Reed wins debut major at Masters

Patrick Reed has donned the coveted Masters green jacket after holding on to a gutsy victory at Augusta National.

American golfer Patrick Reed. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The 27-year-old from Texas started the final round with a three-shot lead, but a one-under-par 71 was enough to earn a 15 under total and a one-shot win over world No 8 Rickie Fowler (67) on Monday (NZ time).

“It was always going to be tough; trying to close off (any) golf tournament is hard,” Reed said in the Butler Cabin.

“To close off a major … it‘s almost impossible to put into words.

“Just to make the putt on the last, to know I‘ve won my first major, meant so much to me.”

Reed is the fourth straight first-time major winner at Augusta, following Jordan Spieth, Danny Willett and Sergio Garcia.

Earning his first win on golf‘s major championship stage, Reed also held off a stern challenge from Spieth – the 2015 Masters champion carding a 64 to finish solo third at 13 under.

Spanish world No 3 Jon Rahm (69) finished outright fourth at 11 under.

The final day was billed as a match-up between Ryder Cup rivals and final group playing partners Reed and Rory McIlroy.

But four-time major winner McIlroy, who needed a Masters victory to complete the career grand slam, missed a short putt for eagle at the par-5 second and never got out of first gear during a disappointing 74.

The true challenge came from Reed‘s Ryder Cup teammate Spieth, who racked up nine birdies in 16 holes before a bogey at the 18th cruelled any hope of a second Masters title.

“I knew every shot coming down the stretch was important, so I‘m obviously pretty gutted at the finish,” Spieth said.

“But it was a phenomenal day; I think I‘ve proven to myself and to others that you never give up.”

Meanwhile, 14-time major winner Tiger Woods finished one-over par for the tournament after a final round three-under 69.

It closed a disappointing Masters effort after fever pitch levels of hype coming into his first competitive trip to Augusta in three years.

Paul Casey (five under) threatened the Augusta course record on his way to a 65, but bogeys at the final two holes cost Casey a share of the record 63 held by Nick Price (third round, 1986) and Greg Norman (first round, 1996).

– AAP