AUGUSTA, Ga. — After the final putt disappeared into the cup, Rickie Fowler waited outside the scoring room at Augusta National.
Once again, he was congratulating someone else on winning their first major championship .
For Fowler, the wait goes on.
“I was ready to go win,” he said. “Unfortunately, I was one shot short.”
This has become a familiar lament for Fowler, who now lugs around the unwanted baggage as the best player without a title in one of golf’s biggest events.
He had his best chance yet on a stirring Sunday at the Masters, making six birdies over the final 11 holes — including an 8-footer at the 72nd hole that finished off a 14-under 274 .
It’s a score that would’ve been good enough to win most years.
But Patrick Reed had one less stroke on his card, claiming the green jacket by sinking a short but testy par putt at No. 18 .
“Glad I at least made the last one to make him earn it,” Fowler said.
Jordan Spieth did his part, too, to make Reed earn it.
The 24-year-old Texan turned in one of the greatest closing rounds in Masters history, shooting an 8-under 64 that pushed him into the mix after he started the day with a daunting nine-shot deficit.
Spieth thought it would be a nice, stress-free day out on the course.
Instead, he horned his way into one of the greatest duels this place has ever seen, actually grabbing a share of the lead by sinking a 35-foot birdie putt at the 16th hole .
“Are you kidding me,” Spieth mouthed to his caddie.
Reed, playing in the final group, answered with a birdie at the 14th.
Spieth’s hopes ended at the 18th hole after his tee shot clipped a tree, falling to the ground just 177 yards away. He pulled off two dazzling shots to give himself a shot at saving par. But an 8-foot putt slid by the edge of hole — his only bogey of the day.
“I was pretty gutted at the finish,” Spieth said. “I hit a tee shot that wasn’t that bad. It just caught the last little branch of that tree. Obviously, I want to go back to that tee shot right now. But it was a phenomenal day.”
Spieth sure knows his way around Augusta National, where he won in 2015, finished second two other times, and now has a third-place showing on his resume. His worst performance in five …read more