Masters champ Patrick Reed gets third straight top-5 major finish at U.S. Open

SOUTHAMPTON, NY - JUNE 17: Patrick Reed of the United States gestures to the crowd after making a birdie putt on the seventh green during the final round of the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club on June 17, 2018 in Southampton, New York. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images) Warren Little/Getty Images

Masters champ Patrick Reed gets third straight top-5 major finish at U.S. Open

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Masters champ Patrick Reed gets third straight top-5 major finish at U.S. Open

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – Patrick Reed’s initial plan was to arrive at Shinnecock Hills on June 3, play the course for a few days and head back home to rest up for the U.S. Open.

He never left, meaning by Sunday’s final round he’d been stomping around the grounds for two full weeks.

“He liked the area, he liked the course, he liked the facilities, so he decided he was just gonna stay,” said Reed’s caddie, Kessler Karain.

All that scouting paid off. Reed birdied his first three holes in the final round, grabbing a share of the lead on the front nine at 1 over. He was 5 under on the round through seven but couldn’t close. A bogey at the last dropped him to 2 under for the day and 4 over for the tournament, three back of winner Brooks Koepka.

“I definitely had a chance,” Reed said. “Just too many missed putts, and at the end of the day, just needed to hit the ball a little closer.”

Reed made a 14-footer for birdie at 15 to move within two shots of the lead, responding with two big fist pumps and a sly grin as he walked off the green sipping some type of pink concoction from a clear water bottle.

The 621-yard par-5 16th was unreachable going directly into the wind, but Reed had a good look with 107 yards left for his third shot to put some pressure on Koepka. The slightest mis-hit left him 44 feet for the birdie try.

“He pulled it,” Karain said. “If it’s at the flag, it’s probably 10-15 feet at most. It went left into that ridge and it just kind of hits it and comes down back away from the flag versus towards it. … That just kind of hurt us right there. Would have been nice to get something closer.”

The Masters champion was under the radar for much of the week, overshadowed by the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson despite the freshly tailored green jacket in his closet.

Reed finished outside the top 10 in each of his first 15 career majors. A solo fourth at the U.S. Open made it three consecutive top-5 finishes, include a T-2 at last year’s PGA Championship. Despite two missed cuts in four British Open starts, it would seem unwise to sleep on his chances next month at Carnoustie.

“To finish in the top (5) my last three majors and to have a chance to really win all three of them and to close one off, it means a lot. Of course, Grand Slam would have been nice.” Gwk

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