Reed holds off challengers to win Masters

The echoes of champions mixed with the cheers and shouts of thousands as they rolled over the hills and through the Georgia pines at Augusta National Golf Club on Sunday, but Patrick Reed didn’t hear many of them.

But the loudest roar of the day came when Reed sank a final, testing, four-footer on the 18th hole to finish off a one-shot win at the Masters Tournament on Sunday in Augusta Ga., in the process winning his first major championship and quieting his doubters.

Reed fashioned a 1-under 71 to finish at 15 under 273, a shot clear of Rickie Fowler (67) and another in front of 2015 champion Jordan Spieth (64), who put on a clinic on Sunday before a bogey on the last hole dropped him into third place.

Reed had four birdies and three bogeys on his uneven round, but never felt the anticipated charge from playing partner Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, who battled a balky putter and stumbled to a 2-over 74, six shots behind the winner.

Jon Rahm of Spain (69) was fourth at 277. Five golfers — Australian Cameron Smith (66), two-time champion Bubba Watson (69), Henrik Stenson of Sweden (70) and McIlroy — tied for fifth at 279.

Reed has had plenty of success in Augusta, winning two NCAA national championships with Augusta University in 2010 and 2011.

Spieth made a stirring run up the leaderboard, starting the final round nine strokes behind Reed, who slept on the lead at 14 under. Spieth momentarily tied for the lead with a 25-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole, but ran out of holes and magic.

On the 13th, leading by one stroke, Reed was short of the putting surface on his second shot, but his ball stayed on the grassy bank rather than roll back into the water that fronts the green.
From there he pitched to within eight feet but was short on his putt, leaving him tied with Spieth.

Reed birdied the 14th to get the lead back at 15 under and parred the 15th while Spieth was bogeying the final hole, and then Reed managed his nerves and a charge from Fowler, making pars on the final three holes to capture the victory.

Spieth got his only bad break of the final round on the closing hole, clipping the overhanging branch of a tree off to the left of the fairway, dropping his ball into the heavy grass short of the hill that heads up to the green. He eventually made bogey to just miss tying the tournament record of 63 established by Nick Price in 1986 and tied by Greg Norman in 1996.

Marc Leishman of Australia (70) finished alone in ninth at 280 while Tony Finau (66) and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson (69) were tied for 10th.

–Field Level Media