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April 9, 2023

Jon Rahm

Sam Bennett

Fred Ridley

Augusta, Georgia, USA

Butler Cabin Interview

JIM NANTZ: Chairman Ridley, you think about all the weather obstacles we had to overcome, this full day of golf today, and in the end you not only have a great champion but a great memory of this tournament.

FRED RIDLEY: Thanks, Jim. It's been quite a week. Our patrons here at Augusta National this week and around the world have been treated to quite a finish with Jon's come-from-behind win.

JIM NANTZ: We have Scottie here. He's got Jon's green jacket he's about to present him with. Jon, we'll hear from you in a moment. Fantastic what you did today.

Sam Bennett, the low amateur, who played in the final group in the third round, and this crowd fell in love with what Sam did this week. As you know, I've talked about it during the broadcast, the amateur here is such a key part of it. You played here three times as a participant in the Masters tournament. It goes back to what Bobby Jones wanted this tournament to represent.

FRED RIDLEY: It sure is important, Jim. We were so proud of all of our seven amateurs who played this week, and congratulations to Sam on his low amateur finish. Sam, I know you came here this week hoping to win the Silver Cup as low amateur, and you've done that, and you also competed for the green jacket. Terrific play. What was a sense of your week this week?

SAM BENNETT: It was incredible. Just getting the opportunity to play Augusta was a dream come true, and then getting to see it on Sunday coming down the back nine, walking up 18 was by far the coolest experience of my life.

The patrons were great all week, supportive, people back home. The Masters and Augusta was everything I ever dreamed of.

JIM NANTZ: That walk up 18 was one thing; the walk off of 18, you could tell it really touched you. There was an outpouring for an amateur. We hadn't seen anything like that in a long time. How do you take this back now to school? You've got another event coming up this week where you'll be carrying your own bag, playing 36 holes in one day. Where is your head right now, Sam?

SAM BENNETT: I definitely need some time to decompress. Yeah, I don't know, it was a great week, and I'm looking forward to getting back and looking back on the memories I made.

Yeah, it's it might be a 36-hole day grind tomorrow, so we'll see. I still haven't made my decision. I think I'm going to play.

JIM NANTZ: It's the Aggie Invitational tomorrow, 36 holes, you carry your own bag. You might want to stop off in Madisonville, too, at the same time, your hometown. I'm sure it's just going crazy. Congratulations, Sam.

SAM BENNETT: Thank you.

JIM NANTZ: Chairman, you've got Jon Rahm as your new Masters champion.

FRED RIDLEY: Jon, your play today and all week was just spectacular. 40 years ago your hero Seve Ballesteros won his second green jacket, and then you've won your first today. It happens to be his birthday. How does all this feel?

JON RAHM: I wasn't sure how it was all going to come to me up until I hit my third shot on the green on 18. History of the game is a big part of why I play and one of the reasons why I play, and Seve being one of them. If it wasn't for that Ryder Cup in '97, my dad and I talk about it all the time, we don't know where I would be or where as a family we would be.

For me to get it done on the 40th anniversary of his win, his birthday, on Easter Sunday, it's incredibly meaningful. To finish it off the way I did -- an unusual par, very much a Seve par, it was in a non-purposeful way, a testament to him, and I know he was pulling for me today, and it was a great Sunday.

JIM NANTZ: The story of Valderrama, Seve was the European captain there in '97, and your parents attended that event and fell in love with the game and took it up and they passed that love on to you.

When did you feel like there was a turning point in your favor today as the day began with you four behind Brooks?

JON RAHM: I thought 8 was a key birdie. I didn't expect that bogey on 9. That was a couple of good swings I didn't expect.

I had to get through Amen Corner even par. That's what I was looking at. Obviously Phil and Jordan were making birdies and finishing strong, and they were finishing their round as we were finishing 10. Making sure I didn't put myself in a difficult spot on 10, 11, 12 was the key, and then 13 with that right-to-left wind is when I could turn a little bit and get in the attack, and that's what I did.

It's not really one moment, but if I had to pick one, I would say hitting that draw perfectly on 13 was the start of it.

JIM NANTZ: Your badge number and the caddie bib number this week was 49, April 9. I don't know if there was something in the stars because it sure looks like things were aligned, and it was a sweet moment, not only with Kelley and your baby boys, your dad, but to see José María there to celebrate with you, what did he tell you?

JON RAHM: I can't quite remember. He said he hopes it's the first of many more. We both mentioned something about Seve, and if he had given us 10 more seconds, I think we would have both ended up crying.

I like to see history kind of repeating itself because when Ollie won his second Masters in '99, Sergio was the low am. It was his first start there, and my first start was the year Sergio won. I guess Spaniards just like winning on Easter Sunday and on Seve's birthday. If by any chance I want to get a few more, Chairman, you know what to do for me. Just keep putting it on Easter day somehow.

I mean, I'm at a loss for words. I can't really say much. You're going to have to ask him because I don't remember exactly what he said.

JIM NANTZ: It's wonderful to see your love of history because history is important around here, and now you're a big part of it. Chairman, it's time for the green jacket.

FRED RIDLEY: Scottie, you're a great champion. We look forward to seeing you. All of us at Augusta National look forward to seeing you here competing many years and wearing the green jacket, and speaking of that, we'd be honored if you'd place the green jacket on Jon.


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