Published: Thu, April 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Highs and lows from the 2018 Masters

Highs and lows from the 2018 Masters

To say that golf is the most psychological of all major games is so commonplace that it sometimes seems the question ought to be: "Among the greatest players, all of them within tiny fractions of a stroke per round of each other in average score, is golf anything but psychology?" "He won't back down".

"He is the best player I have ever seen", said Graeme McDowell of the 2011 US Open victor, the youngest to lift the trophy since Bobby Jones in 1923, the first to finish the competition 16 shots under par. You feel like you have a whole nation on your back. And yeah I thought it was a little ridiculous going into the masters that he was being even considered one of the favorites to take this whole tournament. It's one thing to win a Masters like Danny Willett or Charl Schwartzel did.

Patrick Reed has won the 82nd edition of the US Masters and our man's analysed it all with his customary recap here.

And finally his long range effort on the 17th is again trundling way past the hole and probably off the edge of the green, smacks the pin, and rebounds close enough for Reed to save par.

McIlroy, meanwhile, will have to wait another year for a shot at the career Grand Slam. Every time Reed hit a shot it landed by the pin. McIlroy's putter betrayed him - he missed four putts inside 10 feet on the front nine - and he was never a factor on the back nine. Instead, he tied for fifth. "I mean, I have no idea, and honestly I don't really care what people say on Twitter or what they say if they are cheering for me or not cheering for me", he recently said, when asked why he isn't a fan favourite.

Reed is old-school among his generation, with a brash attitude and a willingness to speak his mind. But as inevitable as winning a major seemed for Reed, it seems just as certain that he isn't done. He has never been terribly popular in this state, mainly because of allegations of bad behavior while playing for Georgia that led to an early departure from the Bulldogs. Reed and Augusta State went on to win two national titles. "I've been waiting for this chance, to be honest", McIlroy insisted, adding that he was ready this time. "I'm just out here to play golf and try to win golf tournaments", was his cold-blooded reply.

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He has not had contact with his parents since 2012 and they did not attend his wedding. But if you see some of the negativity surrounding Reed this weekend on social media, now you'll understand some of the resentment.

The 14-time major championship victor carded a 1-over-par 73 in the first round on Thursday.

While not able to consistently produce the type of shots he once conjured on command, Woods twice triggered loud roars when he almost aced the par-3 fourth and then again at the par-5 15th when his second shot stopped 29 feet from the pin before he converted the eagle putt.

He had to get up-and-down behind the green on the par-5 15th for par. Reed bumbled his way to a bogey five but Rory managed par and when the Irishman hit a magnificent second shot on the par five second to four feet, he looked certain to make eagle to tie the lead.

When his hopes faded, Fowler took up the mantle with six birdies in the last 11 holes to finish second, and he kept Reed on his toes right until the last hole. He made all pars from there.

He became the fourth straight Masters champion to capture his first major. There have been 11 different winners of the last 11 majors. He did it by playing steady to protect a three-shot lead as some of the biggest names in golf tried to chase him down. It also comes with a green jacket, which is worth far more notoriety, not to mention respect.

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