Patrick Reed said his determination to stick to his game plan at Augusta enabled him to withstand the blistering attacks from Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth to win the Masters.
Reed completed a nerve-jangling final round of 71 to hold off the challenge of Ryder Cup team-mates Fowler and Spieth and claim his first major title.
8/1 Jordan Spieth
10/1 Rory McIlroy
11/1 Dustin Johnson
12/1 Justin Thomas
Reed saw a three-shot lead cut to a single stroke after just two holes, but held his nerve and carded crucial birdies on the third, seventh, 12th and 14th, the latter edging him back in front after Spieth tied the lead with his ninth birdie of the day on the 16th.
"Really, my mindset going in was stick to my game-plan, play golf, and, you know, I stuck to my game-plan all week,” said Reed. “Even today, I didn't stray from it at all throughout the entire day.
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"You know, it's something that I needed to learn, especially at a place like this, how important it is to stick to what I believe and how I feel like I need to play the golf course. You know, with it, it gave me the reward of winning my first green jacket."
Despite Rory McIlroy closing in early on before fading away, followed by two all-out assaults from birdie machines Spieth and Fowler, Reed – a confirmed watcher of scoreboards throughout his round - insisted he took it all in his stride.
"I knew the lead would shrink at some times, and the lead could grow,” he added. “It's just the flows of golf, you have to know how to handle it and the way I could get that done was to make sure the putter was working.
"It's almost impossible to put into words. Just to make par on the last and to watch the ball go in the hole and know that I've won my first major. To finish off that drought meant so much to me."
The 27-year-old, who has played the pantomime villain in Ryder Cup matches seemed to have lost the popularity contest with McIlroy on the first tee – but that played into the fierce competitor’s hands.
"I walked up to the first tee and had a really welcoming cheer from the fans, but then when Rory walked up to the tee his cheer was a little louder," Reed said.
"But that's another thing that just kind of played into my hand. Not only did it fuel my fire a little bit, but also, it just takes the pressure off of me and adds it back to him.
"For me trying to win my first major, for him trying to win the career grand slam, it's (about) who is going to handle the pressure and who is going to have more pressure on them.”
Reed also said it was always a dream to win the green jacket.
"Growing up, everyone always dreamed about winning Augusta, winning the Masters. Every time you think about it as a kid, it's always 'This putt's to win the Masters’.
"I think that's just because of the history and everything that's gone on here at Augusta National and how special it is to all the golfers and special it is to just golf in general around the world."