Belfast Telegraph

The Masters – story of the final round

Reed carded a final round of 71 at Augusta National to finish 15 under par and a shot ahead of Fowler.

Rory McIlroy suffered more Masters misery as Patrick Reed held off the challenge of Ryder Cup team-mates Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth to claim his first major title in the Masters.

Reed carded a final round of 71 at Augusta National to finish 15 under par and a shot ahead of Fowler, with 2015 champion Spieth another stroke back after an astonishing challenge faltered at the last.

Spieth had rallied from nine shots behind at the start of the day to claim a share of the lead with his ninth birdie of the day on the 16th, setting up the chance to equal the course record of 63 or even match the major championship mark of 62.

But a terrible drive on the 18th for the second time this week led to a crucial bogey and more Augusta demons, after he squandered a five-shot lead with nine to play in 2016 in defence of his title.

Fowler looked out of contention after playing the first seven holes in one over par, but birdied six of the last 11 – including the last – to keep the pressure on Reed, who held his nerve in admirable fashion.

Tweet of the day

Shot of the day

Jordan Spieth’s shot from the pine straw on the 13th was more spectacular, but Reed’s approach to the 14th proved absolutely pivotal, setting up the birdie from eight feet to regain a lead which he held until the end.

Round of the day

Spieth began the day nine shots off the pace, but raced to the turn in 31 and added four more birdies on the back nine to raise the possibility of “pulling off the impossible” and claiming a second green jacket. Even a terrible tee shot on the last should not take the gloss off a thrilling display.

Quote of the day

“Growing up, everyone always dreamed about winning Augusta, winning the Masters. It’s almost impossible to put into words.” – The normally gregarious Reed struggles to sum up his achievement.

Statistic of the day

Jordan Spieth came up short, but added to his remarkable record in the Masters.

Toughest hole

For the second time the 11th played as the toughest hole with an average of 4.321. Just three birdies were made at the start of Amen Corner and Reed was one of 16 players to make bogey on the daunting par four.

Easiest hole

The par-five 13th was also the easiest hole for the second time in the week and had an average, at 4.283, lower than the 11th. There were three eagles and 33 birdies from the 53-man field, although the most significant score was a par from Reed after his approach stuck in the bank rather than rolling back into Rae’s Creek.

On the up

Patrick Reed’s hopes of justifying his famous claim of being a “top five player in the world” after his win lifted him to 11th in the updated rankings.

On the slide

Rory McIlroy’s prospects of completing the career grand slam after a disappointing final round of 74 meant he tamely surrendered his best chance to date.

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