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Jon Rahm rallies for another top-10 finish at Masters

Jon Rahm makes birdie at 12th hole in final round of 2021 Masters
Spain's Jon Rahm acknowledges the applause after his birdie at the par-3 12th hole on Sunday at Augusta National Golf Club.

Spaniard falls short of becoming his homeland’s next winner at Augusta, but he closes with best round of day, a bogey-free 66

Spanish golfers have compiled a rich and distinguished history in the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club. If it seems to be inevitable that Jon Rahm someday might add his name to the list, that's because he's always in contention on the second weekend in April.

Rahm came up just short again this year at the 85th Masters, but for a fourth consecutive year he was on the first page of the leaderboard.

Rahm played the round of the day on Sunday, shooting a bogey-free 6-under 66 to vault into a tie for fifth place at 6-under 282. It was the fourth consecutive top-10 finish at Augusta for Rahm, 26, a five-time winner on the PGA Tour who played college golf at Arizona State (scores).

Rahm said he was “satisfied” with his play over the final 18 holes after what he called “frustrations of the first few days,” when he shot three consecutive 72s.

He birdied the first hole Sunday, added an eagle at the par-5 second and then birdied the par-5 eighth to make the turn in 4-under 32. He added birdies at the par-3 12th and par-5 15th and signed for 66. “It’s one of those things where it kind of sounds like I’m close,” said Rahm, who ranks third in the world, “but I was never close to winning. I hope to get closer. Once I birdied 12, it looked like it could happen.”

Rahm tied for seventh at the 2020 Masters after a T-9 in 2019 and a solo fourth in 2018. His homeland has claimed five Masters titles at Augusta National, starting with the late Seve Ballesteros, who won in 1980 and 1983. Jose Maria Olazabal also won two green jackets, in 1994 and 1999, before Sergio Garcia’s surprising victory in 2017.

The mere presence of Rahm in Augusta during the past week was a bonus, after he said that the pending birth of his and wife Kelley’s first child, who was due on Masters weekend, might interfere with his schedule. The son, Kepa, was born a week early, freeing Rahm to seek his first major championship.

Could Rahm be the next Spaniard wearing green? It certainly looks possible, maybe even likely.

Read more of Morning Read's final-round coverage:

Take a bow, Hideki Matsuyama, by Gary Van Sickle
Masters offers clues for upcoming majors in 2021, by Alex Miceli
Jon Rahm rallies for another Masters top-10, by Steve Harmon
Billy Horschel takes second tumble at Augusta's 13 hole, by Steve Harmon
One surprising stat from Matsuyama's victory
See Sunday at Augusta like never before in these photos

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