2020 Masters Choose Your Own Adventure, Patrick Reed vs. Jon Rahm: Moving On
Harry Trump/Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick Reed, Jon Rahm
Stick with this pairing and wait for the birdies.
They say the Masters doesn’t really start until the back-nine on Sunday, a silly proposition which if true would render the first 63 holes of the tournament totally irrelevant.
You get the idea, though. Everyone does.
The point is: A lot of things look like they might happen going into the back-nine of this tournament and a lot of other, unforeseen things tend to happen by the time it’s all said and done.
There’s a certain lethargy in the Reed-Rahm pairing as they make the turn, but you already feel like you’re pot-committed. A large part of your brain is telling you to abandon ship and find another group to watch, but there’s a small part that tells you not to leave — that if you do, and if one of these guys wins, you’ll forever be kicking yourself.
You decide to stick with ‘em and are soon rewarded.
Reed birdies the 10th, as Rahm makes par. Rahm birdies the 11th, as Reed makes par. It gets really interesting on 12, when Reed nearly makes an ace and Rahm matches his birdie. They each birdie the par-5 13th, as well, then make pars on 14.
At this point, they’re each two shots off the lead — still not out of it.
On 15, after missing the green long, Reed chips in for eagle, holding his hand up to his ear with a big smile on his face, just as he’s done before in the Ryder Cup. Not to be outdone, Rahm rolls in a 50-footer for eagle himself, not unlike the massive putt at Torrey Pines three years ago that clinched his first PGA Tour title.
The two men who barely uttered good luck to each other on the first tee culminate their eagles with an enthusiastic fist-bump, as they walk off the green with Rahm’s arm around Reed’s shoulder, the two of them basking in each other’s back-nine success, each now tied for the lead.
It’s not all buddy-buddy for the final three holes, though.
They each par the 16th and birdie the 17th. On 18, it appears that a birdie for either — or both — will force a playoff, an electric comeback from where they started nine holes earlier.
It doesn’t happen.
You find a great vantage point right near the green, watching as they each miss their birdie attempts, falling one stroke shy of getting into that playoff.
When it’s over, the gallery salutes them and you join in, fervently applauding the performance. The pairing you originally picked didn’t win, but your decision didn’t go for naught, either, as they put on one hell of a show.