(Augusta) Jon Rahm is the Masters champion, and he can tell he predicted this feat by reading the fortune cookie message almost 10 years ago.

Rahm was entering his second year at Arizona State University when he came across this fortune cookie: “Your talents will be recognized and rewarded appropriately.” He then snapped a photo, which he shared with his coach Tim Mickelson on Twitter, and added, “I’m going to win the Masters Tournament!” »

If only everything were that simple, but nothing was at this Masters before the 28-year-old Spaniard hit a wedge over a bunker, three feet from the cup, to his last par of the course. He then secured a victory by four strokes ahead of Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson, the older brother of his coach in college.

Rahm only took charge of the prestigious tournament after Koepka lost momentum and touch on the greens. It took 42 holes before the Spaniard topped the leaderboard, then he took advantage of Koepka’s blunders and relied on his fighter’s approach to secure victory at all costs.

It’s been like that since Rahm started his rise in the world of golf, and everyone knew it.

Phil Mickelson predicted a great career for Rahm before he became a professional golfer in 2016, and he said the Spaniard would break into the world top 10 even before he won his first tournament. Bill Haas lost in the semi-finals of the Championship by holeshot in 2017 and then said: “He’s starving. He wants more. It’s obvious. He has what it takes to steal the show.”

Rahm is back to No. 1 in the world after his triumph at Augusta National — adding to his haul of major titles after winning the U.S. Open two years ago in Torrey Pines — although his haul of seven victories for a year, all circuits combined, allows him to be neck and neck with Scottie Scheffler in this regard.

But what is most surprising is that everyone was aware that Rahm would one day win the Masters, whether with or without a fortune cookie. Koepka won his first PGA Tour title at the Phoenix Open in 2015, while Rahm finished tied for fifth in his freshman year in college.

It took him four starts on the PGA Tour to get his full membership card. He’s had at least one win in each of his seasons since becoming a professional golfer, and now has 20 career wins around the world.

We must not ignore his degree in communications from Arizona State University, which he earned in four years, after arriving on campus without even being able to carry on a conversation in English.

“We focused on things that would allow me to beat the best in the world. Maybe that level of intensity, and that resilience, is why people think of me as a fighter,” Rahm said. I couldn’t be true to myself if I didn’t give it my all on every shot. Maybe that’s where it comes from. »

And he overcame many obstacles on Sunday — a deficit that reached four strokes at one point during this 30-hole marathon on Sunday, recalcitrant weather, and all those comparisons with Spanish golfers — without ever giving up. It’s his style, and while he’s not always very elegant, it’s what makes him such a formidable golfer.

He was surprised when told that he was the first European golfer to win the Masters Tournament and the US Open. And we asked him if he was thinking of the Grand Slam.

“Let’s not put the cart before the horse,” he replied.

He is only halfway there, and must now triumph at the PGA Championship and the British Open. But we can no longer take it for a neglected, whether with or without fortune cookie.