‘It’s hard to for­get Reed declar­ing him­self one of the five best play­ers in the world at the WGC in 2014’

Golf World (UK) - - CONTENTS - Nick Wright, Ed­i­tor nick.jwright@bauer­me­dia.co.uk @nick­jameswright

De­spite be­ing so highly an­tic­i­pated on so many lev­els, this year’s Mas­ters turned out to be a some­what sur­real one. It started with a mighty erup­tion as Tiger Woods made the short walk through a dense fun­nel of spec­ta­tors from the prac­tice putting green to the first tee on Thurs­day morn­ing, and ended with one of the most sub­dued con­clu­sions in his­tory when Pa­trick Reed walked up the 18th fair­way to claim his first ma­jor in al­most com­plete si­lence. It also fea­tured one of the short­est and most awk­ward press con­fer­ences in re­cent mem­ory when Reed was asked if he felt it was bit­ter­sweet not to be able to share his ca­reer high­light with his es­tranged par­ents, who had watched the fi­nal day’s events un­fold from their liv­ing room just 15 min­utes down the road.

Reed’s frac­tured re­la­tion­ship with his fam­ily is none of our busi­ness but it’s one of sev­eral rea­sons why the 27-year-old is not to ev­ery­one’s lik­ing. It’s hard to for­get Reed declar­ing him­self one of the five best play­ers on the planet af­ter win­ning the WGC-Cadil­lac in Florida four years ago. At that time – hav­ing won three Tour events in less than a year – he prob­a­bly was one of the five best play­ers in the world. But golf folk don’t re­spond well to play­ers who put their self-con­fi­dence on dis­play for the rest of the world to see. Need­less to say there were a few chuck­les on Tour, when Reed’s form took a dip the fol­low­ing sea­son.

Whether you like him or not, Reed took con­trol of the Mas­ters early in the sec­ond round and never re­lin­quished the lead de­spite be­ing pur­sued by a chas­ing pack that in­cluded Rory McIl­roy, Jor­dan Spi­eth, Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler and Dustin John­son. That takes guts, nerve, skill and in­cred­i­ble self-be­lief. And for that he de­serves all the credit in the world.

Un­for­tu­nately, this Mas­ters will be re­mem­bered as much for the fi­nal round melt­down of Rory McIl­roy. Yet again, McIl­roy man­aged to notch a Top-10 fin­ish at Au­gusta with­out ever re­ally be­ing in con­tention to win. Rory has proven time and time again that he can post a high fin­ish with just his “C” game, but it’s becoming in­creas­ingly ob­vi­ous that he can’t win with­out his “A” game. Let’s hope he finds out how to do so sooner rather than later.

En­joy the is­sue.

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