Patrick Reed fights off late charges to win the 2018 Masters

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Patrick Reed is the newest Masters champion. The 27-year-old carded a final round 71 on Sunday to fight off the likes of Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth and claim the green jacket and his first major. He’s now the fourth straight first-time major winner at Augusta.

Everyone towards the top of the leaderboard started quick. Spieth birdied three of his first five holes and McIlroy had four feet for eagle on the second hole. Reed, on the other hand, had to make a 5-footer for bogey on No. 1 and rolled in a lengthy par putt on No. 2. But from that point on, Captain America was solid as a rock as he battled around the course hitting quality golf shots that eventually earned him a green jacket.

Jordan Spieth did his best to catch Reed. Spieth entered the day at 5-under. After a front nine 31, he got it all the way to 14-under standing on the 18 tee. A wayward tee shot led to a bogey and Spieth came up just short. Regardless, his 64 was a performance that won’t soon be forgotten.

Rickie Fowler fought through the front nine making the turn at 1-under, and then he turned on the jets. He birdied six of his last 11 holes en route to a final round 67,  but it just wasn’t enough because the day belonged to Reed. Despite the incredible runs, Reed wouldn’t waiver. He had two bogeys on Sunday and followed up both with birdies. The Ryder Cup hero is now a Masters Champion.

Here are a few takeaways from this absolutely incredible Masters Tournament.

2018 Masters Takeaways

This, right here, is a 2018 major tournament.

Well, obviously. But this tournament is the epitome of what the PGA Tour has become. The top-5 finishers at the Masters were under the age of 30 and the final two groups featured four 20-somethings.  They have officially taken over the PGA Tour, and they put on a show Sunday.

Everyone played well down the stretch

With the exception of Rory McIlroy, every golfer had their A-game going on Sunday. Jordan Spieth was a par putt away from a 63 on Sunday at the Masters. Absolutely incredible. Fowler, who was in the exact same position last year in the penultimate group, tore through the back nine and posted a 5-under 67. Jon Rahm, though he faded down the stretch, carded a final round 69 and finished top-5 after a 75 on Thursday. Needless to say, Patrick Reed had to play incredible golf to fight off these golfers coming in behind him. Nobody can make any accusations about any of these golfers in majors based on today. The level of play was incredibly high.

The Par 3’s and the Par 5’s

The Par 4’s at Augusta are impossible. Most of them over 440 yards long requiring many different shots with tough pins. Where someone can separate themselves is on the par 5’s and par 3’s. Attack the long holes and survive the short ones and you’re in great position to contend at the Masters. Reed did just that. He birdied the first eight par 5’s he played and finished 12-under on those holes, and then played the par 3’s in 5-over for the tournament which is a solid number on the treacherous par 3’s at Augusta. He avoided big numbers all week and took advantage of Augusta National where he was supposed to. To compare, Tiger Woods struggled on the par 5’s all week and couldn’t take advantage of some of the easier holes until Sunday. As a result, Sunday was Woods’ best round.

Patrick Reed was the best player at Augusta National over all four days. On Sunday, he had to prove it. He had to go toe to toe with the best players in the world, many of which were trying to prove something or to achieve something they never had before. It took everything he had, but ultimately, nobody could catch Patrick Reed.

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