Wednesday, 25 April, 2018

Tiger Woods hits his first eagle of the 2018 Masters

Golf Patrick Reed consolidates Augusta Masters lead after third round KARIM SAHIB AFP
Elias Hubbard | 10 April, 2018, 20:00

Starting the final round with a three-shot lead over Rory McIlroy, Reed shot a final-round 1-under 71 to pick up his first major title. He's looking to make his first major memorable, slipping into a green jacket.

"It will be calmer", Reed admitted.

This is not match play as it was for their singles match in Ryder Cup at Hazeltine.

Reeds 5-under par 67 for a 14-under total of 202 through 54 holes was his third straight round in the 60s and more than enough to keep him atop the leaderboard in search of his first major title, even as McIlroy, Rickie Fowler and Jon Rahm all posted 7-under par 65s.

The Australian, who made a double-bogey on the same hole in the first round, weighed other options before finally opting for the risky play of hooking it around a tree and over the water. He just wants to play good golf. Or for Reed to point at McIlroy if he pulls off a clutch moment. He was sent out to be the spark.

Reed also doesn't buy into the idea that the pressure is all on him.

Reed is such a force on the Ryder Cup stage, but he hasn't been able to conjure that same formidable presence in major championships.

Should he win on Sunday he will join Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Ben Hogan, Gary Player and Gene Sarazen as the only players to win the career grand slam in the modern era. But I said to myself, 'Don't concentrate on them too much.

Except Reed didn't wag his finger Saturday. McIlroy buried a long birdie putt on top of Reed for a halve and stoked up the American crowd by cupping his hand to his ear and shouting, "I can't hear you". But it's not going to affect the outcome of this tournament off of those two holes. He figures that chip-in at No. 8 was going off the green except that it struck the pin.

"I think we'll still be feeling it".

The gamesmanship, however, started in the interview room Saturday night.

McIlroy lobbed the first bomb.

Reed, who shared second in last year's PGA Championship, opened and closed the front nine with runs of three consecutive birdies then ran off another birdie treble on the back nine in shooting 6-under par 66 to stand on 9-under 135 after 36 holes at Augusta National. "He's got a few guys chasing him who are pretty big time players". "It's unbelievable that when you go through something like this, you don't sleep for two days, [that] you get a lot more emotional".

Ten minutes later, it was Reed's turn to respond.

"I've had some success in this comeback, and I'm getting there", Woods said. But at the same time, he's trying to go for the career Grand Slam. "You can put it either way", he said.

Even removed by one pairing Saturday, the two put on a good show with full awareness of what the other was doing. After a quick birdie on the par-5 second, McIlroy struggled with his putter, leading to a number of missed opportunities. I'm just going to do my thing, stick to my game plan and go out and enjoy Sunday.

The pair go out together at 19:40 BST - you can follow it live across the BBC. "If I feel like I'm playing really well, I nearly feel like I can kick it into another gear and go even deeper".

He finished with a 2-over 74 that left him 4 under for the tournament.

"Any time you hear a bunch of roars, you're going to get excited, especially if you feel like you're playing some good golf", Reed said. But he won't so far as to call it a home match, although there will be some old Augusta State teammates and supporters there, according to Reed. "Let's try and shoot 2 under on the back nine.' And that was the goal, and, you know, I nearly did one better there". Hit an iron shot what I thought was ideal and then to stay up there on that ridge.

"I feel like all the pressure is on him". Woods kept seeing Reed make birdies, and he knew he was well outside the 10 shots.

Asked if he knew what was troubling his swing, Woods said, "I know what the problem is".

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