Patrick Reed wins first major at the Masters

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2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational, Bay Hill Club, Orlando, Florida - 15th March 2018 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

Patrick Reed won the Masters on Sunday with a one-under-par 71, his first round over 69 this week at Augusta National. He had a chance to become the first player to post four sub-70 scores in the tournament but still finished at 15 under, a stroke ahead of Rickie Fowler, who was also seeking his first win in a major event.

Jordan Spieth, the 2015 champion, started the final round nine strokes back but produced the best score of the day, an eight-under-par 64. He leapt past everyone but Fowler and Reed, who went into the tournament with five PGA Tour victories and had not won on the tour since August 2016.

Reed had historically not fared well at Augusta National. In four prior appearances here, he missed the cut twice, never broke 70 and always finished outside the top 20. This week, he put every part of his game together and his total of 13 under on the par 5s surely made the difference in collecting a first green jacket.

Reed, 27, spent the final round in a pairing with Rory McIlroy, 28, whose bid to become the sixth man and the first European to complete a career grand slam will have to wait another year. McIlroy trailed Reed by three shots as they began their round but soon closed the gap before allowing it to creep back. Playing the front nine in one over he then posted a two-over 74 to finish at nine under overall and in a tie for fifth.

Fowler, 29, began the day five strokes off the lead and closed with a five-under 67, including a birdie at 18, for his eighth top-five finish in 33 majors. Jordan Spieth roared to life with a final-round charge and briefly caught Reed with a 35-foot birdie putt but Reed never flinched throughout a raucous afternoon at Augusta National.

At one point Spieth looked to be the verge of the greatest comeback in Masters history as he started nine shots behind going into the final round, and was just inches away on two shots from a chance at another green jacket.

His tee shot on the 18th clipped the last branch in his way, dropping his ball some 267 yards from the green. His 8-foot par putt for a record-tying 63 narrowly missed on the right and he had to settle for a 64 and third place -13.

Clinging to a one-shot lead and needing par for the win going into the final hole, Reed saw his 25-foot putt run down the slippery slope on the 18th green and run 3 feet by the hole. From there, the 27-year-old Texan nervously rolled in the par putt for a 1-under 71 and a one-shot victory.

“To have to par the last hole to win my first major, it definitely felt right,” Reed said from Butler cabin, right before Sergio Garcia helped him into a green jacket.

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