GOLF.com conducts a weekly roundtable with its staff to break down the game’s hottest topics. And since it’s Masters week, we are answering one burning question each night. Check in every Sunday evening for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors and join the conversation by tweeting us @golf_com.
Patrick Reed leads this 82nd Masters after 54 holes, but four-time major champ Rory McIlroy is three back and in the final group with him. And don’t forget Rickie Fowler (five back), Jon Rahm (six back) and others who could make a big move. Who will get it done on Sunday and slip on the green jacket?
Michael Bamberger: Rory. Hard to win your first major in your first real chance. Easier, though not much, to learn from your mistakes and borrow from your past successes. I like Rory to complete his career grand slam.
Josh Sens: That’s sound reasoning from Mr. Bamberger, but I see Reed summoning his inner Ryder Cup self and gritting his way to a win. Which of course means that Rory will likely boat race him.
Alan Shipnuck: Let us not forget last year’s PGA Championship, where Reed had a chance to win but made a mess of the 72nd hole. Same thing happened at the Valspar last month. To this point in his career he has not been a strong closer. That could change in a big way tomorrow, but he’ll be giving up 50 off the tee to Rory, who has never looked so confident or comfortable here. I think McIlroy reels him in.
Dylan Dethier: Reed’s due for a regression. At a long shot, I could see Rickie making a charge as things stall out in the explosive group behind him.
Sean Zak: As much as I’d like to believe in Reed’s impressive play to this point, history has proven it impossible to shoot four rounds in the 60s during the Masters. No one has ever done it. Reed has been near-flawless to this point, and I don’t believe that you can play this course mistake-free four times in a row. I think he makes a mistake tomorrow, and I think Rory jumps on him in that moment, and then bucks his head all the way to the Grand Slam.
Jessica Marksbury: I’m on Team Reed here. He doesn’t have to play as well as he did today to bring this thing home. I think 3-under can get it done tomorrow. And if he can summon just half of the adrenaline he displayed when he dispatched Rory in the Ryder Cup, I truly believe the green jacket is his.
Jeff Ritter: Reed has been awesome, but at some point, and especially when chasing a first major, doesn’t there have to be at least a little regression to the mean? That’s all it would take for McIlroy to catch him. I think it’s going to be a sequel worthy of the Ryder Cup original, and Rors wins to cap the career slam.