Masters 2018: Patrick Reed hangs on to earn first major title
Patrick Reed went from Ryder Cup hero to major champion Sunday when he won the Masters by one shot at 15 under.
Starting the final round with a three-shot lead over Rory McIlroy, Reed shot a final-round 1-under 71 to pick up his first major title. A couple of early bogeys gave the rest of the field - especially a charging Jordan Spieth - some hope, but Reed kept his composure down the stretch.
Reed, a former Augusta State star, returned to Augusta with limited Masters success entering the week. Known more as a Ryder Cup stalwart, Reed quickly announced his presence this week with a 6-under 66 in Round 2.
Other than a brief stretch in Round 4 when Spieth caught him, Reed maintained the lead throughout most of the weekend. Once stating he was a top-5 player in the world, Reed may have just taken a step toward fulfilling that prophesy.
Rickie Fowler made a back-nine rally Sunday to finish second at 14 under. Fowler shot 12 under over the weekend - a 5-under 67 in Round 4 - helped by six birdies in his last 10 holes. Still without a major title, Fowler now has two top-5 finishes at Augusta National.
Fowler birdied the par-4 18th to apply pressure on Reed, who was on the the tee box when Fowler drained his putt. Reed casually made par on the 72nd hole to end any speculation he was going to win.
Spieth cruised up the leaderboard Sunday with an 8-under 64 to finish third at 13 under. The 2015 Masters champion played the first 17 holes in 9 under without a bogey, but hit a tree off the tee on 18, resulting in an untimely bogey.
Despite coming up short, Spieth became just the seventh player in Masters history to fire a final-round 64.
Jon Rahm shook off a first round 3-over 75 to finish fourth at 11 under. Rahm crept to within two of the lead on the back nine Sunday, but a water ball on the par-5 15th ended his hopes.
Starting the day with a chance to become the sixth golfer and first European to earn the career grand slam, McIlroy shot a 2-over 74 to finish in a tie for fifth at 9 under. After a quick birdie on the par-5 second, McIlroy struggled with his putter, leading to a number of missed opportunities.
Henrik Stenson, Cameron Smith and Bubba Watson joined McIlroy at 9 under. Stenson shot three straight 2--under 70s to end his tournament. Smith now has two top-5 finishes in major champions, having previously finished t-4 at Chambers Bay when Jordan Spieth captured the 2015 U.S. Open.
Tony Finau, who almost missed the tournament after dislocating his ankle Wednesday at the par-3 contest while celebrating a hole-in-one, rattled off six straight birdies Sunday to shoot a final round 6-under 66 and finish t-10 at 7 under.
Tiger Woods, playing in the Masters for the first tie since 2015, finished in a tie for 32nd at 1 over after a 3-under 69 on Sunday. Struggling with his iron game throughout most of the week, the five-time Masters champion was just happy to be competing at Augusta National again.
"I was referring to earlier that for a couple of years I’ve just been coming here just to eat," Woods said after his round. "And now to be able to play this golf course and to be able to tee it up and play in the Masters, this is one of the greatest walks in all of golf. And I had missed it for the last couple of years, I hadn't been able to play in it. So now I'm glad I'm competing in this Tournament."