Matsuyama busts a Masters that turns his back on Rahm

The Japanese signs a third stratospheric lap (-7) to lead with -11 and is close to winning the first major for his country. Rahm, on pair in another tough fight against Augusta.


Almost certainly Kepa, the eldest son of Jon Rahm and his wife Kelley, will not see his father put on his green jacket this Sunday on the final day of the Masters. For that to happen, at least Saint Ignatius of Loyola, patron of the Biscay, would have to intercede.

Augusta showed full teeth on the day of the movement and cruelly punished Rahmbo. The one from Barrika has arrived at the appointment marked by an event so special that it could be the fuse that detonated him or a distraction from the objective. He himself warned that it was not convenient to bet on his victory if the delivery occurred during the tournament and, although it arrived days before, it ended up affecting his preparation.You don't have to say it to know that Rahm would not change what life has just brought him even by a thousand wins, and the truth is that his performance in the first three rounds is far from reprehensible. Yesterday the copper was beaten bravely and signed with the field for the third consecutive day. He played better than the result suggests, but was slammed every time he wanted to peek into the noble zone of the table, where he should be due to talent and career (he has three top-10s in his last three appearances) .

The bells rang with his birdie to par 5 of the third, but in the fourth he took the first slap, extended to crochet in the seventh. The 8, another par 5, resulted in a new birdie canceled later by another two bogeys at 11 and 14, the first especially painful after a dart to the cloth that found no prize. Enraged, he scrambled and subtracted with a four on 15 and a two on 16 to close even. "It was frustrating," he later lamented before the microphones, and assured that he will try to give "a scare" in the last 18 holes.That tomorrow I fought for something more than to be back in the top ten will not only depend on what he can offer, which must be something better than his best version, it will also be subject to what a very select body of candidates commanded by Hideki does. Matsuyama, who is back at the level that led him to fight for the majors at the beginning of the last decade. The Japanese, who goes by the name of his hometown, gave Augusta a real refresher on a day that was more to survive than to launch a Blitzkrieg. The -7 to -11 in total that he signed, without a single bogey and with an insane eagle-birdie-eagle sequence between 15 and 17 after resuming the game, stopped for more than an hour due to the threat of a storm, puts an important distance with his pursuers. The most immediate are Justin Rose, Xander Schauffele, Marc Leishman and the disheveled newcomer Zalatoris, all at -7.

Another thing was the always difficult final stage for José María Olazábal. The everlasting champion of Hondarribia stood immaculately in the 15th, a shot under par with two birdies and a single bogey staining the card, but he tested the water by risking in search of a new birdie. I ended up giving up two shots there and another two between the 16th and 17th to finish with +3 for the day and +7 for the accumulated. "It was going very well up to that point. That's Augusta, you risk everything in two meters," said a guy who will play the final round of the Masters this Sunday at 55 years old. That they take away the dance.

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