Patrick Reed Wears the Green Jacket
Augusta, Ga – It was a dramatic ending to a historic afternoon at the 2018 Masters. Patrick Reed not only took home his first green jacket but also hoisted the hardware for his first major victory. Reed started the day with a comfortable 3-shot lead, but we all know that’s not enough to guarantee a green jacket at the end of the day.
After opening rounds of 69 and 66, Reed held the 36-hole, 2-shot lead going into the weekend. Only 2 shots back on Saturday, Marc Leishman was paired with Reed. Reed bogeyed the par-4 3rd hole while Leishman parred to get within one. Unfortunately for Leishman, it was all Patrick Reed from then on out, as he birdied holes 5, 8, and 9 to card a 2-under 34 on the inward nine.
After a birdie on the 10th hole, Reed eagled the 13th and 15th holes to take a 5-shot lead. However, Reed followed up the eagle on 15 with a bogey on the par-3 16th when McIlroy, who was on Reed’s heels all day long, birdied the 18th to get to 11-under and pull within 3 shots of the lead going into Sunday.
A final round pairing of Patrick Reed and Rory McIlroy set the stage for a Ryder Cup singles rematch between the two competitors. However, the troubles started early for Rory as he blasted his tee shot well right of the fairway on #1. Although he scrambled for a par and Reed bogeyed, Rory was never able to find a rhythm and could not make enough noise to gain much ground on Reed the rest of the afternoon.
Reed would not make it difficult to keep up though, shooting even through the first nine. Both Spieth and Fowler both made their own Sunday charges. Spieth started the day 9 shots back of the lead but birdied the first two holes and went out with a 5-under 31 on the front. Then on the back nine, Spieth had a birdie stretch of 12, 13, 15 and 16. And the birdie on 16 placed him in a tie for the lead. Unfortunately, his historic run ended when he pulled his tee shot left on 18 and took a bogey on the hole. He would finish the tournament at 13-under par.
Rickie Fowler also had plans of his own green jacket that started late on the front nine as he birdied holes 8 and 9 to card a 1-under 35. Rickie would remain bogey-less the rest of his round while also draining 4 birdies on the back nine, including one at 18. Fowler finished the tournament at 14-under with hopes that it would be good enough. Unfortunately for Fowler, Patrick Reed continued his strong putting and did not let up. After Reed’s bogey at the 11th that led him into a tie with Spieth, he stepped up and birdied 2 of the next three holes and never looked back. With four straight pars to finish his round (-15), Reed finally got to relax, hug his caddy, celebrate with his wife, and shoulder the prestigious green jacket.
In addition to Reed’s triumph and McIlroy’s misstep, this Masters field created plenty of additional headlines. Some of the highlights included Tiger Woods, who made the cut but failed to contend. He shot a final round -3 to finish +1 and T32 for the tournament and provided fans with more hope that he can contend on the PGA Tour this year. Fellow multiple Masters winner Phil Mickelson failed to take advantage of his extensive experience at Augusta National, finishing the tournament at +2, T36, after shooting 67 in the final round. While Jordan Spieth bogeyed the last to just miss tying the course record of 63, 24-year-old Australian Cameron Smith was also among the final day’s biggest movers, shooting 66 while carding a 30 on his inward nine and finishing T5 at -9 along with Henrik Stenson, Bubba Watson, and Rory McIlroy. 40-year-old Englishman and recent winner of the Valspar Championship Paul Casey also narrowly missed out on joining that elite club, bogeying his final two holes to shoot 65. Low amateur honors went to University of Texas senior Doug Ghim, who made several memorable eagles and was the only amateur to make the cut.
Next week, the PGA Tour heads to the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head, South Carolina to take on one of Pete Dye’s masterpieces, Harbour Town Golf Links. Last year’s winner of the RBC Heritage was Wesley Bryan. Other notables joining the defending champion in this year’s field include current number two in the FedEx Cup standings Patton Kizzire, world number one Dustin Johnson, and consistent performers like Casey, Leishman, and Matt Kuchar.
WITB: Patrick Reed
Driver: Ping G400 LST- 10 degrees (Aldila 70 Tour X)
3 Wood: Nike VR Pro Ltd. Edition- 15 degrees (Aldila 80 Tour X)
Irons: Callaway X Forged 2013 (4 iron), Callaway MB-1 (5-PW) (True Temper Dynamic Gold Issue X100)
Putter: Odyssey White Hot Pro 3 (Iomic Standard Red Pistol Grip)
Ball: Titleist ProV1