby Jones, who helped design the Augusta National course. Jack Nicklaus won the event six times, Tiger Woods five, and Arnold Palmer four.

Course Insight

Pete Dye designed the Stadium Course in 1980 specifically to host THE PLAYERS Championship. Viewing stands enhance the spectator experience, while the course is dotted with water hazards and sandy waste areas designed to provide strategic choices for the pros while testing a broad range of skills. The finishing stretch of Nos. 16, 17, and 18 is perhaps the most famous in golf and with its risk/reward features is a fitting stage for tournament drama. The 16th is a reachable par 5 with a pond to the right of the green adding an element of danger, the 17th is a short par 3 with an island green, and the 18th is a demanding par 4 wrapping around a pond to the left.

The course was renovated in 2006-7, and a new clubhouse built at that time. There was another renovation in 2016-17, with the main change at the 12th hole. A severe dogleg was eliminated to make it a drivable par 4 that can be set up at 305 to 370 yards.

How Jon Rahm won in 2023

Jon Rahm emerged victorious in what was essentially a 72-hole battle with Brooks Koepka to win his first Masters. The two were tied for the lead along with Viktor Hovland after 65s in the first round, Koepka went in front with a 67 to Rahm’s 69 in the second round, and the margin remained two as each shot 73 in tougher scoring conditions on Saturday. Paired together in the final round, Rahm took the lead on the sixth hole and held it the rest of the way. He led by two after a 35 on the front nine to a 39 for Koepka. The margin swelled to five when Rahm birdied 14 while Koepka was making a bogey. Koepka wasn’t quite finished, as he birdied 15 and 16 to pull within three, but a Koepka bogey on 17 led to the final four-stroke victory for Rahm. Phil Mickelson charged home with a 65 in the final round to tie Koepka for second, but Mickelson started too far back to seriously threaten the lead.

  • Rahm ranked T4 in hitting fairways (85.71 percent) and T3 in greens in regulation (72.22 percent).
  • Rahm became the second player to win the Masters after making a double bogey on his first hole of the tournament, joining Sam Snead (1952).
  • Rahm, who won the 2021 U.S. Open, became the third Spanish-born player with multiple major titles, joining Seve Ballesteros (5) and José María Olazábal (2).
  • Phil Mickelson recorded his 12th runner-up finish in a major championship, the second-most of any player all-time (Jack Nicklaus, 19).

This was first published in Essential Golf – you can read the complete magazine here.