Patrick Reed of the USA held off the charge of his countrymen Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth to win the U.S. Masters by a single stroke. Reed secured his first Major title in a rollercoaster final round at Augusta National.

Reed holds off Fowler and Spieth to win US Masters

Patrick Reed of the USA held off the charge of his countrymen Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth to win the U.S. Masters by a single stroke. Reed secured his first Major title in a rollercoaster final round at Augusta National.

Reed began the final round of the 2018 U.S. Masters at Augusta National Golf Club with a three shot lead over Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy. Many were expecting the last 18-holes to turn into a two-horse race between those two. It didn’t happen that way.

Reed got off to a slow start with a bogey on the first hole and, when McIlroy put his second to within feet of the cup on the par-5 2nd, it looked as though the American’s lead would be wiped out entirely. But McIlroy missed his short eagle putt and that set the tone for his final round. The Northern Irishman missed a succession of makeable putts as his challenge steadily fell apart.

“It’s hard to take any positives” – Watch McIlroy reflect on the final day:

Reed bounced back from his nervy start with a birdie on the 3rd hole. His resilience was a theme through the remainder of the round. The American dropped a shot at 6th but struck back with a birdie on the 7th. Another dropped stroke at the 11th was countered with a gain at the 12th. Each time he looked like succumbing to the pressure he bounced back to keep the chasing pack at bay.

As McIlroy struggled with the putter, others emerged as the most significant challengers to Reed’s lead.

2015 Masters champion Jordan Spieth raced to the turn in 31 to reach 10-under-par and put himself right in contention. Spieth continued to press on through the back nine with further gains at the 12th, 13th, 15th and 16th holes. Reaching 14-under-par, Spieth was tied with Reed at the top of the board until Reed birdied the 14th to reach 15-under.

Jordan Spieth made a charge on Sunday

Jordan Spieth made a charge on Sunday

Spieth needed a birdie on the final hole to set a course record of 62 and post 15-under. But his tee shot on the 18th struck a tree, leaving the green out of reach in two. He was unable to get up and down for par and he signed for a 64 and a closing total of 13-under.

Rickie Fowler still had a chance to put the pressure on Reed though. He had birdied the 12th, 13th and 15th holes to reach 13-under. A clutch birdie on the home hole saw Fowler into the clubhouse on 14-under.

Rickie Fowler pushed to the line but came up one shot shy

Rickie Fowler pushed to the line but came up one shot shy

Reed had just missed a birdie putt on the 16th and then made an incredible two-putt par on the 17th. He needed one more par to claim the victory and his first Major title. He found the fairway with his drive, the green with his second and, two putts later he was the Masters champion for 2018.

Patrick Reed wins U.S. Masters

Patrick Reed wins the Masters

Fowler finished one shot back in second place with Spieth alone in third. Spain’s Jon Rahm was fourth while Rory McIlroy fell back into a tie for fifth place with Bubba Watson, Henrik Stenson and Cameron Smith.

U.S. Masters
Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Georgia
Apr 5-8
Purse: $11,000,000 Par: 72

Watch: Patrick Reed and Rickie Fowler’s post-Masters press conference:

1 Patrick Reed (USA) 69 66 67 71 273
2 Rickie Fowler (USA) 70 72 65 67 274
3 Jordan Spieth (USA) 66 74 71 64 275
4 Jon Rahm (Esp) 75 68 65 69 277
T5 Cameron Smith (Aus) 71 72 70 66 279
T5 Bubba Watson (USA) 73 69 68 69 279
T5 Henrik Stenson (Swe) 69 70 70 70 279
T5 Rory McIlroy (NIR) 69 71 65 74 279
9 Marc Leishman (Aus) 70 67 73 70 280
T10 Tony Finau (USA) 68 74 73 66 281
T10 Dustin Johnson (USA) 73 68 71 69 281

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage