Woods improves in final round at Masters, welcomes break

Money talks in Augusta, same as anywhere, but Augusta does not like to talk money. The crowd was squarely behind McIlroy and his best chance yet at completing the career Grand Slam.

But now, after playing in six tournaments over a 10-week span, it's time for a break, which is hardly unusual for Woods after the Masters. This was his first time in the final pair since 2011, when he blew up on the 10th. Just to make the par on the last and watch the ball go in the hole and know that I've won my first Major.

That round haunted McIlroy. He shot six-under on the back nine on Sunday, including four straight birdies from the 12th through 15th holes.

"Honestly, I felt like a lot of that pressure was kind of lifted and kind of taken off of me", Reed said.

Then there was Spieth, who started the day nine behind Reed.

Rickie Fowler came closer than ever to major championship glory at the US Masters on Sunday and now the American, instilled with a newfound belief that his day will come, can not wait for his next shot. Reed knew all he had to do was get through the last two holes in even par. Which is not to say it was easy. And he was once caught on the course chastising himself for a bad hole and using an anti-LGBT slur, saying: "Nice f--ing three-putt, you f--ing f--. It's just kind of one of those things that the more kind of chatter you have in your ear and about expectations and everything, the harder it is to play golf". Any time trying to close off a golf tournament is really hard, but to close off your first Major and to do it at a place that is so close to me. Reed found a way to cope. Their business was already settled.

"The Reeds lived and died with every shot on the back nine, hooting and hollering at the TV". The truth of this day, though, for him and for Fowler and the Spanish kid, Jon Rahm, another 20-something, and for McIlroy was that Patrick Reed didn't wait for Augusta National to give him anything. And when McIlroy uncorked a pinpoint approach on the 2nd, he looked the likely victor.

Woods made his fourth of the day when he sank a 4-foot putt at the par-5 13th. Which is the first of a few what-ifs he will be left with. The LST is Ping's low-spin version of its G400, and Reed has always preferred a low-spin driver, having used a Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 816 Double Black Diamond during his last win at the 2016 Barclays.

After a thrilling final round which had ebbed and flowed with the final pair trading the lead, both players were unable to prevail on the last hole of regulation play, missing makeable birdie putts. That was the end of it.

Reed's brash confidence and go-it-alone mentality have reportedly not endeared him to many of his PGA Tour colleagues.

But Reed had a pretty clear idea of what happened. McIlroy said after the third round that Reed had all the pressure on him.

The support he received was more than that afforded to Reed, who has been accused of arrogance and misdemeanors during his college and professional careers.

Reed was greeted by his wife Justine and her family after donning the green jacket, but some commentary focused on the absence of the golfer's own parents and sister.

"We had to pull him off the golf course plenty of times because of his behaviour", Jeannette said.

"Obviously I want to be the one standing on top after the four rounds, but this is -- if anything, it's a step forward and makes me feel better about going forward into our next major, the US Open". Even farther down the road is the U.S. Open, played this year at Shinnecock Hills on Long Island.


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