David Duval rather critical of Rory McIlroy after Masters showing

Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

Fending off epic challenges from three top rivals in a dramatic Masters final round, Patrick Reed captured his first major title Sunday, grinding out a one-shot victory at Augusta National.

The hero of the 2016 Ryder Cup took some mighty blows from Augusta National Golf Club but never went down - he is Captain America, after all - and now has a green jacket to drape over his red, white and blue cape.

"I mean, I'm just out here to play golf and try to win golf tournaments", he said.

What we whitnessed today from Spieth was simply awesome.

It wasn't necessarily a home match for the San Antonio native.

Missed putts frustrated Rory McIlroy on Sunday as he fell into a tie for fifth at the Masters.

He played a year of college golf at the University of Georgia before being dismissed from the team and was accused in a book excerpt, published last week, of cheating and stealing from teammates. Others on the lead board crept up, but he maintained his composure.

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

"I went out there and I tried so hard to get the ball in the hole, I tried so hard to hit the flawless shots".

"When Rory walked up to the (first) tee, his cheer was a little louder", said Reed, adding that he was also fired up by analysts predicting a win for McIlroy.

Tottenham's Harry Kane tuned into the final day of the Masters, posting a photo on Instagram of him watching the play from his sofa. He had caught the leader, but Reed would quickly roll in a birdie at 14 to get to 15 under where he would remain for the final four holes to secure the championship. He tied for third in last week's Houston Open when he closed with a 66, but he struggled before that tournament.

But he was unable to take full advantage and make birdie after an enormous roar from the 16th indicated that Spieth had done precisely that. Reed, however, never lost at least a share of the lead and made birdie on the 12th from 22 feet - his first birdie on the devilish par-3 hole. He almost found himself in Rae Creek on 13 but it landed in the rough.

His eagle putt at the par-5 15th was even better. But it could have been a lot worse.

The 2018 US Masters won by Patrick Reed did not end with a seismic shift in the golfing landscape but instead served as a reminder of how evenly-matched the world's top players are in an era where Tiger Woods' dominance is a thing of the past.

While this may have turned some/many against Reed, he does not subscribe to the view that he was an unpopular victor of the Masters.

Reed, 27, said: "I knew it was going to be tough". Today I got myself there.

"I gave it my all", Fowler said Sunday.

It's the first major title for Reed.

Phil Mickelson was 33 when he won his first major.

Solo second sounds better than tied for second. He played 11 tournaments on tour that year and resumed play after finishing 17th at the Masters by finishing 69th one month later at the Players Championship.

Golf fans in Louisiana will get a chance to love - or hate - Reed soon as the 2018 Masters champion is scheduled to play at the unique Zurich Classic in two weeks in New Orleans.

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