Almanac Golf: Golf Capital – Reed’s uncomfortable Augusta glory



A collection of golf news, thoughts and notes. American Patrick Reed claimed his first major as he edged home at Augusta by a stroke from Rickie Fowler. Reed, 27, led after rounds two and three before Jordan Spieth threw down a challenge on Sunday with an eight under 64. This week the European Tour returns to the continent in Spain, the PGA Tour is in South Carolina and the LPGA ventures to Hawaii for the LOTTE Championships presented by Hersey.


Opening drive
After Spieth opened with a 66 many, including me, thought it might be a precession for the 2015 champion but Reed’s 69, 66 and 67 set him up for a three shot lead heading into the fourth round. The former two-time college champion golfer scored a one under 71 as he withheld the late rush of Fowler and Spieth’s run to prevail at August National Golf Club securing the green jacket in the process.


Reed moved to number 11 in the world with the triumph and earnt his sixth career title but the day unfolded in predictably exciting fashion. Spieth’s run to come from nine shots off the lead after he started the day T9 with Justin Thomas was nothing short of incredible. Only a bogey on 18 ultimately saw him miss out on second from Fowler. Spieth produced some phenomenal golf and a 64 on Sunday having left shots out on the course only bodes well for a return here in 2019. A reminder his 11th place finish last year is his worst effort at this major.


Fowler was a surprise second when, after he bogeyed the fifth, his record in majors would suggest he’d drop away. The Californian proceeded to birdie six of the last 11 holes which made sure Reed didn’t have it an easy walk up 18 nor on the green.


Rory McIlroy was the big disappointment on the day as the Northern Irishman started three shots adrift of Reed in second, before getting to within one stroke of Reed early in the round but three bogeys followed mid round as his challenge faded to eventually finish six behind Reed.


Elsewhere in the top ten, after nearly causing his ankle serious damage earlier in the week during the par three contest American Tony Finau closed with a 66 for an impressive Masters debut of T10. Australian Cameron Smith (T5) also finished with a 66 and was somewhat forgotten on the coverage from CBS in the states in his second Masters after a T55 two years ago.


However Smith’s final round effort was not the only major moment the host broadcaster missed. Spieth’s great run up the leaderboard from nine back had this interesting exchange (captured via the livestream) with his caddie Michael Greller when deciding what club to use and analysing the conditions before he played his approach shot on 13. Enjoy.



Player performance notes
Players I’m interested to see how they go with notes related to capital investment if that’s your thing. We have an interesting event on the European Tour as it heads to Spain for the Open de Espana.


Under 20. Jon Rahm. The Spaniard schooled at college in Arizona makes the trek across from the states after his fourth place at the Masters. He won the last sole European Tour event he contested, the season-ending DP Tour World Championship, but it’s a concern he missed the cut last time he played in his home country in October.


20 to 50: Paul Dunne. On the cusp of breaking into the top 70 the Irishman was ranked 156th this time last year. Outclassed at the last WGC stroke-play event in Mexico Dunne, 25, has since registered a T5 and T8 on the PGA Tour, the latter in the Houston Open as he was in search of a last gasp Masters spot.


20 to 50: Andrew Johnston. Albeit at a different course Johnston is defending champion of this event beating a field that included Sergio Garcia and Alex Noren. The Centro Nacional de Golf club hasn’t hosted an ET event, the Madrid Masters, since in 2009 but Johnston did well at a windy Oman venue when he finished T12 before he was second in the Indian Open.


20 to 50: Matt Wallace. The Englishman won in Portugal last year and was victorious last time out when he won the Indian Open beating Johnston in a playoff. With many of those teeing it up have not played since early March it’s worth looking at those who were playing well before the break.


Greens in regulation
The victory of Patrick Reed in Georgia was met with muted celebration up 18 and the usual celebrations of a local winner (with the Texan-born player having gone to university in the state) were less than perhaps expected. That is, unless you consider Reed’s chequered university history and current family situation. As outlined here by Alan Shipnuck the writer touches on several aspects little mentioned in the television coverage of the Masters. Reed has been estranged from his family (parents and sister) since 2012 and was accused of cheating whilst playing college golf. Such were his troubles in college he was kicked out of the University of Georgia for drinking indiscretions. Reed’s parents, Bill and Jeannette, have yet to meet his two children Windsor and Barrett – their grandchildren.


The situation is indeed a ‘sad state of affairs’ as pointed out by some on Twitter when I posted Shipnuck’s story on Monday.


The value of the report was questioned, so much so Shipnuck wrote a response to why he wrote the story. But you can’t tell Reed’s story of achieving the ultimate in a sport and ignore such a significant story. This is not McIlroy breaking off a relationship with Caroline Wozniacki this is one of the game’s elite excluding his three closest family members of over 20 years since his rise to the professional ranks.


Seeing a charismatic player is always fun to watch but their backstory can temper that enthusiasm. Perhaps Reed is similar to Tiger Woods. Enjoy the person as the player, an elite athlete who has made significant physical sacrifices, amongst other things, to perform at the very top of the game for an extended period but leave the rest.


Not knowing Reed’s side of the story (he’s never spoken at length about the disconnection) the last line of Shipnuck’s original piece breaks your heart.


“Of course we’re so happy for Patrick,” Jeannette said. She started to add something else but had to stop to cry.


Tap In
Cristie Kerr seeks a 21st LPGA Tour title when she defends the crown she won in Oahu last year by three stokes as the top women’s tour returns following it’s opening major a fortnight ago. The LOTTE Championship by Hersey is held at the Ko Olina Golf Club and last year saw Kerr overcome a five-shot deficit to win.


After the excitement of the Masters the US PGA Tour heads to South Carolina for the RBC Heritage at Hilton Head. Wesley Bryan broke through at the top level when he saw off the challenge of Luke Donald here last year.


This golfing wrap first appeared on From the sideline of sport


About Hamish Neal

Born in Lower Hutt New Zealand Hamish is forever wedded to all things All Black, All Whites, Tall Blacks and more. Writing more nowadays in his 'spare time' (what is that anyway?) but still with a passion for broadcasting. Has worked in various sports development roles in England, Northern Ireland and Australia.


  1. Good report (as always). Thanks for the link to the Shipnuck piece. I have never warmed to Reed or the Captain America persona from the Ryder Cup. I had read references to the estrangement from his family, but nothing so in depth.
    Hard to know what to make of it, but I respect Patrick’s decision to choose his own path. “The goal of an unhealthy family is the health of the family. The goal of a healthy family is the health of the individuals.” It is clearly working for Patrick at a golf/financial level. We’ll see how it all shakes out over time at a personal level. “What does a man know of golf, who only golf knows?”
    Great to have European Golf back again with a strong field in Madrid this weekend. I much prefer evening golf in Perth to (very) early mornings in the US.

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