By 10 April, 2021 - 03:16pm
There is no mental coach who prepares enough for Augusta when the field pulls its nails out. Although there is only one way to learn the lesson: suffering at the Masters. A teacher like Chema Olazabal knows this better than anyone, who has been going to class every April since 1985 to continue learning. The one from Hondarribia made the cut for the first time since 2014 and looked at the sky through tears to remember his friend Seve . In Augusta he finds inner peace, although at 55 the continuous slide of the route and its long holes are for him “a little monster”. Despite everything he enjoys, not a single complaint comes out of his mouth, and this Saturday he again dusted off that magic with the irons to resist with +3 in the round and +5 in total. Two bogeys and a double bogey in the last four holes described the Himalayas that the day becomes for the most veteran. And still, not a bad gesture. They call him “the gentleman of golf” for a reason.
The years have hardened the double champion, who knows how to find a point of satisfaction in that toothache that sometimes is playing in Augusta. Jon Rahm still has a lot of visits to the dentist. The 26-year-old's face changes with every dislike the Masters gives him. And this course is being more bloody than in his last appearances. After staying in par for the field on Thursday (it was a good result because of how fierce the scene was) and Friday (not so good because it was a day for better performances), this Saturday he returned to a draw, four birdies and four bogeys . That was filing two strokes on 15 and 16, a sign that Rahm competes until the last minute.
Al from Barrika did not shine on the putt nor did he take that soft touch with which he often escapes from the mud. With greens that sometimes looked like skating rinks, where the ball ran and ran, and some shots from the fairway that went by, much more out of tune than usual, Rahm had a hard time finding calm due to a lot of psychological work that is behind. Little by little, Augusta was eating his morale. The Masters can be very cruel to hot-blooded golfers like the Basque. Once he let go of the stick, frustrated, another one threatened to break it on his knees, and gestured with his hands or looked up at the sky for an explanation. There was no way and for the third day in a row he was left without discounting blows to the par from the field. Fourth, ninth and seventh classified in the last three years, this will be the first Sunday in this period in which the green jacket seems to be too far away.
"Sometimes I would like this field to give me a little more affection," he said the day before Sergio García, who since he dressed in green in 2017 does not know what it is to pass the cut. Bad luck, commented the man from Castellón to explain another setback, with crossed arms and a serious gesture. A golfer's face can count a round in Augusta.
Complete Augusta Masters Ranking.