April 8, 2018

It's Patrick's Time

"How does The Masters keep coming up with these fantastic finishes? Jordan you are not supposed to come from nine shots back and play the last hole with a chance to win. Then there is Rickie doing his best to press the issue and make Patrick Reed earn the Green Jacket. In the end, Patrick Reed was too far in front starting the final round for everyone, except Rory McIlroy, to make a serious run at the title without a giant collapse on his part. Patrick Reed is one of those second tier great players that are really good and can win a major and it not be a surprise. The final round was a gritty performance and a well-earned victory.

Rickie Fowler is again a near winner. However, even though he was in the mix the entire back nine, he never got within one shot of the lead until his clutch birdie on 18. His finish was praise-worthy, but it came too late to seriously consider he was going to win. Jordan put on the best show of the final day. Stellar shotmaking and clutch putting made his round look easy. If he doesn't hit a lone tree limb on his drive on eighteen, it would have been exciting to see if he could stick his approach for his tenth birdie of the day. If he had posted 15 under, it might have made it a more demanding test for Patrick to par the last three holes. But he did hit the limb and didn't make the putt, which made it a little easier for Patrick.

Having a three shot lead in a major championship with one of the best players in the world playing head to head against you has to be a challenge. It is a new experience and you really don't know how you are going to react. After two holes, he could've lost his lead had Rory made a five foot putt. Rory had all the momentum, but one hole later he made an unforced error and suddenly the advantage again was three. Patrick was the fighter throughout the round and sadly the one that showed the most nerves and couldn't handle the big stage was Rory McIlroy.

Nothing around the Masters is easy, but the final pin positions are predictable and favorable for birdies and eagles. The players have seen enough highlights of past championships to know the strategy for each hole and the breaks for each pin the last day. I think that is why we see so much drama and excitement on the last nine holes.

Patrick Reed is your Masters champion. He won it with great play the first three days, but he earned it with strong resolve and aggressive fearless play the last day. He wasn't great the last day, but he had the heart of a champion to win. Major winners have that quality.


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