The 2018 Masters provided a world-class leaderboard and plenty of final round thrills on Sunday, but Patrick Reed outlasted them all to win his first major championship.
After shooting in the 60s each of the first three days of the tournament, Reed only needed a one-under 71 on Sunday to win, finishing at 15-under overall. He handled the flows of championship Sunday well, responding to each bogey with a birdie shortly after and not flinching when Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler reached 14-under to put pressure on the 27-year old Texan. And Reed did it all while playing with Rory McIlroy, who didn't provide the one-on-one thrills many expected, but instead shot a 2-over 74 while paired with the eventual champion to finish in a tie for fifth.
Here's how the top of the leaderboard looked at the end of Sunday:
1. Patrick Reed (-15): Before last August, Reed didn't have a single top-10 finish in a major. He finished in a tie for second at the PGA Championship last year, but now finally has a major win to his name. Reed has always viewed himself as one of the best golfers in the world and after besting Fowler, Spieth, Rahm, McIlroy and more, he's got some results to back up that confidence.
2. Rickie Fowler (-14): At some point, Fowler is going to break through at a major. His solo second place finish at the Masters gives him a top-three finish in every major championship, and his 67 on Sunday showed an ability to close strong.
3. Jordan Spieth (-13): The stuff Spieth did at Augusta on Sundayin Masters history, but it's worth much less without a green jacket to go with the performance. Spieth's bogey on 18 left him one stroke short of tying the course record, leaving the highlights of a nine-birdie 64 two shots from a second win at Augusta.
4. Jon Rahm (-11): At just 23 years old, Rahm will be expected to land back in the top five at The Masters in the future and will certainly be considered one of the favorites to win at the rest of the majors in 2018. In total, Rahm has probably three or four holes he wishes he could re-do, and avoiding mistakes on those three or four holes are probably the difference in a top-five finish and contending to win.
T5. Cameron Smith (-9): Smith's late charge up the leaderboard fell below the radar with Reed and Rory, Fowler and Rahm, Spieth and JT demanding so much attention, but his six-birdie showing on the final nine holes of the tournament capped what was a very steady showing for the 24-year-old Australian.
T5. Bubba Watson (-9): The two-time Masters champion played some exhilarating golf over the weekend, but never really sniffed a shot at chasing down Reed. An eagle at 13 and a birdie at 16 highlighted his Sunday round of 69 to secure his fifth-ever top-five finish in a major and only top-10 finish at The Masters outside of his wins in 2012 and 2014.
T5. Henrik Stenson (-9): After hitting the ball well enough to contend at The Masters, where Stenson had no top-10 finishes in 12 appearances prior to this year, putting was the only thing holding him back from a run at the green jacket.
T5. Rory McIlroy (-9): A disappointing 74 for McIlroy on a day where his potential Grand Slam-winning contention was the story heading into the final round of play.
9. Marc Leishman (-8): After an uneventful 17-par, one-bogey 73 caused Leishman to slip down the leaderboard on moving day, the Australian uncorked a six-birdie, four-bogey 70 to move back up into the top 10 on Sunday. The "Big Game Hunter" showed stellar stuff early in the week to anchor his second top-10 finish at The Masters since 2013.
T10. Dustin Johnson, Tony Finau (-7): DJ should be pleased with his week here, but Finau will be ecstatic when you consider roller coaster of his week. Finau shot a 68 one day after dislocating his ankle celebrating a hole-in-one at the Par 3 Contest, then fell back to Earth with over-par rounds on Friday and Saturday, only to close his first-ever Masters appearance with six straight birdies and finish in the top 10.
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