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We have a winner! Patrick “Captain America” Reed wins The 2018 Masters

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Despite Reed starting with a 3-stroke lead and ultimately winning the event, golfers in contention gave viewers and patrons everything they wanted at the 2018 Masters. Birdies began to happen at the 10th hole for Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson and Cameron Smith… pretty much everyone except the two leaders. In another time wrinkle, Jordan Spieth came from the leader board’s third page, shooting a front-nine 31. He kept the fire going on the back-nine, and he nearly set the Masters final round scoring record, only to give a reprise of his 18th hole tee shot on Thursday and finish oh so close. In the end, Fowler’s 67 and closing-hole birdie was enough to put the ultimate pressure on Patrick Reed, but Captain America did not falter.

Patrick Reed’s Winning WITB from The 2018 Masters

The man from Augusta University (nee Augusta State) came into round 4 with everything to prove and everything to lose. Having never walked the final fairways of a major in contention, Reed wanted to silence those who doubted him, those who expected Rory McIlroy to complete the career grand slam on this 8th day of April. The overnight leader started slowly, with bogey at the first hole. When he failed to birdie the par-5 second hole, whispers of uncertainty echoed around Augusta National and televisions everywhere. Undaunted, Reed made a fortunate birdie from off the green at the third hole, to return to even on the day. When he played his approach to hole No. 7 to perfection, using the slope to draw his ball back to inches for another birdie, his game face was firmly planted.

Good thing, because Jon Rahm had moved into double figures-under par, and McIlroy was hanging around, despite a balky putter. The day would not go well at all for Rory, as he gave strokes back to par and finished in a 4-way tie for 5th, at 9-under par. As for Rahm, he was in the thick of the matter until his second to the 15th came back off the fringe, into the pond. The emotions he had kept in check all day were released, and he ended in 4th spot alone, at 11-under.

Much like Patrick Reed, Rickie Fowler made few waves with his front nine. The man in orange countered a bogey at 5 with birdies at 8 and 9, to reach the turn within sight of the leader. The magic began to happen for Fowler on Golden Bell, the treacherous par three that traverses Rae’s Creek. The center of Amen Corner surrendered the first of four, back-nine birdies for Fowler, who made zero bogeys on the inward half. With a short putt for 3 at the last, he moved ahead of Spieth (-13) into the clubhouse lead at 14-under par.

Two shots defined the conclusion of the 2018 Masters.

On 13, Reed’s approach to the par five came up short of the green, but did not descend into the creek. He was able to pitch on, then two-putt for par. Rather than taking a penalty stroke and being forced to pitch and putt for par, Reed’s conclusion to the hole was much more tranquil.

The second was Spieth’s drive down the 18th hallway. Lightning struck a second time, as Spieth again clipped a left-side tree and watched as his ball dropped straight down, not even to the fairway. Faced with 315 yards to the green, he could do little more than hope to get up and down for par. His wedge third shot gave him a chance at par, but he missed the putt that Reed would later make to win. Spieth finished solo third at 13-under, with Fowler one ahead at 14-under.

What does the green jacket mean for Patrick Reed? For starters, it gives him great confidence as an individual player, rather than just a Ryder Cup Team titan. In addition, as if he needed any more potency as a national team member, he now represents the USA in France as a major champion, in addition to his international caps.

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Ronald Montesano writes for GolfWRX.com from western New York. He dabbles in coaching golf and teaching Spanish, in addition to scribbling columns on all aspects of golf, from apparel to architecture, from equipment to travel. Follow Ronald on Twitter at @buffalogolfer.

40 Comments

40 Comments

  1. A. Commoner

    Apr 9, 2018 at 9:57 pm

    What the devil is going on here?

  2. Walt Pendleton

    Apr 9, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    Let those without mistakes in their lives throw the first stone at other’s success! Your negative opinions, regarding another player, identify you as a bunch of whining, condescending, dillie-dillie spectators of the game and not players! Golf would be better off if you just crawled back under the rock you came from!

    • No Playing Duck

      Apr 9, 2018 at 11:13 pm

      Once a player is labeled a cheat, real players will never respect him. This guy cheated in college and he will never be respected by people that know and play golf well.

  3. BallBuster

    Apr 9, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    Should have been three “shot defined the conclusion of the 2018 Masters”. Reed’s first putt on 17 from a mile away from off the green was rolling by the hole like it’s the Daytona 500 and going into likely 3 jack territory when it caught the lip, bounced up a bit, and still went 5 or 6 feet past. He made that to hang on to a 2 stroke lead… which Fowler erased one of them on 18 for some drama at the wire. That was critical as things can add up quickly coming down the stretch and often a little fortunate break is huge.

    • George

      Apr 9, 2018 at 2:03 pm

      So it hit the cup and did not roll off the green every winner has some luck,Take Tiger several years ago ball lanced behind a 2 ton rook but he got a bunch of guy’s to move it, removable pebble

  4. Bill

    Apr 9, 2018 at 10:28 am

    I can’t stand how the anti- Augusta rhetoric comes out because Reed wins. If Spieth won again we would marvel at his superiority, yet Reed wins and The Masters shouldn’t be a major. Reed is a quality player who hadn’t yet broken through. If you don’t want to see new winners, I’m not sure why you watch golf.

    • Vincent Donahue

      Apr 9, 2018 at 1:03 pm

      I agree completely with you Bill. It’s so irritating when one of the fair haired boys doesn’t win some fans turn away from congratulating the winner. I like Rory, Ricky and Jordan but I was thrilled Patrick Reed won!

    • George

      Apr 9, 2018 at 2:06 pm

      Patrick and his family don’t get along he had them removed from course back several years ago and a lot of people think he is an A– Hole for doing that

  5. Illin'

    Apr 9, 2018 at 2:07 am

    Eldrick is a total d1ck but people love him. Why? Reed is a decent dude who’s a bit intense. If only these posts would indicate the race and background of the commenters lol

  6. Mike Trotter

    Apr 9, 2018 at 12:50 am

    Well done Reed. I’m curious though as to why the Augusta crowd didn’t take to him whereas the appreciation for Rory, Ricky, and Jordan was much greater. What has he done to upset the gallery?

    • stan

      Apr 9, 2018 at 12:52 am

      The gawking spectators always suck up to the top ranked players… it’s part of their delusional existence trying to play golf.

    • The Truth

      Apr 9, 2018 at 12:08 pm

      Ummmm hes arrogant and thinks hes top 5 in the world be humble Fatrick . ????????????????.

    • Rob

      Apr 9, 2018 at 12:27 pm

      He is a tool bag. He hasn’t spoken to his family since like 2012…

  7. Chuck Barkley

    Apr 8, 2018 at 11:57 pm

    Oh, and Fatrick Reed’s caddie/brother in-law with “zero experience” was the difference in Rory’s loss, I suppose?

    • The Truth

      Apr 9, 2018 at 12:09 pm

      Lol i thought i was the only one that called him Fatrick ????????????

  8. Bob Parson Jr.

    Apr 8, 2018 at 11:22 pm

    One thing is for sure, Rory McIlroy needs to find a professional caddie. Having your beer buddy hauling your clubs around is not a good idea when you are trying to win tournaments and trying to achieve the career Grand Slam. He gave it to Reed, specially on the greens.

  9. Chuck Barkley

    Apr 8, 2018 at 10:56 pm

    I agree to agree. Thank you Bob Parson Jr. for your observation.

  10. youraway

    Apr 8, 2018 at 9:00 pm

    I think we have a great champion, and fantastic and exciting Masters!

  11. Bob Parson Jr.

    Apr 8, 2018 at 8:59 pm

    A very unremarkable champion for a very unremarkable tournament. The Masters is not a true Major Championship, but more like an exhibition. The Players Championship is a a Major Championship, not this.

    Common folks can’t get tickets, barely any minority members, antiquated rules about fan appreciation, second cut not rough, small field by invitation only, come on people, that’s not what a Major Championship is supposed to be.

    Let the trailer park trash celebrate their new champion, chicken wings and beer on the house.

    • Ronald Montesano

      Apr 8, 2018 at 10:00 pm

      “A very unremarkable champion for a very unremarkable tournament.”
      –International team success now major champion. Masters finds a way to keep course fair and challenging every year…Disagree

      “The Masters is not a true Major Championship, but more like an exhibition. The Players Championship is a a Major Championship, not this.”
      –Need a better definition of what line delineates major from non-major. Players Championship is the true championship of the PGA Tour, but is not a historic major…Agree/Disagree

      “Common folks can’t get tickets, barely any minority members, antiquated rules about fan appreciation, second cut not rough, small field by invitation only, come on people, that’s not what a Major Championship is supposed to be.”
      –Tennis plays its 4 major championships on 4 different surfaces. Golf utilizes a variety of course types, but only one returns to the same place each year. Not by invitation, but by qualification. Green surfaces so fast and undulating that anything above 2 inches of rough will cause scores in the mid to high 70s. Common folks can’t go to Super Bowl, Final four, etc. …Disagree

      “Let the trailer park trash celebrate their new champion, chicken wings and beer on the house”
      -This is entirely offensive. You need to be a better man than this.

      • Bob Parson Jr.

        Apr 8, 2018 at 10:35 pm

        We will have to agree to disagree. I’m standing by my comments, but I also respect your opinion. You live in NY, you don’t know what is to live in Georgia, I do. Let me put it to you this way, Bobby Jones is no hero of the Civil Rights movement, on the contrary, Bobby Jones and McKenzie were two of the biggest racists to ever walk the grounds of Augusta, Georgia.

        Lots of things have gone wrong in Augusta for decades. In reality, the Masters is a reminder to Georgians of a past that continues to manifest itself in the present.

        I apologize if I offended you, but the Masters is a disgraceful tournament with a disgraceful past, and a more disgraceful present.

        • stan

          Apr 8, 2018 at 10:55 pm

          Last May a bronze statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee was removed from New Orleans.
          Perhaps Augusta National should be plowed under based on it’s past politically incorrect history.

          • Bob Parson Jr.

            Apr 8, 2018 at 11:07 pm

            Not at all, but to deny the past is to ignore the present.

            • stan

              Apr 9, 2018 at 12:44 am

              I don’t give a flying fig about historical injustices. I have enough problems in the present and I reject being punished for past sins centuries ago. 😛

          • Bob Parson Jr.

            Apr 8, 2018 at 11:16 pm

            Politically Incorrect history? Wow, nice oversimplification. At least is nice to know where you stand.

            • stan

              Apr 9, 2018 at 12:46 am

              You go bleed over historical injustices. I reject any guilt loaded on me by self-loathing extremists anarchists.

              • Birdswing Golfer

                Apr 9, 2018 at 3:52 am

                I always found it amusing that a tournament build by racists in a confederate state was called the masters though!

    • Vincent Donahue

      Apr 9, 2018 at 1:09 pm

      I disagree. Ask most professional golfers if they could only win one major, a majority would choose the Masters. You sound like someone who has been snubbed by ANGC or the tournament. You sure don’t sound like a common folk with your snide commments about trailer trash!

    • Vincent Donahue

      Apr 9, 2018 at 1:16 pm

      I disagree completely. Many tour players when asked which major they would want to win if they could only win one, it would be the Masters. The most difficult of the four majors to win. You sure don’t sound like common folk with your trailer trash comments. You are absolutely correct about Rory’s caddie. He needs a very seasoned pro.

    • jeffrey monnich

      Apr 9, 2018 at 4:02 pm

      I love the TPC course you have to be so precise Augusta fairways are way too wide except for 18, right Jordan.

  12. Birdswing Golfer

    Apr 8, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    Well done

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Tour News

It’s the Ardmore! Woods begins Quicken Loans National with TaylorMade putter in the bag

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If you had a bet going with your buddies that there was no way Tiger Woods would depart from his beloved 13 major-winning Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS this week, you lose.

Woods started the first round of the Quicken Loans National with the TaylorMade Ardmore 3 he has been practicing all week with at TPC Potomac.

Adam Schupak spotted Woods’ caddie, Joe LaCava, on the way to the first tee for Woods’ 1:20 ET start time with the camo TaylorMade putter cover in the bag (not surprisingly, the TaylorMade Ardmore 3 was beneath the cover).

Woods has struggled with the putter this season, as we’re all well aware, particularly since the Memorial. No. 89 on Tour in strokes gained: putting, the 14-time major champion knew he had to do something.

“I’m trying to find something that I can feel again, like the swing of the putter, getting my body in the right positions and seeing the lines again,” Woods said. “You know, it’s just one of those things, once I start to get the ball rolling on my lines, then I’ll be back to putting like I was. I just have not been rolling it on my lines. And then on top of that, when they don’t roll on lines, then I have a hard time seeing my lines and it’s a vicious cycle. And I’m just trying to get out of that cycle.”

Woods reportedly tried a number of TaylorMade putters in the Bahamas last week, arriving (as far as we know) at the Quicken Loans National with just the Ardmore and his Newport to choose between.

He has made his choice for the first round. We’ll see how it pans out and whether Woods remains a mallet man all week.

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5 things we learned on Sunday of the 2018 U.S. Open

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Opportunity knocked for so many golfers, yet it was the 2017 champion who seized the moment when it was his. Brooks Koepka fired his second sub-par round of the week on Sunday to separate from playing partner Dustin Johnson, and enter the pantheon of multiple major champions. He became the 7th player to defend his title, joining old-school legends like Willie Anderson and John McDermott, mid-century icons like Ralph Guldahl and Ben Hogan, and the last man to accomplish the feat, Curtis Strange. With that introduction, let’s move to the main event, the 5 things we learned on Sunday at Shinnecock Hills.

5) The USGA gave golf a chance

True to its word, the USGA pulled out all the stops in the wee hours of Sunday morn. The course set-up team ensured that enough water was distributed to putting surfaces, that worthy shots would not be punished. Hole locations were assessed and confirmed, also ensuring that multiple opportunities for success were available. As a result, 15 golfers turned in scores under par of 70, highlighted by Tommy Fleetwood’s 7-under stunner. Although many fans, writers and players were quick to assault the organizers for losing control of the course, the USGA reminded us that it always had control of the conditions at Shinny, and that its only mistake was to soar too close to the sun.

4) Captain America ran out of gas

If Patrick Reed had been able to sign his card on the 9th tee, when he stood 5-under on the day and 1-over for the tournament, he would be in a playoff with the eventual champion as I type. Unfortunate for this year’s Masters champion was that 10 holes remained. Reed promptly bogeyed the 9th, added 3 more bogeys on the inward half, and summoned just one birdie toward the end. His fourth-place finish was his best in a U.S. Open, but knowing that victory was in the cards will sting for a while.

3) DJ and Finau gave it a run

Where to begin? How about this: DJ had four bogeys on Sunday. He totaled that many on Thursday-Friday combined. He had birdies, too, but couldn’t find the game that possessed him over the opening 36 holes. Oddly enough, this type of experience won’t be a setback for the 2016 champion. After all, he came back from a career-killer in 2015, when he 3-whacked his way out of a playoff with Jordan Spieth at Chambers Bay. As for Milton Pouhau Finau, aka Tony, the Utah native had never before been in the final group on any day of a major professional championship. He acquitted himself well, standing even on the day and 3-over for T2 at the 18th tee. Knowing that he needed eagle for a playoff might have taken the final winds from his sails, and he limped home with double bogey and solo third. Looking ahead to the final August playing of the PGA Championship, Bellerive near St. Louis might just be his type of course.

2) Tom Terrific nearly made his own U.S. Open history

I’ll write this cautiously, as I’m certain I would have intimated in the 1980s and 90s that Colin Montgomerie and Lee Westwood would have been major champions by now. Tommy Fleetwood ought to win one of these things soon. His record-tying 63 was a short putt away from a record-breaking 62. Eight birdies against a single bogey was the stuff of legend, and if only he had trusted that final putt a bit higher on the break … that’s not fair. Fleetwood right now is the fellow to watch at Carnoustie next month. Bet a few quid or bob or whatever on the Southport native, as he should contend for the title.

1) Brooks cooks up a winning broth

It’s easy to look back and see all the great shots that the defending champion hit over the four days of the 2018 U.S. Open, shots that would win him his second consecutive trophy. Remember that 60-feet bomb to save par on Saturday? Shades of Costantino Rocca. How about the approach shots to within mere feet that earned him 5 birdies on Sunday, including a competition-killer on 16? Koepka was the guy we thought Dustin Johnson would be. Perhaps it was the time off for wrist rehabilitation early this season that gave him the burning desire to win. Out for nearly 4 months, Koepka had plenty of time to ponder what he achieved last June in Wisconsin, and what might lay ahead for him. The begged question is, does the most recent, two-time major winner have the game to acquire more of the game’s cherished trophies?

Related: Brooks Koepka’s Winning WITB from the 2018 U.S. Open

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Wednesday’s Photos from the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills

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GolfWRX is live from the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club (par 70; 7,440 yards) in Southhampton, New York. The U.S. Open returns to Shinnecock for the first time since 2004 when Retief Goosen won (he failed to qualify for the 2018 event).

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Phil Mickelson, who has two top-5 finishes at Shinnecock Hills, will seek to fill out his career Grand Slam with a win this week. Also, it’s Tiger Woods’ 10-year anniversary of winning the legendary 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines — that was his most recent major championship victory.

Also in the field are headliners Dustin Johnson (now ranked No. 1 in the Official World Golf Rankings), Justin Thomas (No. 2), Justin Rose (No. 3), Jon Rahm (No. 4) and Jordan Spieth (No. 5).

Brooks Koepka (No. 9) is the defending champion; he won last year by four shots for his first and only major so far in his career.

Check out our photos from Shinnecock Hills below!

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Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums

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