Texan Patrick Reed claimed his first Major Championship title after holding off the charges of Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler to win the Masters on Sunday night.
The final day was billed as a potential classic, especially as Reed teed off alongside Grand Slam-chasing Rory McIlroy in the final group. The Co. Down-native was hoping to overturn a three-shot deficit and join Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus in securing a career Grand Slam of all four golfing majors. Customers with Kaszinó online will have backed the racing post tip Patrick Reed and will have had a lovely pay out.
Although the Irishman’s chances ended in disappointment, Augusta National still sprung up the usual drama associated with the first Major of the season.
The 2015 Masters Champion Jordan Spieth was the first to test the nerve of the overnight leader Reed, threatening the course record with a remarkable streak of nine birdies in the opening 16 holes, including four in five from the 12th.
An unfortunate break on the final hole though, where his drive clipped the trees mid-air and dropped just short of 180 yards from the tee in the rough, spoiled his chances as a bogey five meant he had to settle for an eight under 64 and a 13 under total.
Next up was another Texan, Robbie Fowler, who birdied the last to post a 14 under total after a five under 67, but Reed stayed resilient the whole way through and a two-putt par at the last for a one under 71 was enough to clinch a one-stroke triumph on 15 under par.
The 27 year old new Masters Champion spoke to the media following his life-changing victory:
“I knew it was going to be tough. Any time trying to close off a golf tournament is really hard, but to close off your first Major and to do it at a place that is so close to me. I knew that the lead was going to shrink sometimes; I knew the lead could grow; it’s just the flows of golf. You just have to know how to handle it and the only way I felt like I could get that done was to make sure the putter was working.”
The American Ryder Cup player went on:
“It’s almost impossible to put into words. Just to make the par on the last and watch the ball go in the hole and know that I’ve won my first Major. One of my huge goals this year was to not only contend in Majors but also get back in that winning circle. To do it in the first Major and finish off that drought, it just meant so much to me.”
Grand Slam-seeking Rory McIlroy who posted a final round of +2, for a 74, and a total score of 279, found himself 6 shots behind the winner, in a tie for fifth place. Commenting on his week, the Ulsterman said:
“I played probably some of the best golf I’ve ever played here this week; it just wasn’t meant to be. Of course it’s frustrating and it’s hard to take any positives from it right now but at least I put myself in a position, that’s all I’ve wanted to do. For the last four years I’ve had top tens but I haven’t been close enough to the lead. Today I got myself there, I didn’t quite do enough but I’ll still come back next year and try again.”
When asked if he felt he could yet win a Green Jacket, the 28 year-old Irish golfer said:
“I think 100% I can come back and win here. I’ve played in two final groups in the last seven years, I’ve had five top tens, I play this golf course well. I just haven’t played it well enough at the right times. I can’t give a good answer as to what I can take from this into the future because I’m just off the 18thgreen but I’ll sit down and reflect over the next few days and see what I could have done better.”
273 P Reed (USA) 69 66 67 71.
274 R Fowler (USA) 70 72 65 67.
275 J Spieth (USA) 66 74 71 64.
277 J Rahm (Esp) 75 68 65 69.
279 R McIlroy 69 71 65 74, H Stenson (Swe) 69 70 70 70, B Watson (USA) 73 69 68 69, C Smith (Aus) 71 72 70 66.
280 M Leishman (Aus) 70 67 73 70.
281 D Johnson (USA) 73 68 71 69, T Finau (USA) 68 74 73 66.
282 J Rose (Eng) 72 70 71 69, L Oosthuizen (RSA) 71 71 71 69, C Hoffman (USA) 69 73 73 67.
283 R Henley (USA) 73 72 71 67, P Casey (Eng) 74 75 69 65.
284 T Fleetwood (Eng) 72 72 66 74, J Thomas (USA) 74 67 70 73.
285 H Matsuyama (Jpn) 73 71 72 69.