2018 MASTERS / Patrick Reed holds off Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth to claim first major

A dramatic back nine that saw Jordan Spieth roar through the field has finished with Patrick Reed wearing the green jacket.

Patrick Reed has claimed his first major victory after holding off late surges from Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler to win the 2018 Masters Tournament by one stroke.

Reed, who attended two universities in the state of Georgia made par at the final five holes at Augusta National, made a superb two-putt par from above the hole to win after the pressure was applied originally from Jordan Spieth and then late from Rickie Fowler.

McIlroy made birdie at the par-5 second hole to get within one shot of Reed but bogeys at the third, fifth and then eighth holes saw McIlroy make the turn four back of Reed.

Reed by this stage wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary but he looked calm and very much in control of the tournament.

It was Jordan Spieth who first had a go at catching Reed. A four under par opening nine has seen Spieth close to within four shots of Reed and momentum kept the 2015 Masters champ firing through the back nine.

Birdies at the 12th, 13th, 15th and 16th has the Augusta patrons in raptures.

But the momentum stopped a little as Spieth’s makeable birdie putt on 17 slid past the hole and then came the drive at the 18th.

Spieth attempted a high fade down the narrow chute at the 18th at Augusta and clipped a tree branch knocking the ball straight down and still 150 yards from the start of the fairway.

Two shots later and Spieth still had a very good look at par but this too slid past the hole and he had to settle for a 13-under tournament total, eventually finishing in outright third place.

Spieth’s record at The Masters is now T2, 1, T2, T11 and a 3rd place finish.

Rickie Fowler also chased Reed down with three birdies on the back nine including a birdie at the last which meant Reed was facing par for victory.

Unlike many Masters Tournaments, there were no back nine meltdowns today at Augusta National. Although Spieth and Fowler did everything they could to apply the pressure on Reed, he was composed right until the final putt.

The two-putt from a difficult position from the front of the green at the 17th and the tricky downhill putt on the 18th showed everyone why Reed is one of the fiercest competitors in golf. And he now has a major to show for it.

Australians Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman had great final rounds to see both of them book their invitation to next year’s tournament thanks to top-10 finishes.

Smith was sensational with the driver on Sunday and set himself up for birdie after birdie, eventually carding a 6-under par 66 and finishing in a toe for fifth place along side Bubba Watson, Henrik Stenson and Rory McIlroy. It was Smith’s first top-5 in a major since his major championship debut at the US Open in 2015.

Just a shot further back at 8-under par was Marc Leishman who got his putter warmed up again to close with five birdies in his closing seven holes to finish in outright ninth place.

Jason Day finished in a tie for 20th at 2-under par and Adam Scott has his second consecutive round under par to finished the tournament at 1-over par and must be wishing the tournament was only just getting started.

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