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Patrick Reed, Rickie Fowler, and Jordan Spieth commit to THE PLAYERS Championship 2018
THE PLAYERS Championship announced today that 2018 Masters champion Patrick Reed, THE PLAYERS 2015 champion Rickie Fowler and 2015 FedExCup champion Jordan Spieth have committed to play in the 2018 tournament, contested at THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass May 8-13, 2018. Reed, Fowler and Spieth finished first, second and third, respectively, at the Masters this past weekend, with Reed’s final-round 71 yielding a 15-under total and a one stroke lead over Rickie Fowler and two stroke lead over Jordan Spieth.
Patrick Reed shot a final-round 1-under 71 for a 15-under 273 total to win the 2018 Masters and earn his first major championship victory and sixth PGA TOUR title. The 27-year-old shot three rounds in the 60s (69-66-67) to take both the 36- and 54-hole leads. Reed now has a win at a major championship, a World Golf Championships event and a FedExCup Playoffs event at THE NORTHERN TRUST in 2016, while he is still in search of his first win at THE PLAYERS.
Reed will be making his fifth appearance at THE PLAYERS this May, where he has missed two cuts and two top-25 finishes. He finished T22 last year.
Reed came into the week with three consecutive top-10 results on the PGA TOUR – T2/Valspar Championship, T7/Arnold Palmer Invitational, T9/WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. With his win, Reed has now posted four consecutive top-10s for the first time in his PGA TOUR career and has seven top-25 finishes in 13 starts this season. He also moves from No. 24 to No. 11 in the Official World Golf Rankings and from No. 27 to No. 5 in the FedExCup standings, where his best finish in the season-long points race was third in 2016.
Rickie Fowler, THE PLAYERS Championship’s 2015 champion, started the final round of the Masters five strokes back of third-round leader Patrick Reed and posted a final-round 67 to finish one stroke behind Reed. This marked the first time in eight starts at Augusta National that Fowler recorded four par-or-better rounds in the Masters (70-72-65-67). Fowler now has three top-10 finishes in nine starts this season and has moved from No. 31 to No. 13 in the FedExCup standings.
Fowler’s win at THE PLAYERS in 2015 was one of the most dramatic, exciting and memorable victories in the history of this event. After beginning the final round of THE PLAYERS Championship three strokes off the lead, Fowler played his last six holes in 6-under to post a 6-under 66 and grab the clubhouse lead. Fowler finished birdie-par-birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie on Nos. 13-18 in regulation and played Nos. 2 15-18 in a 5-under total of 11 strokes, which set a new single-round low for the final four holes at TPC Sawgrass.
THE PLAYERS 2008 champion Sergio Garcia and Kevin Kisner both birdied No. 17 to tie Fowler and force the first three-hole aggregate playoff in the history of THE PLAYERS. Garcia couldn’t match birdies by Fowler and Kisner at No. 17, and he was eliminated from the playoff after the 18th hole. Fowler and Kisner returned to the 17th hole for sudden death, where Fowler hit it to within seven feet for the third time in less than an hour and sunk his 4-foot, 8-inch birdie putt (his third birdie on the 17th on Sunday) to win THE PLAYERS. For the week, Fowler birdied the 17th hole five out of six times. Better yet, before Fowler’s back-nine charge, his mother had made her way to the airport to leave town, but a text message alerting her to her son's rally resulted in her immediate return to TPC Sawgrass in time to witness his win.
“I’ve been waiting a long time for this,” Fowler said of his second PGA TOUR win (he now has four). “I’d say this is a pretty big one.”
Fowler will be making his ninth appearance at THE PLAYERS this year, where he has posted two top-10 finishes. After his win in 2015, he missed the cut in 2016 and finished T60 last year. Learn more about Fowler’s win at THE PLAYERS in 2015 by clicking here.
11-time PGA TOUR winner Jordan Spieth has formally committed to THE PLAYERS 2018 and will make his fifth start in the event. After starting the final round of the Masters at 5-under and nine strokes off the lead, the 2015 Masters champion was looking to win from the most strokes behind in tournament history and claim his fourth major championship title. He fired an incredible 8-under 64 on Sunday (which matched his tournament low-64 in the opening round of 2015 when he went on to win) to finish two strokes back of Reed and post his fourth top-five finish in five starts at the Masters.
The 2015 FedExCup champion now has four top-10 finishes in 10 starts this season and has moved from No. 36 to No. 23 in the FedExCup standings. Spieth is still in search of his first victory in the 2017-18 season after three victories last season (AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Travelers Championship, The Open Championship).
Spieth has missed the cut in his past three starts at THE PLAYERS, and in his first start in 2014 (his sophomore season on TOUR), he was tied for the lead with Martin Kaymer after 54 holes but posted a final-round 74 to finish T4.
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