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U.S. Open 2018: even at the point of falling short, Patrick Reed continues notable major championship change

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – He was the only player who could have won the Grand Slam of the calendar year in 2018. However, there was not much talk about the Masters champion, Patrick Reed, who is heading to Shinnecock Hills. It was so unnoticed that when the 27-year-old Houston resident jumped into the competition at the US Open on Sunday, he felt as if he were blind to us all.

Oh, yes, Patrick Reed is in the field, too.

In the end, Reed could not maintain the early race in which he made four birdies in his first five holes, five in his first seven and took a part of the lead. But with a 68 of two low, he finished in fourth place, an impressive demonstration if there is no reason that would allow him to carry it out.

"Honestly, during the first 11 holes, I did not, I really feel like I missed a golf opportunity," Reed said.

It does not matter that everything Reed accomplished before his victory at Augusta National should have told us that this was a great player, one that was worthy of mention among the best players in the game. In a span of four years, Reed accumulated four victories on the PGA Tour and compiled a 6-1-2 record in the Ryder Cup, becoming an American hero in the process. It was an incredible stretch of golf worthy of praise. But it is never enough.

In a sports universe where the legacy of LeBron James is questioned because "only" won three NBA titles, nothing is enough.

In golf, they are measured based on your results in major championships. Brooks Koepka has only one other victory in the PGA Tour, but his consecutive titles in the United States Open have already raised their status in the game. Before the 2017 PGA Championship, even with his impressive streak between 2013 and 2016, Reed was overwhelmed by the reputation that he did not show up during the four weeks that mattered most to him.

To be fair, that opinion had some validity. In his first 15 major starts, Reed missed five cuts and failed to record a single top 10. No matter how crushing Captain America was in the Ryder Cup, he could not calm the rumors that he simply disappeared on the big stage as an individual . A lackluster start to the 2017 season did not help either, as it registered only one of the top 10 before June.

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In less than a calendar However, during the year, Reed changed that narrative, starting at the PGA Championship 2017 in Quail Hollow, where he entered the final round five strokes of leader Kevin Kisner. Reed came to one of Justin Thomas' lead points on Sunday until a bogey on the 72nd gave him a four-under 67, two shots from a tiebreaker. Even so, it was a T-2 final, by far, his best important result, and a big step forward.

Eight months later, Reed put on the green jacket after a grueling performance in the last round that was enough to delay the charges of Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth, two players who had each customer in Augusta on their corner.

On Sunday in Long Island, Reed threatened to claim the second stage of the Grand Slam, starting his round with a total assault on Shinnecock's much more receptive greens and the nicer hole locations. He opened birdie, birdie, birdie and added another in the fifth par 5, draining and 18 feet that resulted in a fist pump Ryder Cup and grinding teeth. It was in.

In the seventh par-3, Reed dribbled on a 12-foot downhill slider from left to right that gave him a part of the lead. Now he had the New York crowd behind him, and even after making a bogey in the ninth inning to convert four under par 31, he was still only one distance away from Koepka. After a pair in the tenth, Reed cut his tee shot in the complicated par-3 11 °, then hit the pin in his shot from an impossible point, probably saving him from the double bogey. Even after two shots dropped in three holes, Reed felt trapped.

"I was hitting my lines," Reed said. "And, you know, it turned out that I hit the ball a lot farther than I think, because I step up at 11, and it's 160 and a few yards, and I'm reaching 85 percent of pitch and flying the green. It's hard to think that I need to attack the wedge gap there, but you just can not put yourself in that place.

"It happens. You just have to learn from it. "

The race seemed to end on the 12th when Reed missed the fairway and had to cut it again, hoping to advance only 40 yards, his ball came out hotter than he did , finding a sandy area in the fescue, leading to another bogey.

Reed showed resolution, just missing a birdie at 13, going up and down by Par at 14, and then hitting a 14-foot birdie at 15 , which turned out to be the last, a bogey on the 18th gave him a double of 68, good enough for the fifth solo.While he was going to sign his card, Reed was noticeably downcast, but still was able to put the week in perspective later.

"Of course it's disappointing, but at the same time, it finishes in second place, tied in PGA per second. Last year, Augusta won, "he said." Then I think I'll finish in the top five here. To finish in the top 10 my last three majors, and have the chance to really win the three and close one, means a lot. "

Reed's quest for the Grand Slam of the calendar year is over, but he knew it would have been a remote possibility anyway.

"Honestly, for me, that was the last thing I thought of. It was going out, playing a solid golf, trying to post a number and see if he can do the job … I had the chance. I definitely had the opportunity. There were too many putts lost, and at the end of the day, I just needed to hit the ball a little bit closer. "

Maybe that was the key from the beginning, that despite the belief that Reed showed in his previous career to the Masters career, the only person who needed to prove he could achieve it in the specialties was himself, he has done it three times in his last three attempts, and there should be no reason to expect anything less.

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