With a final-round, 1-under-par 36-35=71 and 72-hole aggregate of 15-under 273, overnight leader and World No. 24 Patrick Reed won the 2018 Masters by one shot over countrymen Rickie Fowler (67), and two clear of past champion Jordan Spieth (64).
The 27-year-old, a pre-tourney 50/1 outright, bags his first major title in 17 major appearances and eclipses a previous-best T2 at the 2017 PGA Championship.
It’s his sixth PGA TOUR title in 166 events, first since the 2016 Barclays – a FedExCup Playoffs event – 1 year, 8 months and 45 starts ago.
Clearly on a mission, the Augusta University product wins in his fifth Masters, brushing aside a prior-best T22 in 2015.
The Ryder Cup stalwart, dubbed “Captain America” due to his prowess for Team USA, ends a streak of two straight European winners.
Though not a long shot, Reed is a surprise winner at Augusta National Golf Club. He was red hot on arrival, checking in off three straight top-10 finishes, but his record at the season’s first major was marginal at best. More on that later.
Decked out in Sunday pink, instead of his tradition Sunday red polo – which he has worn as a tribute to Tiger Woods – the Texan took down the world’s elite with a steely determination, including former World No. 1 and four-time major winner Rory McIlroy. More on that final-round pairing later as well.
With no official equipment contract, Reed has a potpourri of weapons in the bag (six different manufacturers). While not with Nike Golf (for hard goods) since midway through the 2013 season, he does utilize one Nike club, a VR Pro 3-wood, and did re-sign with them for 2018 (head-to-toe apparel and footwear). Reed stated the switch to pink was on direction from Nike and had nothing to do with Tiger. Okay. It matched the green jacket just fine.
Woods, in Sunday red (and black), finished T32 on 1-over 289 (73-75-72-69), 16 shots back of his Nike-clad compatriot. That concludes Masters scripts BTW.
It's the first time the 42-year-old has competed in a major since a missed cut at the PGA in August, 2015 (rounds of 75-73), and the first time he’s completed four rounds in a major since T17 – three years ago this week – at the 2015 Masters (73-69-68-73).
With the win, Reed vaults 13 places to 11th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His career high is 7th in October, 2016.
He improves to 9-for-13 on the season with seven top 25s and four top 10s, four straight:
Season Form: 1-9-7-2-37-MC-MC-17-23-MC-MC
For the week, Reed ranked 1st in Birdies (with 22); Par-4 Scoring (3.85); Par-5 Scoring (4.19); Putts per Hole (1.44) and Total Putts (104). #Lethal
Reed at Majors (boom or bust):
Since a T49 at the Masters two years ago, Reed missed three cuts in his next seven majors, BUT, finished T13 or better in the other four, including a T2 at the last major, the 2017 PGA at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, NC.
Overall, this was his eighth top-25 finish in 17 majors but just a second top 10. For emphasis, however, his two top 10s now read T2 and 1st. It’s also the first time that he’s connected four straight sub-par rounds.
Reed’s Major Career:
12: cuts made (70.0%)
8: top 25s (47.0%)
2: top 10s (11.7%)
2: top 5s (11.7%)
1: win (5.8%)
Reed’s last nine major starts: 1-2-MC-13-MC-13-12-MC-49
There’s too many out there to list here, besides, you already know most of them, but this is one that’s developing based on the TOUR schedule.
Reed is the third straight winner to play the WGC-Match Play (two weeks prior) but skip the Houston Open:
2018: Reed: T9 at Match Play; played four matches (3-1-0 record); won Group 4, lost in Round of 16 (on Saturday morning) to Alex Noren 5-and-3
2017: Garcia: T30, Match Play; played three matches (1-1-1)
2016: Willett: T28, Match Play; played three matches (1-1-1)
Depending on the yet-to-be-released schedule for 2018-19, this will probably change, but that remains to be seen. Willett and Garcia both missed the cut this week.
Final Leaderboard (pre-tourney odds outright):
1- Patrick Reed (50/1)
2- Rickie Fowler (25/1)
3- Jordan Spieth (10/1); co-fave
4- Jon Rahm (25/1)
Last six Masters winners:
Reed: 50/1 outright
None of the above were pre-tourney faves/co-faves.
Dating to the 2015 Masters, the pre-tourney fave/co-fave has won just two of the last 17 majors, and it’s the same person:
Spieth: 2017 Open Championship (12/1)
Spieth: 2015 U.S. Open (8/1) co-fave
Spieth, a 10/1 co-fave this week with McIlroy, came close again.
He was the first-round leader (by two) with 66 and closed with a week-low 64 (nine birdies, one bogey), up six places on the day, but started too far back. The 3-time major winner began nine adrift after middle laps of 74 and 71. Had he gone on to win, it would’ve been the largest final-round comeback in Masters history (eight shots).
Making his 21st start in a major, the 64 does match his low, shot in R1 of the 2015 Masters. The Texan rode that 64 to a wire-to-wire victory for his first major title (ninth start), and then won the above-mentioned U.S. Open (Chambers Bay) in his next major start. He is the most recent player to win back-to-back major starts.
Spieth is now 5-for-5 at ANGC with four top 10s and four top 3s. His worst finish was last year (T11), T4 thru 54 holes.
Reed’s Position by Round:
Note: Dating to the 2006 Masters, Reed is the 13th straight winner that was in the top 10 after Round 1, and second straight at T4 (Garcia). The last player to win from outside the top 10 after R1 was Woods in 2005 (T33).
Leader/co-leaders by Round:
R1: Spieth (finished 3rd): Drops to 3-for-8 as 18-hole leader/co-leader
R2: Reed (Won): Improves to 5-for-8 as 36-hole leader/co-leader (two straight)
R3: Reed (Won): Improves to 4-for-6 as 54-hole leader/co-leader
Prior to this week, Reed had not led or co-led after any round this season in 12 starts. He was, however, in the top 10 in six of his last eight rounds, six straight, finishing T7 at the Arnold Palmer (to winner McIlroy), and T2 at the Valspar. Reed was also in the top 10 in three of four rounds at the last major (2017 PGA).
Previous to this week, Reed had led/co-led just one time in 54 major rounds. He was T1 thru 36 holes at the 2015 U.S. Open, eventually finishing T14.
His best position after any round in four previous Masters was T12 after Round 1 in 2015, leading to his previous-best finish of T22 (70-72-74-70). Those 70s in Rounds 1 and 4 were his previous-best rounds at the Masters.
Field Scoring Average:
This was the 82ndplaying of the Masters, all at August National.
Par: 72 (36-36)
Reed’s rounds: 69-66-67-71
If there were strokes gained stats:
With 87 players, there wasn’t a traditional early/late, late/early draw per se. That said, we’ve noted the top-four players and their first-round (Thursday) tee times (EDT).
Reed (Won): 11:15 AM
Fowler (2nd): 1:27 PM
Spieth (3rd): 1:49 PM
Rahm (4th): 1:38 PM
Note: Reed is the first winner with an AM start time in Round 1 since Charl Schwartzel (11:03) in 2011, ending a streak of six straight PMers.
A total of 53 players (52 pros, 1 amateur) from a field of 81 pros and 6 amateurs made the 36-hole cut of 5-over 149:
Doug Ghim: Of the six amateurs, the 21-year-old was the only one to make the weekend. Making his major championship and TOUR debut, he finished T50 on 8-over 296 (72-76-74-74) to claim the silver cup.
The University of Texas senior, in via a runner-up finish at the 2017 U.S. Amateur, totaled 10 birdies against 18 bogeys and three doubles, and led the field in eagles with three, the most memorable of which was a 179-yard, hole-out 2 at the 18th on Day 1.
The Arlington Heights, Illinois, native entered the week No. 5 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. He was the Big 12 Player of the Year in 2017 and a member of the U.S. Palmer and Walker Cup teams.
Final-Round Pairing (Reed vs. McIlroy):
23 of the last 28 Masters winners came out of the final pairing on Sunday.
Overall, this was the fifth time on TOUR that Reed and McIlroy have played together but first time in the final round. Most recently, they were together in Rounds 1 and 2 of the 2015 Wells Fargo, with McIlroy going on to win the tourney and Reed finishing T58.
Prior to that, they were paired in Rounds 1 and 2 at the 2014 Masters with Reed missing the cut and McIlroy finishing T8.
Of the five rounds total, McIlroy has bettered Reed three times (71.80 scoring average), with Reed claiming two rounds (72.60), including 71 versus 74 on Sunday.
For McIlroy, this was his second time in the final pairing on Sunday at the Masters. He was the 54-hole leader by four in 2011 and shot 80 to finish T15. Comparatively, McIlroy was six shots better this time around but is now 10-over on Sunday at the Masters from the final pairing.
This was his fourth attempt at the career Grand Slam and fourth top 10, though this was the first time in serious contention, and it didn’t go well. He conjured eight greens in regulation and missed four putts from 5 feet or less, most notably, a 4-footer for eagle at the par-5 second. The Ulsterman settled for a four-way T5 on 9-under 279, a distant six in arrears. His most recent (of four) major titles is the 2014 PGA (Valhalla).
Seven of the 28-year-old's 14 TOUR titles have been in come-from-behind fashion but none of those were at majors.
Rickie Fowler: Playing out of the penultimate twosome with Rahm (69), the World No. 8 hung up a 5-under-par 35-32=67 in the final round to conclude on 14-under 274, up one spot to solo 2nd.
It’s his fifth straight top 25 in majors, second only to Hideki Matsuyama for the longest active top-25 streak in majors, who now has six straight. Matsuyama, in his third event since returning from a wrist injury incurred at the 2018 Phoenix Open, finished 19th this week.
For Fowler, he was making his 33rd major start and logs his eighth top 10, second straight after T5 at the 2017 PGA. It’s his third runner-up, joining T2s at the 2014 Open and the 2014 U.S. Open.
Chasing his fifth TOUR title in 205 events, first since the 2017 Honda Classic, the 29-year-old settles for a 13thrunner-up, second this season in nine starts (OHL Classic).
It’s his fourth top 25 in eight Masters and second top 10 (T5/2014). The Oklahoma State product dropped a 7-footer for birdie on the 72nd hole to post the clubhouse lead, his sixth circle on the day against one bogey, but came up one shy in the end as Reed would use the flat stick two times from 24 feet for the win.
Overall, 11 players finished in the top 10 with the top 12 and ties earning return trips to the Masters (if not otherwise exempt):
Patrick Reed (Won); Rickie Fowler (2nd); Jordan Spieth (3rd); Jon Rahm (4th); Cameron Smith (T5); Bubba Watson (T5); Henrik Stenson (T5); Rory McIlroy (T5); Marc Leishman (9th); Tony Finau (T10); Dustin Johnson (T10)
Oosthuizen’s was the most remarkable, considering he was the worst in the field with eight 3-putts.
129: cuts made (77.7%)
76: top 25s (45.7%)
32: top 10s (19.2%)
11: top 3s (6.6%)
6: wins (3.6%)
Wins by Season:
2018: 1 (166th event)
2013: 1 (38th event); first-time member, not rookie
As you can see, Reed didn't win in 2017, which bothered him.
His stated goal for 2018? Return to the winner's circle.
Goal accomplished. #BigTime
Through 23 events this season:
7 winners were in their 20s (Reed: age 27)
11 were in their 30s
5 were in their 40s
In majors, Reed is the fourth straight winner in their 20s and is the fourth consecutive first-time major winner at the Masters.
Season Leaders in Top-10 Finishes:
7: Brian Harman
Consecutive Top 10s on TOUR:
4: Patrick Reed (1-T9-T7-T2)
3: Henrik Stenson (T5-T6-4)
2: Jordan Spieth (3-T3)
2: Keith Mitchell (T6-2)
2: Paul Dunne (T8-T5); non-member
Consecutive Top-10 streaks ended at:
4: Justin Thomas (T17-4-P2-P1-T9)
3: Sergio Garcia (MC-T9-4-T7)
2: Ian Poulter (T44-P1-T5)
2: Matt Kuchar (T28-T8-T9)
2: Tiger Woods (T32-T5-T2)
Reed’s Weekly Stats (ranking of 53 players):
Eagles: 2 (T2)
Birdies: 22 (1st)
Bogeys: 11 (T14)
Par-3 Scoring: 3.25 (T43)
Par-4 Scoring: 3.85 (1st)
Par-5 Scoring: 4.19 (1st)
Driving Distance (all drives): 298.5 yards (6th)
Driving Accuracy: 41/56 (T13) at 73.21%
Greens in Regulation: 48/72 (T21) at 66.67%
Putts per Hole: 1.44 (1st)
Total Putts: 104 (1st)
Putts by Round: 26-25-28-25
Scrambling: 15/24 (T16) at 62.50%
All Around: (2nd)
R1: 66: Jordan Spieth
R2: 66: Patrick Reed
R4: 64: Jordan Spieth
Updated Top 10 in FEC standings (points):
Reed collects 600 FEC points for the victory and jumps 22 places to 5th in the FEC standings. Justin Thomas (T17) remains No. 1 in the standings for an eighth event in a row and a seventh overall week this season:
1. Justin Thomas (1,769)
2. Patton Kizzire (1,329)
3. Bubba Watson (1,281); UP one
4. Phil Mickelson (1,248); DOWN one
5. Patrick Reed (1,161); UP 22
6. Jon Rahm (1,139)
7. Dustin Johnson (1,129); DOWN two
8. Justin Rose (1,014); DOWN one
9. Tony Finau (1,006); DOWN one
10. Paul Casey (947)
Updated Top 10 in OWGR:
With a Strength of Field rating of 794 (up from 782 last year), Reed banks 100.00 world-ranking points and jumps 13 spots to 11th in OWGR.
3. Jordan Spieth; UP one
4. Jon Rahm; DOWN one
5. Justin Rose
6. Rickie Fowler; UP two
7. Rory McIlroy
8. Hideki Matsuyama; DOWN two
9. Brooks Koepka; UP one
10. Sergio Garcia
Field Breakdown & Top-10 Finishes:
OWGR field average: 303rd
OWGR average for top-10 finishers: 16th
24 of the Top 25 in OWGR were in the field
9 finished in the top 10
49 of the Top 50 OWGR
11 finished in the top 10
No. 1 Dustin Johnson (T10)
No. 3 Jon Rahm (4th)
No. 4 Jordan Spieth (3rd); co-fave
No. 7 Rory McIlroy (T5); co-fave
No. 8 Rickie Fowler (2nd)
No. 14 Henrik Stenson (T5)
No. 16 Marc Leishman (9th)
No. 19 Bubba Watson (T5)
No. 24 Patrick Reed (Won)
No. 34 Tony Finau (T10)
No. 45 Cameron Smith (T5)
No. 2 Justin Thomas (T17)
No. 5 Justin Rose (T12)
No. 6 Hideki Matsuyama (19th)
No. 9 Sergio Garcia (CUT); defender
No. 11 Jason Day (T20)
No. 12 Tommy Fleetwood (T17)
No. 13 Paul Casey (T15)
No. 15 Alex Noren (CUT)
No. 18 Phil Mickelson (T36)
Top-10 finishes: 1
Tony Finau: After being a huge question mark to even start the tournament – suffering a dislocated (left) ankle while celebrating a hole-in-one in Wednesday’s Par-3 Contest – the 28-year-old was top debutant with T10 on 7-under 281 (68-74-73-66).
In the finale, he was even-par thru 11 holes, but then went on a six-birdie run beginning at the par-3 12th.
Overall, this was the Utahan’s eighth major, fourth top 25 and second top 10, matching his best of T10 at the 2015 PGA (Whistling Straits). He was the only first-timer this week to finish in the top 25.
Season Form: 10-24-17-MC-27-2-MC-6-32
OWGR: 32nd (UP two); career high
Picking a Winner:
15 (of 23) winners this season had a top-25 finish the start prior (65.2%):
Reed? Yes: T9 (Match Play)
9 (of 23) winners had a top-10 finish the start prior (39.0%)
Reed? Yes: T9 (Match Play)
Average winner’s pre-tourney odds outright (rounded). Last nine:
Reed: 50/1 (Masters)
Poulter: 66/1 (Houston Open)
Watson: 50/1 (WGC-Match Play)
Garnett: 50/1 (Corales)
McIlroy: 16/1 (API)
Casey: 20/1 (Valspar)
Mickelson: 25/1 (WGC-Mexico)
Thomas: 10/1 (Honda)
Watson: 50/1 (Genesis)