The first four events have given golf fans a little bit of everything such as big improvers to coronavirus cases – to trying to pick a winner.
Winning the 82nd edition of The Masters places Patrick Reed among those who now wear the tournament’s famous green jacket. The American golfer finished one stroke ahead of Rickie Fowler, posting a final round 71 (-1) for 273 (-15).
As he walked up the 18th fairway to make his winning puts, the applause was noticeably quiet. Here was a guy about to win his first Masters, and the crowd was much louder for a Tiger Woods par-putt. What gives?
It turns out, Reed isn’t super popular among golf fans, and even other golfers.
Part of this is because he’s cocky, brash, and a bit of a jerk. In 2014, he claimed he was a top-five player in the world after only his third win. For a golfer, that’s a huge faux pas – one that goes against the spirit of the game.
There have been cheating claims from his time at Georgia, accusations of stealing money from teammates, and suspensions at Augusta State for cheating as well – all of which he denies.
Add in the fact that he didn’t invite his parents to his own wedding and you can understand why people weren’t crazy that he was winning the big one.
Still, you have to hand it to him for pulling off such an amazing feat. Here’s how it went down.
2018 Masters review
The Masters is always a great time to celebrate the long and storied tradition of golf, especially with over 25 million Americans considering themselves golfers.
The first Masters was in 1934, with Horton Smith the winner. The tournament continues strong today, when golf is a sport that millions play casually and competitively, with its popularity on the rise – the 2018 Masters Sunday ratings eclipsed last year by 14 per cent.
Tony Finau entered the morning of the first round uncertain to compete, having suffered a gruesome ankle injury the day prior, during the Par-3 contest. Although some feared it was broken upon seeing the footage, Finau fortunately escaped with a mere dislocation, which was quickly remedied, and he finished two shots back of Jordan Spieth.
Eyes were on Tiger, playing the Masters for the first time since 2015, who started rough – with a three-over after a bogey entering the 13th – though finished nicely with a 73 (+1).
Defending champion Sergio Garcia was not long for competition this year, hitting five balls in a row into the water. Garcia had the highest score on the 15th hole in Masters history, again reminding golf fans that even the best can have terrible days.
Reed was in excellent form during the second round, making nine birdies and three bogies to finish 66 (-6). Marc Leishman followed closely behind at 67 (-5). Spieth had a rough round, for his lofty standards, of 74 (+2), finishing the day at -4 alongside Rory McIlroy. Woods’ 75 (+3) managed to make the cut.
Reed continued his fantastic play, finishing with a round of 67 and a three-shot lead. His three consecutive birdies on holes 8, 9 and 10 pushed him to the score after an initial even performance.
McIlory also made noise, with 31 on the first nine, rebounding with birdes on the 15th and 18th for a round of 65, finishing three behind Reed.
Bogey-free performances from Fowler and John Rahm were also notable, as was Leishman’s descent from two shots out of the lead to eight shots behind, along with Bubba Watson and Tommy Fleetwood.
Reed and McIlroy were first and second at the beginning of the final round and that’s how the Masters results stayed, with Reed taking first place and the prize money of $1,980,000, one shot ahead of McIlroy.
Spieth made a spirited climb, finishing third and two shots behind after being nine shots behind at the third round’s conclusion. The 18th hole did Spieth in, his shot hitting a tree and unable to reach par.
Still, the round of 64 (-8) was enough to inch him to third and a $748,000 prize, behind McIlroy’s $1,188,000.
The 82nd Masters was competitive throughout, with Reed taking the lead and never letting go from the second round’s conclusion onward. Still, there were ample and active threats behind him from the likes of McIlroy, Spieth, Rahm, Henrik Stenson, Leishman, Watson and Fleetwood.
Despite the lack of love for the overall winner, the Masters proved to be a great watch for golf fans, per usual.