As always, the brainchild of Bobby Jones is always full of thrills and jam-packed story lines. The 2018 Masters Tournament was no different. So instead of writing a bunch of rhetoric let’s jump right into it.
I think a suitable place to begin is with the story of Doug Whim who finished as the Low Amateur at the 2018 Masters Tournament. Ghim found his way to Augusta by finishing as the runner-up at the 2017 U.S. Amateur Championship. The product of the University of Texas (Senior) has developed quite the playing resume and his finish this weekend was just another feather in the proverbial cap. His play on Thursday alone was impressive as he had Eagle’s on 13 and 18 respectively en route to an even Par 72. Ghim would be the only Amateur to make the cut (+4) and would finish at +8 for the weekend. A weekend which he ended with an exclamation mark as he holed-out for birdie on his 72nd hole. All of this with his dad carrying his golf bag. Well done young man!
As Sunday mid-day turned to early afternoon leaders of the tournament were set to tee off. All of them were chasing 54-hole leader Patrick Reed. Names like Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm, Bubba Watson, Henrik Stenson and Rory McIlroy to name a few. The latter engaging in some “fun” gamesmanship between himself and Reed. The pairing was hyped after their wild Ryder Cup match and the golf world was waiting for some fireworks. Rarely however, does such hype happen in the final pairing during Stroke Play or in particular on a Major Championship Sunday. even those fireworks failed to light there was plenty of fireworks elsewhere around Augusta National.
It just seems like the tournament isn’t really played until the 64th hole. This is the point in time where the roars of Augusta are most often heard. Jordan Spieth had some of the loudest roars on the golf course. Entering the final round he started 9 shots back of Reed. In a comfortable pairing with Justin Thomas Sunday would see Spieth go low. Spieth fired a 64 that electrified the patrons on the grounds and television viewers alike. His second shot on Azalea (Par 5) was astounding. Watching the coverage it was interesting hearing the conversation between him and caddie Michael Greller. Spieth was sitting in the pine straw and initially pulled an iron. Calmly, Greller talked him out of the shot and put a hybrid into his hands. The shot was caught a little heavy from 234 yards out but as it just cleared Rae’s Creek it settled onto the green for a great look at Eagle but he’d settle for Birdie which catapulted a string of 5 consecutive Birdie’s, Spieth was right there until an errant tee shot on 18. As he approached his golf ball he simply exclaimed “Oh my God”. He was on pace to be the first in history to fire a 63 in the final round of The Masters.
Also of much intrigue in the final round of the 2018 Masters was the play of Paul Casey who carded a -7 and Rickie Fowler who hung around and made things interesting right to the end. Fowler carded a 67 and had the patrons buzzing that were taking in the action as it unfolded. After hitting a scintillating drive down 18 his approach shot was even better as a Birdie found the bottom of the cup that got him to -14. Fowler started the final round 5 strokes back which is a testament to how he played the final round.
In the end the day belonged to Patrick Reed. Forever his name will be etched in golf lore and Masters history. Reed won his first Major on this 8th day of April 2018 and that can never be taken away. He posted a total of -15 and his final round 71 was just enough to get the victory. For a while it looked as though he would make more Masters history by being the first in history to post 4 sub-70 rounds in The Masters. As good as Reed played that record remains standing. Reed was very steady and leading up to this Masters Tournament I predicted that he’d win.
So my pick to win The Masters out of the above picks. My pick to win the 2018 Masters Tournament is none other than Patrick Reed. His name is just jumping out at me and his game is trending in the right direction. Patrick, just don’t win the Par 3 Contest.
Reed may not be the most popular winner to ever have donned a Green Jacket Masters Sunday. As a matter of fact there were far more detractors than supporters all over social media. I imagine there might be a number of reasons why golf fans haven’t warmed up to Reed. People going as far to suggest that he should wear red on Sunday’s (because of Tiger). do golf fans simply not like his swagger or ominpresent confidence? Reed made waves a few years ago when he brashly said he was a Top 5 player without having the resume to back it up. I suppose with his Green Jacket that changes things a little bit. Whether the stories are true or not I have no idea. While attending and playing for the University of Georgia he was dismissed from the golf team after allegations of him stealing and cheating arose. He would later transfer to Augusta State (his hometown) and win a National Championship with the Jaguars. Then there were also the gay slurs and then there was the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational where he was heard and recorded saying “I guess my name needs to be Jordan Spieth, guys” after not being granted free relief. It might have been in jest. At the end of the day only a few things matter. As long as his wife, friends and family loves him that’s all that matters. for the rest of us… what does he care really?
Like it or not folks Patrick Reed is your 2018 Master Champion and he will be defending in 2019. Until then see you next year Augusta National (hopefully in the literal sense).
Until The Next Tee!!