AUGUSTA, Ga. — Patrick Reed won’t ever be regarded among the many signature athletes of his era. He’s constructed like a beer-league softball participant, and he performs a sport usually conquered by males who possible had bother making their highschool soccer and basketball groups.
However Reed did one thing Sunday that the best of the nice do on muscle reminiscence. Tiger Woods, Tom Brady, Michael Jordan — they without end used actual or imagined slights to gasoline their rage and dominate the very antagonists who slighted them within the first place. Reed joined their ranks on the Masters with some managed fury of his personal. The followers didn’t need him to win, and Rory McIlroy, four-time main winner, strongly recommended Reed could be feeling an excessive amount of nervousness to win.
Reed rose above all of the negativity, defied the American crowd that rooted as a substitute for the Northern Irishman, and within the course of made McIlroy look smaller than a dimple on his golf ball. In the long run, Reed fell into the arms of his caddie and brother-in-law as a first-time main winner and as a team-event titan who proved he may handle the immense stress of particular person competitors as forcefully as any golfer on the planet.
“Great f—ing job,” caddie Kessler Karain stated in Reed’s ear after his synthetic the Four-footer to complete at 15 underneath, one stroke forward of Rickie Fowler. “It may not have been pretty, but you got the job done.”
It was by no means going to be fairly with Patrick Reed, the golfer who collected extra enemies than most on his stormy rise from boyhood prodigy to varsity dangerous boy to self-promoting PGA Tour winner to grasp of the Masters. Reed was kicked off his College of Georgia staff, and almost voted off his Augusta State staff by his schoolmates, for offenses that ranged from alcohol-fueled misbehavior to an arrest for underage ingesting to continually speaking right down to lesser teammates to alleged dishonest infractions. His coach at Augusta State, Josh Gregory, suspended him and warned him that his complete profession was about to go up in smoke.
“After sitting down with Josh,” Reed instructed ESPN.com in 2014, “it helped me realize it’s not all me, me, me.”
Nevertheless it was all Reed, Reed, Reed this week at Augusta Nationwide, the place followers who did not give a rattling concerning the back-to-back nationwide titles he gained at Augusta State greeted the quasi-local (Reed grew up in Texas) on the first tee with compulsory applause earlier than welcoming McIlroy as if he have been Elvis with a brogue.
“But that’s another thing that just kind of played into my hand,” Reed stated. “Not solely did it gasoline my hearth a bit of bit, but additionally, it simply takes the strain off of me and provides it again to him. I believe that is the largest factor going right into a Sunday … for me making an attempt to win my first, for him making an attempt to win the profession Grand Slam.
“It is who’s going to deal with the strain, and who’s going to have extra strain on them. Actually, I felt like a whole lot of that strain was form of lifted and form of taken off me. … You had a whole lot of the blokes selecting him to win over me, and it is a type of issues that the extra chatter you hear in your ear about expectations and every part, the more durable it’s to play golf.”
Down three strokes after three rounds, McIlroy put the psychological screws to Reed on Saturday night time when he surveyed the chief’s majors résumé — one awful top-10 end, a second eventually summer time’s PGA Championship — and determined that “all of the strain is on him.” Reed confirmed two may play that thoughts sport by utilizing the gang’s clear desire and the predictions of a McIlroy victory (together with one from Nick Faldo) to settle into the extra snug function of underdog.
Reed landed his first tee ball close to a tree on the left and bogeyed after a awful shot out of the bunker. McIlroy landed his first tee ball within the pine straw and dry leaves on the precise and hit a powerful iron shot above the timber earlier than making a persuasive, up-and-down save. McIlroy minimize one other shot from his deficit on the par-5 second however missed a brief eagle putt that may’ve put him in a tie with Reed and left the American bloodied on the ropes. The missed haymaker modified the struggle. In pursuit of changing into the sixth golfer and first European to win all 4 majors, McIlroy birdied solely two of his remaining 16 holes and completed a half-dozen pictures behind Reed.
“He simply hung in there a bit of bit higher than I did and acquired the job executed,” McIlroy stated.
Reed did a hell of much more than cling in there. He repelled the superb run of birdies put collectively by Jordan Spieth, whose Eight-under 64 was among the many greatest closing rounds the Masters had ever seen. Reed repelled an impressed cost from Rickie Fowler, who performed the ultimate seven holes in Four underneath and birdied the 18th to drive the chief to make par.
The person who had by no means slept on a 54-hole lead in a serious sandwiched daring birdie putts at Nos. 12 and 14 round a lucky break on the 13th, the place his second shot stayed on the financial institution and out of the creek. On the 18th, Reed discovered the golf green with a drive he punctuated with a corkscrew swing out of the Arnold Palmer playbook after which landed his method 24 toes above the opening to confront what he referred to as “most likely the quickest putt on the golf course.”
Reed barely tapped that putt and nonetheless rolled it Four toes previous regardless of his throwing out his fingers and begging it to cease. Karain, the caddie, thought-about whispering some phrases of consolation to lighten the second however determined to step away and depart his participant alone along with his ideas. As Karain surveyed Reed’s physique language, he determined this was the primary time all afternoon that Reed was actually nervous.
“He took a deep breath,” Karain said, “let it out, after which he went and made the putt.”
After which the strangest factor occurred. The boys, girls and kids across the 18th inexperienced let loose a roar that wasn’t, you understand, a roar. No, the vast majority of followers at Augusta Nationwide did not need this embellished product of Augusta State to prevail. Did Group Reed discover?
“I positively really feel that method,” Karain said of the fans’ allegiance. “However that is OK, as a result of generally that is motivating, too.”
No one is kind of positive why public has little use for Reed. Maybe sufficient followers have examine his misbehavior in faculty or have been turned off by his brash and boastful fashion. (He introduced within the spring of 2014 that he was already among the many world’s high 5 gamers.) Maybe some are conscious that Reed has been estranged from his dad and mom, youthful sister and different members of the family for years over points neither aspect of the divide will focus on for the document. Invoice and Jeannette Reed, Patrick’s dad and mom, have been anticipated to observe the Masters of their house only some miles from Augusta Nationwide. They aren’t welcome at their son’s tournaments, majors or minors. Requested if his household’s absence made Sunday’s triumph bittersweet, Reed stated, “I am simply out right here to play golf and attempt to win golf tournaments.”
Patrick has been constantly unapologetic about nearly every part in his life. “It isn’t a reputation contest on the market,” he told ESPN.com in 2014. Around the same time, his old coach at Georgia, Chris Haack, recalled one of his assistants scouting Reed in a high school tournament and returning with this report: “This man hits it shut all day lengthy however by no means makes something. If he ever figures out the putter, he will be harmful.”
Patrick Nathaniel Reed simply discovered the putter.
“It is every part we have been working arduous for,” said Justine, his wife and former caddie. “Lots of people, for a very long time, possibly do not say his title as usually as they need to. That is what I believe. I’ve all the time thought he is an amazing participant. That is what he did as we speak. He confirmed his true colours.”
Because it turned out, Reed’s true shade was pink, the colour of his profitable shirt. Reed wore Tiger Woods crimson on Sundays earlier than his Nike deal gave him a softer look. It was the one factor gentle about Reed’s sport all day.
“He did not let the roars and the gang actually get to him,” Karain stated.
In the long run, Patrick Reed quieted them down along with his precision and poise. That was his largest Augusta Nationwide victory Sunday — the candy sound of silence amid the towering Georgia pines.