“Captain America” is superhero at The Masters
All eyes were on the return of Tiger Woods at the 82nd Masters last week but his American compatriot Patrick Reed was in fact the one to watch this year.
Woods had risen from tournament underdog to favourite to win in weeks prior to the event, with fans expecting the former world number one to pick up his first major championship win in a decade. His triumphant comeback never materialised though, with Woods placing 32nd after an uninspiring series of play.
The Masters is one of the most anticipated sporting events of the year, but no one expected the world number 24 to claim the iconic winner’s Green Jacket.
Patrick Reed, also known as “Captain America” for his Ryder Cup prowess, claimed his first major title with a one-shot win at the Augusta National Golf Course.
Having been ahead since the second round, Reed held off competition from his fellow Americans Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, and went into the final day leading Grand Slam hopeful Rory McIlroy by three shots. Fans were hoping for a repeat of the 2016 Ryder Cup dual between the pair, but McIlroy couldn’t deliver his best to win his first Masters title. After hitting a bogey-free 65 on the Saturday the Northern Irishman’s form didn’t continue and he ended up being the only one of the top 16 to return an over-par final round.
McIlroy hasn’t had the best track record at Augusta, with 2011 being notably disappointing for the British star after he dropped from leading the field to 15th place in the space of six holes. Sights were set high for 2018 to be his year to bounce back and make history completing the Grand Slam of all four majors, but it wasn’t to be.
The victory for Reed puts him as the ninth first-time major winner in the past 12 Masters, and adds to the success for his country with all four major championships now being held by Americans, all aged 27 or under.
Following the Masters, the golfing world will now turn their focus to The Open Championship, which is making its return to Carnoustie in July this year. Deserving of its reputation as one of the toughest golf destinations in the world, the very best in their field will be battling it out to lift the prestigious Claret Jug.
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