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Reed grinds down first Major at the Masters

Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images

American Patrick Reed hung tough to claim his maiden Major title at the Masters, making some clutch putts down the home stretch to take the Green Jacket by one shot over a battling Rickie Fowler.

Reed had a three-shot lead over Rory McIlroy heading into the the last day but, as the Northern Irishman faded, it was compatriots Fowler and Jordan Spieth who emerged as the biggest challengers.

Spieth had a chance to match the record 18-hole score of 63 but bogeyed the last hole after his tee shot hit the trees. The three-time Major winner still set the clubhouse target of 13-under-par, which was surpassed by Fowler when he birdied the last hole from inside 10 feet.

Reed gave the chasing pack hope with a dropped shot at 11, but recovered with birdies at 12 and 14. The 27-year-old made a crucial par-save on the 17th after getting into tree trouble off the tees, then safely negotiated the final hole to join the ranks of Masters and Major winners.

Young Spanish star Jon Rahm looked like he might make a strong closing run with consecutive birdies on 13 and 14, but his hopes drowned when he found the water with his second shot at the par-five 15th.

It was yet another disappointing final day at Augusta National for McIlroy, who was chasing a career Grand Slam but struggled with his drives all day. He wound up with a closing 74 to drop into a tie for fifth on nine-under-par with Henrik Stenson, Bubba Watson and Cameron Smith, two shots behind Rahm.

Results (Top 10 and ties)

273 (-15) – Patrick Reed 69-66-67-71
274 (-14) – Rickie Fowler 70-72-65-67
275 (-13) – Jordan Spieth 66-74-71-64
277 (-11) – Jon Rahm 75-68-65-69
279 (-9) – Cameron Smith 71-72-70-66, Bubba Watson 73-69-68-69, Henrik Stenson 69-70-70-70, Rory McIlroy 69-71-65-74
280 (-8) – Marc Leishman 70-67-73-70, Tony Finau 68-74-73-66, Dustin Johnson 73-68-71-69

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