2020 Masters Choose Your Own Adventure, Patrick Reed vs. Jon Rahm: Tension Builds

Credit:

Harry Trump/Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick Reed, Jon Rahm

The gallery remains quiet throughout Reed’s round.

You’ve gotta hand it to the folks who run Augusta National: They know how to keep their tournament from turning into a circus.

In previous years, we’ve seen plenty of other professional tournaments — even major championships — overrun with buffoons who believe that paying a few bucks for a ticket gives them the right to yell whatever MASHED-POTATOES-BABA-BOOEY nonsense they desire.

Granted, badges are more precious at the Masters and the tradition of this event lends itself to a more aristocratic consumer base, but that doesn’t mean the green jackets don’t deserve some credit here. It doesn’t hit you until the fifth hole that two patrons were ejected from the tournament within the first 10 minutes of Reed’s round, but in the hour since then, there’s been nary a peep from your fellow fans.

For his part, Reed hasn’t said a word to anyone besides his caddie, either.


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You followed this pairing to keep a close eye on your money, with bets on Rahm, but you’ve been mesmerized by Reed methodically working his way through this golf course. It’s like watching Takeru Kobayashi competing in the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. Nothing about him physically suggests he should win the competition, but he’s so technically sound and mentally strong that he can easily overcome anything else.

When he won here two years ago, Reed posted four birdies and three bogeys during a final-round 1-under 71, parlaying a three-stroke 54-hole lead into a one-stroke victory. Today, though, he appears more focused than he was even on that day, wholly fixated on his swing and his stroke, without any additional distractions from the gallery.

By the time he taps in his par putt on the ninth hole, Reed owns a three-stroke lead — just as he did heading to the back-nine two years ago. Will history repeat? Can Reed hang on again?


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