Moving day at the Masters was a lot of fun. Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm, and plenty of other big names lit up Augusta National despite (or perhaps in part because of) wet conditions.
Rory in particular had a few early highlights:
And then Rory finished in style:
But despite the 65 from McIlroy (and matching 65s from Fowler and Rahm), the biggest star of the day was the leader.
Patrick Reed is, charitably, polarizing. Going back to his college days, where he was plagued by cheating rumors, Reed hasn’t exactly proven easy to love for fans; for every instance of Ryder Cup greatness, there’s an incident like last year’s trashing of his equipment techs.
(That Reed is currently without an equipment deal is likely not a coincidence.)
But today, Reed was very much the star he’s always thought himself as. That was best evidenced by his performance on the back nine par 5s; despite playing in a somewhat steady rain at that point, Reed went for both greens in two, and as with most of golf and life, not laying up was the right call.
And his effort on 15 was even more incredible:
Reed did give one back on 16, but heading into Sunday, we’re getting a Patrick Reed-Rory McIlroy final pairing. Reed is getting three shots on Rory and more on the rest of the field, but this does not feel like a done deal by any means. At Hazeltine in 2016, Reed and McIlroy played one of the most entertaining Ryder Cup matches in history. Reed came out on top then, and he has the advantage again tomorrow, at least on the scoreboard.
But though neither man has won the Masters, Rory has won four majors already. That’s a big deal. And it’s also impossible to rule out Fowler and Rahm, both players are more than capable of playing stress-free golf from behind and threatening the course record.
Tomorrow is going to be so much fun.