Captain America is now the Masters champion. Patrick Reed, 27, has won his first major title at the Masters in Augusta, Georgia, beating Rickie Fowler by a stroke Sunday night. Reed took a three-shot lead into the final round and ended with a one-under par 71. He has had six PGA Tour victories so far.
Even as the loudest cheers were for everyone else, Reed earned all the respect with two big birdie putts on the back nine, one key par and plenty of grit.
Clinging to a one-shot lead, his 25-foot putt down the slippery slope on the 18th green ran 3 feet by the hole as Reed pressed down both hands, begging it to stop. From there, the 27-year-old Texan calmly 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.
The loudest cheers were for everyone else. Reed earned their respect with two big birdie putts on the back nine, one crucial par putt and plenty of grit. He also had a little luck when his 80-foot putt across the 17th green hit the hole, keeping it only 6 feet away. He made that for par to stay in control.
Reed won for the sixth time in his PGA Tour career, though he was best known for the trophies he shared at the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup. He is ferocious in match play, especially the team variety, and his singles victory over McIlroy at Hazeltine in the 2016 Ryder Cup led to the nickname of Captain America.
“He’s not scared. I think you guys have seen that previous from the Ryder Cups and the way he plays,” said Fowler, who closed with a 67. “He won’t back down. I don’t necessarily see him as someone that backs up and will let you come back into the tournament. You have to go catch him.”
Fowler did his best with three birdies in a four-hole stretch, and an 8-foot birdie on the final hole. It still wasn’t enough. Fowler was runner-up for the third time in a major. He left the scoring cabin when Reed tapped in for par.
“Glad I at least made the last one, make him earn it,” Fowler said with a grin as he waited to greet the newest major champion.
“You had to do it didn’t you?” Reed told him as they exchanged a hug. “You had to birdie the last.”
Spieth put up the most unlikely fight and was on the verge of the greatest comeback in Masters history. He started nine shots behind going into the final round, and was 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. He had to settle for a 64.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: CBS News, The Associated Press