Reed ce­ments US dom­i­nance

Wishaw Press - - FRONT PAGE -

Team Europe cap­tain Thomas Bjorn must be get­ting a lit­tle wor­ried now.

The fi­nal pair­ing of the Mas­ters was dubbed the sec­ond duel be­tween Amer­ica’s most fiery young player and Europe’s lead­ing su­per­star.

Pa­trick Reed and Rory McIl­roy faced off for a cru­cial Sun­day Ry­der Cup point at Hazel­tine in 2016, with the pair pro­duc­ing fire­works on and off the greens amid a fer­vent at­mos­phere.

That day it was the young Texan who came out on top.

And de­spite be­ing in pole po­si­tion to gain some re­venge on Reed, and com­plete his own Grand Slam in the process, Rory faded away on Sun­day to al­low Reed just enough breath­ing room to com­plete a one stroke vic­tory over the rest of the field and slip on that fa­mous Green jacket.

What will be most wor­ry­ing for Bjorn is that Reed looked his more suc­cess­ful op­po­nent in the eye on ev­ery hole on Sun­day and never lost his nerve. That de­spite still be­ing just 27 years old and hav­ing never tasted ma­jor suc­cess.

His win over McIl­roy at the last Ry­der Cup may well have proved just enough to give him the con­fi­dence time and time again on the light­en­ing quick Au­gusta greens.

More wor­ry­ing for Euro­pean golf as a whole was the two play­ers who chased the hard­est and looked like even­tu­ally claw­ing back Reed’s lead was the in­spired duo Jor­dan Spi­eth and Rickie Fowler.

It’s easy to for­get that Spi­eth is just 24. When he is on form he is vir­tu­ally un­stop­pable. Only a bo­gey on the last - his least favourite hole at Au­gusta - stopped him match­ing the all time low­est round at the Mas­ters. An in­cred­i­ble eight-un­der on the day was just not enough but only a fool would bet against Spi­eth adding to his ma­jor tally this year.

Fowler came clos­est to forc­ing a play-off with Reed, and with his laser sharp putting you would have to imag­ine his time will come on the ma­jor stage sooner or later.

Hav­ing led for the last two rounds, it’s hard to ar­gue that Reed didn’t de­serve his first ma­jor ti­tle. He was in­cred­i­ble on the greens, knock­ing in birdie putts for fun. His two ea­gles in three holes in the third round gave him the breath­ing space he needed to stay calm in the fourth and

The last four majors are all in US hands

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