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