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Sam Torrance: Reed refused to buckle in best Masters for years

We built up our expectations in the weeks before the Masters, but in the end it fulfilled almost all of them. This was the best visit to Augusta for a long time, and the action on Saturday and Sunday was nothing short of magnificent.

Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler all applied the pressure but, with a first Major in the balance, Patrick Reed kept his nerve and beat them all.

Reed was so resilient and didnt buckle. Even when he made bad starts to his third and fourth rounds he recovered quickly, always seeming to find a birdie when he needed it.

Read more: Reed holds nerve to seal Masters glory and maiden Major

He got a little bit lucky on Sunday at 17, with a putt that would have ended up off the green if it hadnt hit the hole, but he took his chances and it paid off.

Spieths final-day charge – he played the first 16 holes in nine under par – was incredible.

His second shot out of the pine straw at 13 was phenomenal; it didnt look like the right decision but it ended up giving him a great chance for an eagle.

A par at 17 that could easily have been a birdie and a poor drive at 18 ultimately ended his hopes of a second Green Jacket, but that performance – especially after some struggles in previous weeks – was testament to just how great a player Spieth is.

When his hopes faded, Fowler took up the mantle with six birdies in the last 11 holes to finish second, and he kept Reed on his toes right until the last hole.

Fowler has become the nearly man, with second-place finishes at three of the four Majors and a handful more top-five spots, but this is not about pressure – he answered those questions when he won The Players Championship three years ago.

He has become an even better player since then, under the guidance of Butch Harmon, and at times I thought this might be his year.

McIlroy's putting stroke let him down on the final day at Augusta (Source: Getty)

McIlroy, meanwhile, had his chance at the second, where he failed to hole an eagle opportunity – and he must have missed eight putts from 10 feet on Sunday. You cant do that and expect to win a Major.

Despite all that, he finished tied for fifth. His new putting technique, which has looked good in recent weeks, did not stand up to its first big test, but I still believe that its the right stroke and Rory should keep faith with it.

Jon Rahm did great to get within a couple of shots of the lead during the final round, having carded a 75 on Thursday.

It wasnt to be for the young Spaniard but fourth place represents his best Major finish and he is capable of anything. Hell have learned a lot from this.

Australian Cameron Smith shot 66 to finish alongside McIlroy in fifth and the baby-faced 24-year-old looks a star in the making.

Englands Paul Casey went one better with a 65 and he night have threatened Spieths 64 but for a bogey-bogey finish.

It was Reeds day, however. The American once proclaimed himself among the worlds best five players and Im not convinced that hell go on to become a great – hes not a McIlroy, Spieth, Tiger Woods or Jack Nicklaus. But he is a very accomplished player and he could yet win another Major or two.

All four mens Majors are now in American hands, not to mention the Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup.

They are ruling the golfing world with some fantastic young players. I think its just one of those things, rather than anything deeper, but it shows that its time for Europe to stand up.

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