(RNN) - Patrick Reed held off a furious comeback from Jordan Spieth and a stellar round from Rickie Fowler to claim his first Masters championship on Sunday.
"I knew it was going to be tough," Reed said. "I knew that the lead was going to shrink at some times, and I knew it could grow. That's just the flows of golf, you just have to handle it."
Reed, who attended college in Augusta, closely missed a number of putts on the back nine as Spieth roared to a final-round record-tying 64.
But Spieth, with a chance to equal the record low round, slipped up on the 18th hole and instead bogeyed.
Fowler meanwhile struck birdies on six of the last 11 holes to finish 14-under and edge Spieth for second place.
"Gave it our all, left it all out there, made P-Reed earn it," Fowler said.
Reed, despite the heavy pressure, held firm following a spotty start to the day.
He was 1-over for the round before he birdied the par-3 12th hole. He managed another birdie on 14 and then shot an even-par the rest of the way.
It was a modest improvement on his 14-under score coming into the day, but enough to get him the green jacket.
Reed was commanding earlier in the week, with sub-70 scores in each of the first three rounds.
The 27-year-old had never won a major championship before. He finished tied for second at least year’s PGA Championship.
2018 Masters Green Jacket Presentation Ceremony https://t.co/nhMDC2Mhh8— Masters Tournament (@TheMasters) April 8, 2018
Spieth, the 2015 Masters champion, was chasing a record comeback of nine strokes. The largest Masters comeback is eight strokes, done twice, by Gary Player in 1978 and Jack Burke in 1956.
Rory McIlroy, who has won golf's three other majors but never the Masters, came into the day in second but faded out with a frustrating 2-over 74.
Tiger Woods finished strong with a 3-under 69, his best round of the tournament. He finished tied for 32nd at 1-over.
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