Wow, well that was fun.
We've just about caught our breath here in the Hole19 office after the final round of the Masters. The stunning annual golfing spectacle lived up to its billing (and more) once again and it's provided many talking points.
This year had it all but we've listed our most vivid memories and favourite highlights from the past week at Augusta National. Here's what we've come up with:
Patrick Reed takes the 'Green Jacket'
Patrick Reed, 2018 Masters champion. Perhaps few of us expected to hear those words when the first ball was hit in anger on Thursday at Augusta National but he undoubtedly stands as a thoroughly deserving champion.
The current world number 11 held his game together brilliantly and displayed a high level of grit and determination to fend off the admirable challenges of fellow Americans Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth.
Catch Reed's final round route to glory below:
Four Majors held by four Americans
It's a stat that, as it is, does not bode well for the Europeans in Ryder Cup year.
All four major championships now lie in the hands of golfers who will most likely represent Team USA at Le Golf National in late September. With the U.S. Open (at Shinnecock Hills), The Open (at Carnoustie) and the PGA Championship (at Bellerive Country Club) still to come this year, Thomas Bjorn's men will be aiming to tip the scales back in their favour before battle commences.
It probably doesn't matter that much, but we like to stoke the fires a little!! To help whet the appetite further, here's a Ryder Cup preview:
Spieth's final round charge
Few people, if anyone, counted Jordan Spieth as being in with any chance of challenging during Sunday's final round in Georgia.
Starting the day nine shots behind Reed, the target for the 2015 champion would have been to card a solid final round score and move on. The way the leaders started their day sat in stark contrast to Jordan's front nine 31 and on the final few holes he was firmly in with a chance of getting his hands on a long overdue second Green Jacket.
A bogey on the 18th hole ended those hopes and saw his 8-under-par total fall one stroke shy of the course record set by both Nick Price and Greg Norman (63).
Catch Jordan's awesome final round highlights below:
Rory career Grand Slam quest derailed
A lot of the (non-Tiger) pre-Masters chat surrounded the chances of four-time major winner Rory McIlroy capturing the final leg of his own personal career grand slam. Despite being in prime position after a few holes of his final round it all became a bit of a struggle for the Northern Irishman with his putter, in particular, going stone cold.
With that said, he did manage to secure a fifth consecutive top-10 at the Masters. He clearly has what it takes to win at Augusta National however, unfortunately, we are all going to have to wait at least one more year.
Possibly his best shot of the week came at the par-5 8th hole on Saturday where he chipped in for eagle:
Tiger finishes strong
After failing to post a sub-par round on the first three days Tiger Woods signed off with an impressive 3-under-par 69 on Sunday.
The iron play was well below the standards the fourteen-time major winner would have expected and he knows better than any that small accuracy issues can be magnified many times during the season's first major.
Happy at least to be back playing major golf, he will now take some time off to rest and then get back in the gym before deciding upon his next PGA Tour event (likely the Wells Fargo Championship in three weeks time).
All the best shots from the final round 69 are below:
Finau's ankle-popping celebration
On the eve of the main tournament, at the historic Masters par-3 contest, the big American Tony Finau celebrated a hole-in-one slightly too enthusiastically resulting in a horrific looking ankle roll (and dislocation).
Still, no dramas, he just popped it back into place and teed it up the next day like nothing had happened.
If you're squeamish you might want to give this one a miss:
What are your abiding memories of the 2018 Masters championship? Let us know below:
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