AUGUSTA, Ga. — The tepid applause that greeted Patrick Reed on the primary tee made it clear he wasn’t the folks’s alternative.
All he cared about was being the Masters champion.
He turned again an early transfer by Rory McIlroy and a late cost by Rickie Fowler. Most daunting in the course of the ultimate spherical Sunday was a well-known title at Augusta Nationwide — Jordan Spieth — on the verge of the best comeback in Masters historical past.
Reed had the sport and the grit to beat all of them. And when he slipped on that inexperienced jacket, he had everybody’s respect.
“I knew it was going to be a dogfight,” Reed mentioned. “It’s just a way of God basically saying, ‘Let’s see if you have it.’ Everyone knows you have it physically with the talent. But do you have it mentally? Can you handle the ups and downs throughout the round?”
He has proved that taking part in for his nation. He did it Sunday for himself.
The ultimate check was a 25-foot putt down the scary slope on the 18th inexperienced, and Reed pressed down each palms, begging it to cease because it rolled three ft by the outlet. From there, the 27-year-old Texan calmly rolled within the par putt for a 1-under 71 and a one-shot victory.
Often called “Captain America” for his play within the Ryder Cup, Reed added a much more vital title: Masters champion.
The loudest cheers had been for everybody else, and Reed picked up on that straight away. The group was squarely behind McIlroy and his greatest likelihood but at finishing the profession Grand Slam. Then it was Spieth, working off 4 birdies in a five-hole stretch on the again 9 to problem the course report. The loudest cheer was for Fowler when he made an Eight-foot birdie putt on the ultimate gap to drag inside one.
Reed by no means flinched by all of it.
“I just went out there and just tried to play golf the best I could and tried to stay in the moment and not worry about everything else,” Reed mentioned.
Reed, who completed at 15-under 273, gained for the sixth time in his PGA Tour profession.
Till Sunday, he was greatest recognized for the trophies he shared on the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup. He’s ferocious in match play, particularly the workforce selection, and his singles victory over McIlroy at Hazeltine within the 2016 Ryder Cup led to his nickname.
“He’s not scared. I think you guys have seen that previous from the Ryder Cups and the way he plays,” mentioned 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 greatest with three birdies in a four-hole stretch and the Eight-footer on the ultimate gap. It nonetheless wasn’t sufficient. Fowler was runner-up for the third time in a significant. He left the scoring cabin when Reed tapped in for par.
“Glad I at least made the last one, make him earn it,” Fowler mentioned with a smile as he waited to greet the latest main champion.
“You had to do it, didn’t you?” Reed instructed Fowler as they exchanged a hug. “You had to birdie the last.”
Spieth put up essentially the most unlikely battle and was on the verge of the best comeback in Masters historical past. He began 9 pictures behind going into the ultimate spherical and was inches away on two pictures from an opportunity at one other inexperienced jacket.
His tee shot on the 18th clipped the final department in his method, dropping his ball some 267 yards from the inexperienced. His Eight-foot par putt for a record-tying 63 narrowly missed on the fitting. He needed to accept a 64.
“I think I’ve proven to myself and to others that you never give up,” Spieth mentioned. “I started the round nine shots back, and I came out with the idea of just playing the golf course and having a lot of fun doing it and try to shoot a low round and finish the tournament strong and see what happens, if something crazy happens.”
McIlroy, in the meantime, must wait one other 12 months for a shot on the profession Grand Slam.
Trailing by three pictures to start out the ultimate spherical, he closed to inside one shot after two holes. That was as shut as he got here. McIlroy’s putter betrayed him — he missed 4 putts inside 10 ft on the entrance 9 — and he was by no means an element on the again 9. He closed with a 74 and tied for fifth.
“Tough day, but I’ll be back,” McIlroy mentioned. “And hopefully, I’ll be better.”
Reed is old fashioned amongst his era, with a brash perspective and a willingness to talk his thoughts. He has by no means been terribly widespread on this state, primarily due to allegations of unhealthy habits whereas taking part in for Georgia that led to an early departure from the Bulldogs. He transferred to Augusta State and led the outmanned Jaguars to a pair of NCAA titles. His dad and mom stay in Augusta however weren’t on the event. They weren’t at his wedding ceremony in 2012, a relationship Reed chooses to not talk about.
“I’m just out here to play golf and try to win golf tournaments,” Reed mentioned.
He gained a giant one Sunday, and it was laborious work, simply the way in which he likes it.
Completely different about this victory for Reed was the fuchsia shirt he wore as a part of a Nike script. Reed all the time wears black pants and a crimson shirt, as a result of that is what Tiger Woods does, and Reed has lengthy modeled his psychological recreation after Woods. “Be stubborn,” he as soon as mentioned about studying by watching Woods.
Woods broke par for the primary time all week with a 69. He tied for 32nd, 16 pictures behind, in his first main for the reason that 2015 PGA Championship.
Reed went to the again 9 with a four-shot lead over 4 gamers, and so they all had their possibilities. That included Jon Rahm, the 23-year-old from Spain, whose possibilities ended when he went after the flag on the par-5 15th and got here up quick within the water. He shot 69 and completed fourth.
Reed made a 25-foot birdie putt on No. 12, and his greatest birdie was a 9-iron to eight ft on the 14th that broke the tie with Spieth. He made all pars from there. That was all he wanted.
He turned the fourth straight Masters champion to seize his first main.
Reed as soon as claimed after profitable a World Golf Championship at Doral that he was a top-5 participant on the earth, which subjected him to ridicule as a result of it was solely his third profession title.
His first main strikes him to No. 11. It additionally comes with a inexperienced jacket, which is value way more notoriety, to not point out respect.