Reed wins first major title, holding off Fowler at Masters

Rory's brilliant front nine included two big strokes of luck

Nine shots back at the start of the day, Spieth came close to pulling off the biggest final-round comeback in the tournament's history, reaching nine under for the day through 15 holes in his quest for a second green jacket. Reed is one of them, a 27-year-old Texan with a chip on his shoulder and a Green Jacket in his wardrobe.

Before Fowler took up the challenge of overhauling Reed, it was Spieth leading the chase with a sizzling eight-under 64, that matched the lowest final round at a Masters to finish two shots back. McIlroy struggled all day, carding a 74 to finish in a tie for fifth place at 9-under.

A player has only so many chances to win the Masters, after all, no matter how good he is.

A further birdie on the par-three 16 saw Willett extend his advantage and despite a late effort by countryman Lee Westwood, it was the then 28-year-old who became the first British champion since Nick Faldo in 1996. Jon Rahm is four behind, while Rory McIlroy has faded to five shots off the lead playing in the final group with Reed. I knew when I birdied 14, was about the same time that Jordan bogeyed the last.

Reed's first PGA win back in 2013 signed his ticket to play in his first major which was the Masters, and then his first major win ended up being here as well.

Spieth led after the first round, shooting a 66 that included a bogey at the 18th hole.

"I can't believe my son is the Masters champion".

"The way those guys played towards the end, having to go shoot under par (in the final round to win your) first major was hard".

Oh yeah. Reed had taken it all on. Reed had a three-shot lead.

Reed was joined by wife Justine at Madison Square Garden as he continued his tour of NY after visits to the Empire State Building and Wall Street earlier in the day.

Finally, after the way Spieth made his run from nine shots down at the start of the day, and after Fowler made a birdie on the 72nd hole to make Patrick Reed make a par on the same hole, it came down to Reed above the hole with a downhill putt that must have looked to him as if it might roll all the way to Atlanta if he hit it even slightly too hard. Fowler was runner-up for the third time in a major. We were both around even par, and just sort of grinding out there.

Woods broke par for the first time all week with a 69.

This is the 50th year on tour for The Heritage, which was first played in 1969, with Arnold Palmer claiming the inaugural event.

All of that commemorated front and center on the cover of golf week magazine. As Sports Media Watch points out, all four rounds of the Masters were up double-digits from past year.

In 2015 - the last time Woods played the Masters - he entered the tournament with just two PGA Tour rounds under his belt. Among the former Heritage champions in the field are two-time victor Jim Furyk (2010, 2015) and five-time victor Davis Love III (1987, 1991, 1992, 1998, 2003).

Tiger Woods remains head and shoulders above Reed in achievements. That clearly helped out ratings more than a little.

Holders United States have not won a Ryder Cup staged in Europe since taking the 1993 edition at The Belfry in England, but the omens are favorable to the Americans to be found from this week's Masters ahead of next September's team match-play showdown at Le Golf National in France. So it is fitting to schedule the two events on successive weekends.

"I just didn't quite have it", the Northern Ireland star said.

Sam McPherson is a freelance writer covering baseball, football, basketball, golf and fantasy sports for CBS Local.

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