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Patrick Reed: Who Is the First-time Major Winner?

Patrick Reed: Who Is the First-time Major Winner? image courtesy Shutterstock
Patrick Reed: Who Is the First-time Major Winner? image courtesy Shutterstock

Claiming his first major championship win, Patrick Reed came out as the unexpected winner at Augusta National on Sunday. The coveted green jacket went to a talented player who, up until now, has predominantly been recognized for his appearances in the Ryder Cup.

But his golf career started at a young age. Born in 1990, the Texas native played the game in high school, winning titles such as the 2006 Junior British Open and qualifying for the U.S. Amateur a year later.

A ‘checkered’ college history

In 2008, Patrick Reed played one year of golf at the University of Georgia before a sudden dismissal. It was alleged this was due to Reed cheating and stealing from his teammates, accusations the professional golfer vehemently denies. He soon moved to Augusta State, where he led the college team to NCAA Division I titles in 2010 and 2011.

The Texan was only 20 years old when he turned professional after the NCAA Championship. In June of the same year, Patrick Reed played in his first PGA TOUR event—the FedEx St. Jude Classic—where he missed the cut. In 2012, Reed played a total of 12 TOUR events, making seven cuts and earning over $300,000. His best finish was T11 at the Open.

Wins on the PGA TOUR

2013 saw Patrick Reed pick up his first top-10 finish at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. The same year, Reed achieved his first big win on the TOUR as he triumphed in the Wyndham Championship against multiple major winner Jordan Spieth. A year later, he picked up his biggest win to date with a sensational win at the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral in Miami—he earned $1.53 million with a one-shot win over Bubba Watson and Jamie Donaldson.

This particular win brought with it other impressive achievements. Patrick Reed became only the fifth PGA TOUR player to earn three wins on TOUR before his 24th birthday since 1990, joining the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia. Reed also became the youngest-ever player to triumph in a World Golf Championships event. Thanks to this win, he also shot up to 20th (from 44th) in the Official World Golf Rankings.

In both 2015 and 2016, Patrick Reed picked up other honourable finishes on TOUR, winning the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, finishing second at the Valspar Championship, finishing first at The Barclays and earning a top-10 finish at the Deutsche Bank Championship.

A Ryder Cup ‘stalwart’

Although Patrick Reed’s Masters victory was his sixth on TOUR, he was mostly known for his appearances in the Ryder Cup tournament. He made his Ryder Cup debut in 2014—where he went 3-0-1—and made the team again in 2016 where he was 3-1-1 in Hazeltine, Minnesota. His impressive record and attitude on the during the international competitions is what earned him the nickname “Captain America”.

Patrick Reed’s major victory

Patrick Reed’s previous Masters record included two missed cuts, a share of 49th and a tie for 22nd, but 2018 proved to be his year. Reed triumphed at Augusta National on Sunday, earning a pay-check of around $1.98 million as well as the coveted green jacket.

He shot 69-66 to lead the Masters by two strokes after two rounds and followed up by shooting a 67 on Saturday. During the final round, he led by three strokes over Rory McIlroy, who was himself trying to achieve a career grand slam. Ryder Cup teammate Jordan Spieth experienced a comeback on Sunday, but Patrick Reed fought him off, shooting 71 (-1) for a tournament total of -15 (273).

See also: Rory McIlroy ‘Confident’ to Win Grand Slam Despite Falling Short at 2018 Masters