Rory will find it tough to recover from Masters, says Duval

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CBS covered all 71 strokes from victor Patrick Reed.

The 14-time major championship victor carded a 1-over-par 73 in the first round on Thursday.

"What Reed will remember, when he's had time to process it all, is not just what he won but how he won it".

The best one came early Sunday. In just a couple of hours, Spieth was second along with Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and McIlroy. Reed's checkered past: being tossed from the team at the University of Georgia and being highly unpopular even while leading Augusta State to two national titles, was again front and center.

American Charley Hoffman aced the par-3 16th with a 6-iron, the 20th time the hole has surrendered a hole-in-one, while compatriot Tony Finau birdied six consecutive holes from the 12th to 17th.

They cheered for McIlroy on the first tee, certain that he was going to overcome a three-shot deficit and win his first green jacket.

The loudest cheers were for everyone else. He made that for par to stay in control. It seems like a whole new animal comes out when he gets in Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup.

The man who beat him in the Ryder Cup stands between McIlroy and history. "Now he's the Masters Champion!"

Sunday night, I wrote about the thrilling drama of another Masters final round, only this time involving a young man who spent a half-dozen or so of his most formative years growing up in Baton Rouge. "He won't back down".

"I'll sit down and reflect over the next few days and see what I could have potentially done better", McIlroy said.

The 18th hole - a 465-yard par 4 - gave him trouble in all four rounds. Fowler now has eight top-5 finishes in majors without a win. He left the scoring cabin when Reed tapped in for par.

The Masters- Final Round
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"You had to do it didn't you?"

"Clearly, all the things that he's been through have at least done a little bit to humble him", mental game expert Dr. Joe Parent told Reuters in an interview. "You had to birdie the last".

And while Spieth did not set any records and he finished in third place, two strokes behind Reed, he nonetheless created another indelible Masters memory, something he has done in each of the last five Aprils as a perennial contender here. Reed has won his first green jacket, and by the way, he talks since his win, he likely feels that it will not be his last. He did just that, rolling a 25-foot putt down the scary slope on the final green, then calmly sinking the putt to win. He had to settle for a 64. "Now, no matter what they throw at me, I know I can do this". If Woods was exchanged for "Golfer X" in that situation, you probably wouldn't see any shots of that golfer. This was McIlroy's fourth run at finishing the career grand slam and the most painful to watch of the lot because it was his best chance yet. That was as close as he came. He closed with a 74 and tied for fifth.

Reed's parents and sister were not welcome at the tournament and instead hosted a party just a few miles away.

Spieth was an afterthought on Sunday as the world was fixated on the duel between Patrick Reed and Rory McIlroy in the final pairing. Both were nervous on the 1st, where Reed hit his opening tee-shot into a tree, and McIlroy pushed his wide right into the pine straw.

Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson, tipped to contend after two victories this year, saw his eagle putt at the par-5 second on Sunday roll into a greenside bunker.

McIlroy had stuck to his normal pre-round routine and there were no signs of any issues on the range or on the putting green.

Yes, as heralded as Tiger Woods' comeback was, he wasn't sharp enough to deal with Augusta National. "Be stubborn", he once said about learning by watching Woods. He shot 69 and finished fourth.

Saturday, Reed shot a 67 to reach 14 under par. He made all pars from there. That's all he needed. His first major moves him to No. 11.

Patrick Reed won the Masters, holding off challenges from some of golf's biggest names.


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