David Duval rather critical of Rory McIlroy after Masters showing

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But once again McIlroy's putter cooled off and he fell flat when it mattered most.

"Obviously it's been everyone's dream to win the Masters", Fowler said.

And, although it was not the collapse of 2011, when he enjoyed a four-shot lead after 54 holes before crashing to a closing 80, the Northern Irishman has now failed to convert his first four chances to join Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods in winning all four majors.

Woods missed greens right and left, never really getting approach shots in the precise spots on treacherous greens. "Even today, I didn't stray from it at all".

He won a big one Sunday, and it was hard work, just the way he likes it.

By the time McIlroy's day mercifully ended, the bounce in his step was gone, replaced by a dejected look and slumping shoulders.

Over the weekend, the Masters Tournament [VIDEO] took place at the Augusta National Golf Club.

Then it was Spieth, who says and does all the right things off the course, making a Sunday charge that even Nicklaus could appreciate. But I said to myself, 'Don't concentrate on them too much.

"I didn't quite do enough". Every time I put it on, ... it's not relief at all, but ... it's a sense of achievement because you've achieved something only very few have.

Jon Rahm did great to get within a couple of shots of the lead during the final round, having carded a 75 on Thursday. Reed had played 12 rounds at Augusta National without ever breaking 70, and only two of those rounds were under par.

Speaking of Singh, he shot an ugly 79 that put him in the first group of the final round.

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"It's the last round of a major championship, and we're both going for.", McIlroy said, clearly confident after his third round.

"It's going to be fun", he added.

"It was breaking so hard to the left, I couldn't tell if it was going to go in or if it was just going to burn edges", Reed said. "You're going to have to go out and play a good round of golf and shoot under par".

Reed and McIlroy are indelibly linked to that Ryder Cup singles match at Hazeltine some 18 months ago when they traded big putts and uppercuts until Reed prevailed on the 18th hole. Unlike that showdown, where Reed was backed by a huge crowd chanting "USA, USA", McIlroy was the favorite among the final day crowd. Reed also doesn't buy into the idea that the pressure is all on him, a notion McIlroy quickly suggested.

"Honestly, I felt like a lot of that pressure was kind of lifted and kind of taken off of me", Reed said.

"We all believe Rory will win the grand slam, and I believe he can play this golf course, and I believe he will one day win on this golf course, but it doesn't mean he will".

Reed sank an eight-foot birdie putt at the par-4 14th to regain a one-stroke lead and parred to the clubhouse to win. And when I made par and on 15, and Jordan finished at 13 and Rickie was at 13 at that point, he just looked at me and said, "Hey, it doesn't matter".

He curled in a 14-foot eagle putt at the 13th, then saw his chip at 15 hit the green and race toward the hole, striking the pin and dropping in. "Not that I have anything against Patrick". "But at the same time, he's trying to go for the career Grand Slam". But it will likely damage his psyche.

Still, the Masters is a different kind of pressure, especially with so many elite players in pursuit.

Trailing by three shots to start the final round, he closed to within one shot after two holes.