Masters: Jon Rahm has “sour feeling” as he’ll slip Green Jacket onto someone else

The defending champion has one final responsibility every year at Augusta National:

Help slip the Green Jacket onto someone else.

That will be the case for Jon Rahm, who, unlike Tiger Woods in 2001, Nick Faldo in 1990, and Jack Nicklaus in 1966, will not repeat as Masters champion.

“Bit of a sour feeling knowing you’re not in contention,” Rahm said after his even-par 72 on Saturday.

“I’m guessing it will be a little different [than last year].”

One year ago, Rahm raced past Brooks Koepka to claim his second major championship and first Green Jacket.

But this year, Rahm struggled to find his swing, which is especially difficult in gale-force winds. The Spaniard currently sits at 5-over through 54 holes.

“Being a little lost and not being under control of what was going on makes it so much harder,” Rahm said.

Jon Rahm, The Masters

Jon Rahm walks the 7th hole during the third round of the 2024 Masters.
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

“I had to play very defensively and try to pick my spots, and I just couldn’t put myself in a good position coming into today. If you came out today and somehow shot 67 or lower, maybe you could give yourself some hope. But it’s a hard golf course out there. Anything under par is a good round. Anything in the 60s is a fantastic round today.”

Rahm’s third round featured only one bogey and one birdie, a stark contrast to his second round, in which he shot a 4-over 76.

He almost missed the cut, too, but Rahm’s birdies at the 15th and 16th holes on Friday kept him around for the weekend.

“One of the few perks of missing the cut here is you get to hang out in places you usually can’t,” Rahm said,

“Luckily, I haven’t experienced that yet, and hopefully, I don’t. Hopefully, I don’t. Listen, in our line of work, you’re going to have some bad weeks. You can’t let it beat you down too much. Otherwise, it would be a very hard life.”

Instead of hanging around Augusta National, Rahm gets to play it instead. Luckily for him and the field, conditions felt much more benign on Saturday but still proved difficult.

Wind gusts reached up to 25 miles per hour; a big difference from the 40 mile an hour gusts felt on Friday.

“Still a couple of spots where it gusted, still some heavy winds,” Rahm said.

“Obviously a little bit easier [on Saturday], but the golf course is quite firm and fast also, so that’s always going to make things a little more interesting.”

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough for more golf coverage. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko as well.

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