With Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson set to challenge the young guns on the PGA Tour, the 2018 Masters was among the most-hyped events in recent memory.
While the two veteran stars weren't in the mix on Sunday, the season's first major certainly wasn't short on drama with Patrick Reed outlasting a leaderboard that included Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm, and Rory McIlroy.
Here are five takeaways from an event nobody will be forgetting anytime soon:
Reed's resume in the Ryder Cup has shown there is no moment, or player, too big for him in the most rabid of environments, but that had yet to be seen in major championships. A final grouping with an in-form Rory McIlroy was one thing, but holding off charges from Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth showed that the 27-year-old fears nobody on the golf course. With his first major now out of the way, it wouldn't be shocking to see Reed go on a run in golf's biggest events.
Reed may be walking off with the green jacket, but it's Spieth's incredible final round that will end up being the most memorable takeaway from this year's Masters. The 2015 champion, who began the day nine shots off the lead, absolutely torched the historic course with nine birdies on his way to an 8-under 64. After draining a 30-footer for birdie on the 16th, Spieth walked off the green holding a share of the lead. A bogey on the 18th would eventually place him in third, but his electric charge will long be remembered. It's also another notch in Spieth's incredible resume at Augusta, as the 24-year-old has now finished outside the top three only once in five starts at the Masters.
The mouth-watering matchup of Reed and McIlroy never materialized, as the four-time major champion struggled with his putting throughout the day. McIlroy eventually finished fifth after a 2-over 74. After hitting a majestic approach to the par-5 2nd to set up a 4-footer for eagle, McIlroy stunningly missed the putt, and while he still bested Reed by a shot on the hole, it was a sign of things to come.
The 28-year-old would miss five putts under 10 feet through the first 11 holes, and was effectively out of the race heading to the 12th tee. McIlroy's putting has been vastly improved in recent rounds, including a strong showing on Saturday with a 7-under 65, but Sunday showed that there's still a ways to go with that area of the game.
The return of Tiger Woods to the Masters was the talk of the golfing world heading to Augusta, but the four-time champion battled some dodgy iron control throughout the week on his way to a 32nd-place finish. Woods closed with a solid 3-under 69 on Sunday, but that was the only time he went under-par for the week. The sight of Woods back at Augusta certainly warms the heart of any golf fan, but he still has some kinks to work out before we can declare the 14-time major champ officially back to form.
With Reed's win on Sunday, Americans now hold all four major titles for the first time since Phil Mickelson won the Masters in 2004.
U.S. Open: Brooks Koepka
Open Championship: Jordan Spieth
PGA Championship: Justin Thomas
Masters: Patrick Reed
Not only that, but each of the current major winners are also aged 27 or younger, painting a very bright future for American golf.
(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)