Reed comes out on top in final round Masters battle

Patrick Reed has won his first major championship with a thrilling one-shot victory over Rickie Fowler at the Masters.

Clinging to a one-shot lead, his 13 metre putt down the slippery slope on the 18th green ran a metre past the hole leaving a nerve-wracking par putt for victory. From there, the 27-year-old adopted Texan calmly rolled it in for a 1-under 71 to collect the green jacket.

“It was always going to be tough; trying to close off (any) golf tournament is hard,” said Reed.

“To close off a major…it’s almost impossible to put into words. Just to make the putt on the last, to know I’ve won my first major, meant so much to me.”

Reed had struggled at Augusta National in his last four appearances where he missed the cut twice, had never broken 70 and had finished outside the top-20 on each occasion.

This week, however, Reed certainly brought his “A” game with him shooting earlier rounds of 69-66-67 to lay the foundation for his maiden major victory.

Patrick Reed Patrick Reed (Credit: PGA Tour)

Spieth, a former Masters champion, began the day nine shots behind and turned in one of the greatest final rounds in Masters history. The Texan shot an 8-under 64 in the final round to pull back to within one shot of Reed, before a bogey on the final hole that also cost him second place.

WITB: Patrick Reed

  • Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1
  • Driver: Ping G400 LST (10º)
  • 3 Wood: Nike VR Pro Ltd. Edition (15º)
  • Driving Iron: Titleist 716 T-MB (3-iron)
  • Irons: Callaway X Forged 2013 (4 iron), Callaway MB-1 (5-PW)
  • Wedges: Artisan (51 and 56º), Titleist Vokey SM5 (61º)
  • Putter: Odyssey White Hot Pro 3

Fowler’s final round 67 wasn’t quite enough to get the job done, and he’ll leave Augusta National with another runner-up finish and more time to reflect on being so close and yet so far in not having a major championship to his name. To his credit he kept Reed honest right up to the very last putt.

Sunday’s finish was the eighth time Fowler was close in a major championship.

The 2014 US Open and British Open were his other two second place finishes. He tied for third at the PGA Championship and fifth at the Masters that year. Last year he added T5s at the US Open and the PGA Championship. He also tied for 5th at the 2011 British Open.

“I am ready to go win a major, but this was kind of the first major week that I understood that and known that and felt that,” said Fowler.

“So I’m really looking forward to this year and the three majors that are left. You know, Shinnecock is one of my favourite golf courses in the US.”

Behind Fowler and Spieth, John Rahm was fourth and Rory McIlroy was fifth, tied with Aussie Cameron Smith as well as Henrik Stenson and Bubba Watson.

Overall this was a great Masters tournament for the Australians.

Smith’s final round 66 saw him jump seven places to be at 9-under and record his first top-5 finish at Augusta. Marc Leishman was in the hunt on Saturday after rounds of 70-67 and closing rounds of 73-70 recorded a top-10 finish in outright ninth position.

Jason Day, winner of the 2015 USPGA, shared 20th position at 2-under, with former Masters champion Adam Scott in a tie for 32nd position.

While not in contention all week, Tiger Woods showed he still had some fuel in the tank and capped off his return to Augusta with five birdies and an eagle in the final round but gave back four bogeys in the process to finish one 1-over and equal 32nd place.