Reed's Masters win shows golf is anybody's game

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

With Patrick Reed three clear of Rory McIlroy and five clear of Rickie Fowler in third, there was a distinct possibility that Sunday at the Masters could have turned into something of a damp squib.

All of those golfers finished the Masters late Sunday afternoon, when Reed capped a stellar week by earning his first green jacket and the first of what could be a handful of major triumphs. He lamented his iron play for the fourth straight day and loathed two three-putts, including one for bogey on No. 18. I hope one isn't the end but the start.

"And he is the kind of person who - when he enters the final round of a major leading for the first time - spends all morning watching the sport's pundits analyze what's to come". His first major moves him to No. 11.

That he has generated so much hype and publicity stems from the fact he achieved so much, so young and in such style to draw comparison with another 22-year-old who scorched the field in Lytham and St Annes to win his first Major in 1979. But when he won a year ago, it was a celebrated win for a man who grew to reinvent both his attitude and himself. Anything that is good for women's golf, as the new amateur will be, is good for the LPGA. For all the blows that came his way - and there were plenty Sunday - he always had a counterpunch. In a poll for his show, listeners were asked if they liked Patrick Reed.

Ryan summed up O'Connor's piece by writing, "A new picture of Reed emerged: Brash, arrogant, abrasive, unapologetic, winner". And when I did get some opportunities, I didn't take advantage of them.

The run-ins with teammates, combined with a pair of arrests for intoxication, led Reed to leave Georgia.

That same year, Ryan reported, items were stolen from the Georgia locker room, including a watch, Scotty Cameron putter and $400 cash. That might explain why he was an afterthought in so many conversations about the players in their 20s who seem to be taking over. While Reed admits to those incidents, he claims that he was not pushed out of UGA's program because of any suspicion of him cheating or stealing.

Few current pros spoke to Ryan on the record about their college time with Reed.

Reed had similar issues at Augusta state.

"The biggest thing was I put too much pressure on myself", added Reed, who helped Augusta State win two NCAA titles.

"He's a good guy", said Bubba Watson, who has gotten to know him. And from numerous indications, it was the disapproval by Reed's parents of the relationship between Reed and now wife Justine that drove a wedge between him and them.

By the second green on Sunday, it appeared as if McIlroy's mind games were having an effect.

Make no mistake, despite being healthy again, Woods is no longer "the man". Imagine the eye rolls at junior tournaments in the summer heat. And why is Tiger Woods forgiven everything while Reed is forgiven nothing?

Gary Player used to summon the spirits by adopting a tai chi position, visualising his name at the top of the giant Masters scoreboard, and saying, between admonitory slaps of his head, "You're gonna win, you're gonna be patient, you're gonna hole putts, you're gonna win".

"Honestly, I felt like a lot of that pressure was kind of lifted and kind of taken off of me", Reed said. I was about to and then I decided, 'no, just don't get in the way'. I didn't feel my best. But the rest of Reed's family, his parents Bill and Jeannette, and his sister Hannah, weren't at Augusta National on Sunday, or at any point during the weekend. "It's surreal", Jeannette Reed told Alan Shipnuck from Golf.com.

"I found it unusual that he was doing that talk on Saturday night, putting it up to Patrick Reed about how the pressure was on him, and how he had never won a major before".

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