It’s not exactly what most anticipated.
And he’s certainly not the peoples champ by a long shot.
What transpired Sunday at the 82nd Masters was a demonstration of determination by the kid who plays with a chip on his shoulder.
Patrick Reed doesn’t have the resume of Jordan Spieth and he’s hardly the beloved player Rickie Fowler has become. He played the entire 2017 season without a win on his resume and the early part of this 2018 season was nothing to write home about for Reed.
After a couple of missed cuts in February, and a T37 at the WGC Mexico, Reed started finding some form and tied for second at the Valspar then got another top 10 at Bay Hill before he managed to beat Jordan Spieth at the match play.
Reed was trending in the right direction, but no one saw this coming, no one saw him slipping into the Green Jacket on Sunday.
Give Reed plenty of credit for this first win in a long time and give him credit because it was huge, this was, after all, The Masters.
Give him credit for overcoming a shaky start and fending off Rory McIlroy, who was okay at the start but then turned into the McIlroy of too many Masters Sundays. McIlroy promised to show Reed and everyone else what he’s all about and he did exactly that. He’s the guy whose putter cannot be trusted when it counts and that was once again the case. With a chance to overtake Reed over the first nine holes, McIlroy started his troubling pattern by missing a short eagle putt at the second that set the stage that would eventually collapse on him.
Give Reed credit for gutting this one out. Once he shook off McIlroy, he still had to contend with his Ryder Cup buddies — Spieth and Fowler and they were absolutely tearing it up out there while Reed was seemingly hanging on for dear life.
This tournament did start on the back nine. Reed started there where he started the day — 14-under. He survived a testy first nine holes that saw none of the flawless play he displayed on Friday and Saturday. In the meantime, Spieth and Fowler were turning up the heat.
After a bogey at the 10th dropped him back to 13-under, Reed scrambled for par at 11 and was badly in need of a bounce-back. He got it at 12 when he holed a nice birdie putt to get back to 14.
Up ahead, Spieth was going nuts. After shooting five-under on the front to get into double digits under par, he birdied 12, 13, 15 and 16 to get to 14-under to tie Reed.
Reed needed a break and he got one at the 13th when his second shot to the par five threatened to go into Rae’s Creek but hung up on the bank. Reed failed to make birdie but he didn’t make bogey and that was a turning point for him. His next big move came when he birdied 14 to get to 15-under, which sounded like the magic number.
Spieth hit the brakes hard on his final hole when his drive on the 18th went too far left, caught the towering pines and ended up just 150 yards off the tee. With 315 left, he laid up, wedged up then looked at a six-footer for par and a course record tying 63. Didn’t happen. He missed, posted 64 and 13-under.
Fowler was still hanging tough, however.
Rickie birdied 12, 13 and 15 then finished his day by running one in at the 18th to thunderous roars. He posted 65 and set the number to beat at 14-under. You could tell who the patrons were backing.
Reed didn’t find another birdie after the 14th. An errant drive resulted in par at 15. He made a nervous par at 16 and found himself in a bit of trouble at 17 when his approach left him 80 feet from the hole. His putt was motoring hard, he then got his second big break when his ball caught a piece of the flagstick and he left himself with five feet rather than 12. Made it, played 18 like a pro and edged Fowler by a shot.
Reed, the in-your-face guy, was transformed into the reserved guy in the Butler Cabin with the Green Jacket waiting on the chair next to him.
“It’s about impossible to put it into words,” he said as Sergio Garcia prepared to hold the jacket for him. “Just trying to close off any tournament is really tough. To finish of that drought (the year with no win) means so much to me.”
There were words for Reed’s win. He chose not to brag.
The right words?
Grit, determination, talent and absolutely clutch putting when he needed it most.
He had all those and a little more.