SportsPulse: Nancy Armour and Steve DiMeglio break down Round 3 of the Masters, including the strong Saturday performances of Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed.
USA TODAY Sports
Patrick Reed is a major champion and the proud owner of a new green jacket.
Reed, who began Sunday with a three-shot lead on Rory McIlroy, held his nerve throughout the final round to win the Masters, holding off spectacular challenges from Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth.
It’s the first major title for Reed, a hometown favorite who won national titles at Augusta State. He shot a final-round 71 to finish at 15 under par.
Reed is the fourth consecutive first-time major champ at the Masters.
Fowler shot a final-round 67 to finish at 14 under.
Spieth, who began the day nine shots back, briefly shared the lead late in his round, firing a final-round 64 and finishing third at 13 under.
McIlroy, who struggled with his putter throughout the day, shot a final-round 74.
Henrik Stenson (70), Bubba Watson (69) and Cameron Smith (66) finished at 9 under.
Meanwhile, Tiger Woods found something good on the final nine holes Sunday — before a bogey on 18 — to close with a final-round 69, 1 over for the tournament.
It was a pretty good finish for the four-time champ, out of contention but looking for positives in his first Masters since 2015.
“Another loose day with the irons, and I putted awful,” Woods told CBS. “Bittersweet.”
Fowler gets within one
Fowler finished off a final-round 67 with a birdie on 18 to get to 14 under par, all alone in second place.
Reed, with a one-shot lead, did find the fairway on 18.
Reed makes another save
After a tee shot too far right and into the rough on No. 17, and an approach that left him on the fringe and 29 yards from the hole, Reed made another huge save.
Reed hit the hole on his long putt, then knocked in the comebacker from 5 feet for par to stay at 15 under.
Reed leads by two with two to play
Reed made a very comfortable par on No. 16 and walks to No. 17 with a two-shot lead on Spieth and Fowler.
Fowler made par at 17 to stay at 13 under. Spieth is in the clubhouse.
Reed makes par at 15, leads by two
Reed will walk to No. 16 at 15 under with a two-shot lead on Spieth (in the clubhouse with a 64) and Fowler, who saved par at 16 to stay at 13 under.
Spieth fires a 64
Spieth will walk away frustrated despite a spectacular round of 64, heading to the clubhouse at 13 under, two behind Reed. He made nine birdies in his round.
Rahm goes backward
Rahm found the creek on his appraoch on 15 and ended up with bogey to drop back to 11 under. Rickie Fowler made birdie to move to 3 under, two back.
Spieth hits a tree off the tee on 18
Spieth finally hit a speed bump on the final hole, hitting a tree left of the fairway and dropping short of the fairway in the rough well back. After hitting the tree, the ball ended up only 177 yards from the tee and 269 from the pin. He can still make 4, but it won’t be easy.
Reed responds with a birdie at 14
Four to play, one-shot lead on Spieth. Reed moved to 15 under after playing 14 brilliantly, pumping his fist as the ball disappeared into the cup.
Reed makes par on 13. We’re tied
Reed came up short on his approach on the par-5 13th, catching a break when it stayed in the thick grass and not rolling back into the creek.
He ended up with par and will stay at 14 under, even with Spieth.
McIlroy made birdie to get to 10 under.
Rahm is still in this thing, making birdie at 14 to get to 12 under, with the par-5 15th still to play.
Spieth ties it up with a birdie at 16
The ballgame is tied. Spieth drained at 22-footer for birdie at No. 16 to get to 14 under for the tournament, 9 under on the day.
No doubt Reed heard that roar from his position on 13.
Spieth was nine back to begin the day.
Fowler and Rahm stay in contact
Rahm just missed an eagle try at the par-5 No. 13 but tapped in for birdie to get to 11 under, three back. Fowler, who missed the green on his approach, knocked in a difficult 7 footer for birdie to move to 12 under … two behind Reed, one back of Spieth.
Spieth with another birdie
Spieth is not going away.
He had a long downhill putt for eagle on No. 15, and he was just a little bit tentative, leaving himself another downhill knee-knocker for birdie. But he trickles it in to move to 13 under and once again is one back.
Reed drains it at 12
The leader takes the stroke back that he lost at 22-foot birdie putt at No. 12, and he went back to 14 under, two ahead of Spieth.
McIlroy made par to stay at 9 under.
Reed can’t handle No. 11
A tee shot into the pine straw started the problems for the leader at the start of Amen Corner, and a bogey dropped Reed to 13 under. McIlroy made bogey as well and is now at 9 under.
Reed’s lead on Spieth is a very narrow one shot.
Rickie alone in third
Fowler continued his climb with a birdie at No. 12 to move to 11 under par, three behind Reed and one behind Spieth.
Spieth makes par at 14
Spieth stays two behind Patrick Reed, who was struggling at No. 11 as Spieth walked off 14.
Reed continues to lead. Spieth is making a potentially historic charge. McIlroy, Fowler and Rahm are all within striking distance.
The Masters is coming to a thrilling finish on CBS. pic.twitter.com/tdQkcCKjRt
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) April 8, 2018
Tony Finau is on a roll
Finau is red hot on the back nine, making birdie on six consecutive holes, Nos. 12-17, to get to 7 under.
He made par on 18 to finish with a 66.
Spieth makes birdie on 13
After a brilliant approach to 12 feet from the pine straw on No. 13, but he couldn’t make the eagle putt and walked away with par. he is at 12 under (7 under in the final round), two shots behind Patrick Reed.
Reed saves par at No. 9
Reed missed the fairway off the tee and the green with his approach, but he managed to save par to stay at 14 under. McIlroy, meanwhile, missed a chance to gain a shot and sayed at 10 under.
And now, we begin the back nine on Sunday at the Masters.
Jordan Spieth is in second!
The 2015 champ and first-round leader made birdie from off the green at No. 12 to move to 6 under on the day and 11 under overall. Alone in second, three back.
Rickie Fowler tied for second
After a slow start, Fwler made back-to-back birdies at Nos. 8 and 9 to join the group (McIlroy, Spieth, Rahm) at 10 under.
Rory drops a shot at No. 8
Reed nearly delivered a huge birdie on the par-5 eighth after hitting his tee shot into a bunker, but his par (14 under) was enough to gain a stroke anyway.
McIlroy missed the fairway right, laid up with his second, missed the green with his third and ended up with bogey to drop into a tied for second at 10 under (with Spieth and Rahm).
Casey finishes with a 65
Paul Casey stepped to 17 at 9 under par, on pace to equal the Masters scoring record with a 63, but he closed bogey-bogey to finish with a 7-under 65.
Reed taps in for birdie at 7
Reed delivered a brilliant approach from the rough, left of the fairway, on No. 7, to 2 feet for a tap-in birdie. McIlroy, whose tee shot was in the rough on the right underneath a tree, had to hit a low line drive that came up just short of the green.
He ended up with par to stay at 11 under, but he is three shots back of Reed again.
Reed drops a shot
Patrick Reed found trouble at the par-3 No. 6, missing the green short, knocking the uphill putt past and then missin the comebacker for par. The bogey drops him to 13 under, two better than McIlroy, who made par, and three better than Jordan Spieth.
Jordan Spieth is at 10 under
Spieth is 5 under through nine holes, a 31 on the front, and now he is tied for third at 10 under par.
Jon Rahm also is at 10 under.
Another bogey for Rory
McIlroy slid his par putt past the hole on No. 5 to drop back to 11 under. Two birdies, two bogeys in his first five holes.
Reed calmly made par to stay at 14 under, and his lead is back at three.
Jordan Spieth keeps coming
Spieth made another birdie, this time at the par-5 eighth to get to 9 under for the tournament, four under on the day.
Rickie Fowler loses ground on the leaders
Fowler hit his second shot over the green at No. 5, leaving a near-impossible pitch back down the hill. He managed to make bogey to drop to 8 under.
Paul Casey is at 9 under!
Casey is showing the leaders there are scoring opportunities out there: He is 9 under through 15 and if he pars out will tie the Masters record of 63.
NINE-UNDER thru 15. pic.twitter.com/qqfm54cltm
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) April 8, 2018
The others 63s: Nick Price in 1986 (third round), Greg Norman in 1996 (first round).
Rory cuts into the lead again
McIlroy hit a brilliant tee shot on the 240-yard par-3 fourth, needing only a 3-footer for birdie. Reed saved par but his lead narrowed to two shots, -14 to -12.
Paul Casey is 8 under
The now score on the day belongs to Casey, who is 8 under on the day, 5 under on the back and 6 under for the tournament.
Patrick Reed rights the ship
Reed got back to even par on the day and 14 under on the tournament when he slammed in a birdie at No. 3 … and McIlroy made bogey.
All of a sudden we are back where we started, a three-shot lead for Reed.
Jon Rahm wants in this chase
Rahm made birdies on Nos. 2 and 3 to get to 10 under, one better than playing partner Rickie Fowler.
Alas, his tee shot on the par-3 fourth found the bunker, and he gave one of those shots back.
Justin Rose, as well, making a bit of a move. He is 3 under through seven holes, to 6 under overall.
Here comes Rory!
McIlroy birdied the par-5 second — massive drive, on-target approach to within 6 feet, just missing the eagle putt — and he is one back at 12 under. Even so, it was a bit of a missed opportunity.
Reed managed only a par after knocking his approach into the a bunker. His lead, which started at three shots, is down to one.
Webb Simpson is at 7 under on Sunday
There are good scores out there. Simpson birdied No. 15 to get to 4 under overall and 7 under in the final round.
Another birdie for Spieth
Jordan Spieth is 3 under through five holes and has moved to 8 under par.
Tiger adds another birdie at 17
Tiger Woods played 17 beautifully, with a big tee shot, a solid approach to 8 feet and a birdie 3.
He is even par for the tournament and 4 under in the final round.
Reed mangles the opening hole
New life for the chase pack, starting with McIlroy. Reed managed to salvage bogey on No. 1 despite a tee shot into trouble, a second into the greenside bunker, the third to the back of the green and a long downhill putt to within about 4 feet for bogey.
McIlroy, meanwhile, played a brilliant bunker shot after lousy first and second shots to make par.
Reed drops to -13, and his lead is two.
Tiger taps in for par at 16
Tiger Woods had no trouble at 16, safely on the green, long putt to set up a tap in for par. He is at 1 over for the tournament.
And it’s on … the leaders are on the course
Patrick Reed, the leader at 14 under, and Rory McIlroy, in pursuit at 11 under, are finally on the course.
Reed is chasing his first major title; McIlroy is chasing the career Grand Slam.
Reed’s tee shot found the pine straw, and tree trouble, left of the fairway; McIlroy was way right off the tee. “Sideways,” as Nick Faldo said on the CBS broadcast.
McIlroy considered hitting a provisional, but it was unneeded.
Tiger makes his first eagle of the week
Tiger Woods flashed a smile — after acknowledging the roar — after his first eagle of the week, at No. 15.
Woods moves to 1 over for the tournament and 3 under for the final round.
Rickie Fowler and Jon Rahm are on their way
The next-to-last group, Fowler at -9, Rahm at -8, are on the course at last.
Birdie-birdie start for Spieth
Jordan Spieth missed an eagle at the par-5 second by a couple feet, but he tapped for a second consecutive birdie. He is at 7 under.
Fine finish for the amateur
Doug Ghim, the low amateur by virtue of making the cut (the only am to do so), completed his final round with a brilliant chip-in birdie.
He landed three eagles during the week and finished 8 over for the tournament.
Tiger makes par at 14
Somewhat tricky for Tiger after a terrific tee shot. His approach left him a 26-foot downhill putt for birdie. Woods negotiated it admirably for a tap-in par to stay at 1 under for the day, 3 over for the tournament.
Webb Simpson gives one back
Simpson could not escape Amen Corner unscathed: A bogey at No. 12 drops him back to 5 under for the day.
Spieth opens with a birdie
The 2015 Masters champ was pin-seeking from the start, knocking his approach on 1 to within 8 feet and draining the putt. He is at 6 under. Playing partner Justin Thomas made par.
Webb Simpson is 6 under
The 2012 U.S. Open champ made birdie on No. 10 to move to 6 under on the day, 3 under overall.
TWO eagles in a row …
Another pair of Masters moments. pic.twitter.com/oCTauEaTGD
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) April 8, 2018
Back-to-back eagles (at Nos. 7 and 8) can move things along rapidly.
Tiger makes birdie on 13
Woods blasted his drive 304 yards, dead center of the fairway on the par-5 13th, leaving himself about 180 yards to the pin. His approach was solid, and a two-putt for birdie. He is back to 3 over.
Jordan Spieth on his way in final round
Day 1 leader Jordan Spieth and reigning PGA champion Justin Thomas have begun their final round. They are 5 under.
Mickelson finishes with a 67
Phil Mickelson birdied the par-4 17th to get to 2 over for the tournament and 5 under on the day. He made par on 18 to finish with a final-round 67.
Stress-free par 3 at No. 12 for Tiger
Tiger had no trouble with the tricky 12th: Tee shot to center of green, 26-foot birdie putt to 2 feet for par.
Tiger makes par at 11
One hole in Amen Corner down, one par. Woods played No. 11 efficiently with a relatively painless par putt. He remains at 4 over. Playing partner Cabrera Bello bogeyed and falls back to +2 overall.
Next up, the very testy No. 12.
Bubba begins his final round
Two-time champ Bubba Watson begins his final round. He starts the day at 6 under, eight shots behind Patrick Reed.
Watson won in 2012 and 2014.
Mickelson with another eagle
Phil Mickelson, coming down the home stretch, eagled the par-5 No. 15 (he eagled No. 8 on Saturday).
Mickelson is 4 under on the day and 3 over for the tournament.
Tiger arrives at Amen Corner
Woods blasted his tee shot 338 yards at the 505-yard No. 11, the start of Amen Corner.
He is over par for the week on the three famous holes.
Tiger starts the back nine with par
Woods negotiated the tee shot and approach on the par-4, 495-yard 10th, giving himself another look at birdie, from 12 feet below the hole. A solid putt doesn’t go, and it’s another par. Still +4.
Whoa, Webb Simpson!
The former U.S. Open champ is red hot at the moment, 5 under par eight holes, including back-to-back eagles at 7 and 8.
TWO eagles in a row …
Another pair of Masters moments. pic.twitter.com/oCTauEaTGD
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) April 8, 2018
Simpson holed out from 166 yards on the par-4 No. 7, then chipped in from 20 yards for a 3 on the par-5 No. 8.
Still an hour until the leaders get rolling
Nobody is going low so far on Sunday, but Reed (-14) could threaten the scoring record at Augusta.
The scoring record is 270, 18 under par (Woods, Spieth).
Another bogey for Tiger
Woods blistered his drive on No. 9, 338 yards, leaving him 115 yards to the pin. But his approach — the iron shots are not so solid after all — came up well short of his target on and spun back off the green, 25 yards from the hole.
Woods’ wedge was much better, to 5 feet from the flag. But the putter let him down again. Bogey.
Woods makes the turn at even par for the day, 4 over for the tournament.
Cabrera Bello completed his front nine in 34, 1 over for the tournament.
Tiger bounces back with birdie on 8
The adventure continues. Woods delivered a birdie on the par-5 eighth after a solid chip shot from left of the green to 5 feet.
Woods is 1 under on the day (three birdies, two bogeys) and 3 over for the tournament.
Cabrera Bello also birdied to get to +1 overall.
Mickelson birdied No. 13 to get to +5.
3-putt bogey wastes brilliant approach
if you can’t go through it, go around it. Tiger power-sliced his approach from just off the fairway on No. 7 to within 8 feet for another try at birdie.
Alas, no joy for Woods, who missed the birdie putt, and the par putt and he wasted the brilliant approach. Three-putt bogey for Woods, back to 4 over.
Into the rough … ummm, second cut
Tiger’s tee shot on No. 7 (450 yards, par 4) looked like a beauty — Eldrick even twirled the club after watching it fly — kicked right and into the rough, 320 yards down the fairway. Lurking just in view … a tree, which complicates the approach … 120 yards to the right-side pin location.
Vijay Singh, 3 under through 13 holes, has the best round going.
Mickelson bogeyed No. 11 and is back to 6 over.
Augusta giveth, Augusta taketh away
After Tiger nearly aced the par 3 fourth, his tee shot on the par-3 sixth (playing about 187 yards on Sunday) was off line from the start and plunked a patron 29 yards right of the green.
Despite the errant tee shot, Woods managed to save par: He pitched to 8 feet away, and he made the putt. Still +3.
Tiger’s irons are solid so far on Sunday
After a 279-yard tee shot with a fairway metal, Woods knocked his approach right on line to within 26 feet on the 455-yard, par-4 fifth.
Woods’ birdie try scared the hole but slipped 3 feet past. The par putt spun around and in. He stays 3 over.
Tiger nearly aces the par-3 fourth
Tiger’s tee shot ran right past — over? — the hole at the 240-yard par-3 fourth, just skipping past the flag stick and stopping 9 feet away.
After watching playing partner Cabrera Bello knock in his putt on roughly the same line, Woods dropped his birdie putt in the side door to move to +3.
Even pros, including Tiger, foul up chip shots
After bashing a 321-yard tee shot that, unfortunately drifted left of the fairway, Woods fouled up the pitch shot, sweeping his wedge under the ball and coming up well short of the green. His third found the green but left him 13 feet from the pin.
The putt was just off line, and the bogey bumps him back to +4.
Mickelson has cooled off … a bogey 6 at No. 8 drops him back to +5.
Tiger lands birdie on No. 2
Woods took a bit of a circuitous route — long tee shot into the pine straw on the right, a big bender around trees and down the fairway, high pitch shot over a bunker to within 3 feet, bingo! — to his first birdie of the day, and he moves to +3.
Phil Mickelson, meanwhile, is still -3 through 7 and +4 for the tournament.
CBS loves its ratings
Ratings for the Masters broadcast are up, according to CBS.
Tiger’s birdie putt on 1 lips out
Woods missed a dandy opportunity to get off to a fast start by missing a very makeable 8 footer for birdie on the opening hole. He played the hole perfectly until the birdie putt, which was struck a bit firmly. He stays at +4.
Birdie run ends for Phil
Mickelson came up just short on his birdie attempt at No. 5, ending his run of three consecutive birdies. He is safely in with par and will stay at +4.
Tiger Woods is on the course
Tiger Woods (+4) is on the course, and his tee shot at No. 1 was dead center. Something of a victory for Woods, who struggles with the opening hole. He is playing with Rafael Cabrera Bello.
Phil! Birdie-birdie-birdie for Mickelson
It’s too bad Phil Mickelson began Sunday so far back … or the leaders might be hearing the footsteps of the three-time champ. Mickelson made it back-to-back-to-back birdies with a 2 on the 240-yard par-3 fourth. He is now at +4.
Phil also birdied 2, 3, 4 in 2015, and his low round at Augusta National is 65.
Three straight birdies from Phil!
No better way to start a Sunday at Augusta.pic.twitter.com/Cb8KdsS0jp
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) April 8, 2018
Another birdie for Phil
Mickelson moves to 5 over with a birdie at the 350-yard par-4 third. A 303-yard drive, approach to 14 feet and drain-o on the putt. Phil is at +5.
Mickelson birdies the par-5 second
Phil Mickelson is not where he wants to be on Sunday at the Masters. But at least he’s no longer in last place. A birdie on the par-5 second hole moves him to 6 over. Next to last. Mickelson is wearing a large bandage on his left hand; no word on why.
Sunday’s tee times (TV: 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., CBS Sports)
10 a.m. – Vijay Singh
10:10 a.m. – Ian Poulter, Brian Harman
10:20 a.m. – Chez Reavie, Phil Mickelson
10:30 a.m. – Tyrrell Hatton, a-Doug Ghim
10:40 a.m. – Martin Kaymer, Kyle Stanley
10:50 a.m. – Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Xander Schauffele
11 a.m. – Bryson DeChambeau, Branden Grace
11:10 a.m. – Rafael Cabrera Bello, Tiger Woods
11:20 a.m. – Bernhard Langer, Fred Couples
11:40 a.m. –Zach Johnson, Webb Simpson
11:50 a.m. – Ryan Moore, Jhonattan Vegas
12 p.m. – Adam Scott, Daniel Berger
12:10 p.m. – Haotong Li, Paul Casey
12:20 p.m. – Adam Hadwin, Hideki Matsuyama
12:30 p.m. – Satoshi Kodaira, Russell Henley
12:40 p.m. – Kevin Kisner, Francesco Molinari
12:50 p.m. – Matthew Fitzpatrick, Si Woo Kim
1 p.m. – Charley Hoffman, Tony Finau
1:20 p.m. – Jimmy Walker, Matt Kuchar
1:30 p.m. – Jason Day, Bernd Wiesberger
1:40 p.m. – Justin Rose, Louis Oosthuizen
1:50 p.m. – Dustin Johnson, Cameron Smith
2 p.m. – Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth
2:10 p.m. – Bubba Watson, Marc Leishman
2:20 p.m. – Henrik Stenson, Tommy Fleetwood
2:30 p.m. – Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm
2:40 p.m. – Patrick Reed, Rory McIlroy
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