Most players dream of winning a Green Jacket. Patrick Reed is no different in that respect. But that's where the similarities might end.
Brash. Arrogant. Cocky. Talented. Outspoken. Inward. Guarded. Tough. Headstrong.
There are lots of ways to describe the new Masters champion. Take to Twitter and you’ll find a few more that don’t merit further airing. “I don’t care what people on Twitter say,” said Reed on Saturday night.
You’d find it hard to find anyone who disagrees with him on that.
Reed is one tough nut. A little digging here and there and you’ll find the backstory of an American golfer who has divided opinion.
He was thrown out of college golf teams for reasons undisclosed. He’s faced accusations of cheating, both on and off the course, all of which he’s denied. Since 2011, he’s separated himself from his parents and not looked back. At the 2014 US Open at Pinehurst, Reed’s wife, Justine, was walking outside the ropes following Reed and noticed her husband’s parents doing likewise. After the round, she got security and had them escorted off the premises (his parents’ badges were also confiscated).
Henrik Stenson called him “an interesting guy” and there are rumours of ferocious clashes with his rivals during his college days, some of those players now sharing the same stage as him on PGA Tour.
His peers in college won’t go on record and his peers on the PGA Tour stay tight-lipped.
But there are always two – sometimes three – sides to every story and Reed has chosen to stay silent for reasons known to himself.
His performances at the 2014 and 2016 Ryder Cups were the launch pads to worldwide fame, especially the Hazeltine contest where Reed and Rory McIlroy traded blows with each other. After eight holes on the Sunday singles, Reed said he was physically drained and had to get back to concentrating on just playing golf.
But he loves a fight. His college days are littered with stories of punching the air during matchplay, of riling up his opponents then stamping on them down the stretch. He regularly told his teammates he would crush them on the course.
The short walk to the first tee from the practice green at Augusta for Rory was filled with noise and support. Not so much for Reed.
Today, he’s a Masters champion, a major winner, and is probably having the last laugh. The American press love a villain and it seems Reed is their victim.
Proudly wearing his new green jacket, he was asked if it would be “bittersweet” to celebrate his first major title without his sister and parents in attendance.
He just brushed off the question.
He seems to care not a jot about what people think.
It seems some members of the US press have short memories, where they don’t remember – or care not to – the sheer contempt Tiger Woods used to treat the media in his prime. He would go out of his way to avoid them, at times practising in the dark, and even practising on his own at Ryder Cups. He even refused to wear the team uniform (at the Belfry in 2002).
Born in San Antonio, Texas, Reed famously said a few years ago that he was one of the top-five players in the world.
“I believe in myself, especially with how hard I’ve worked,” said Reed. “I’m one of the top five players in the world. I feel like I’ve proven myself.”
He took some serious heat for the observation, and was the talk of the locker room. He doesn’t care. He doesn’t seem to, anyway. “I want to be the best golfer in the world,” he said after his Masters win. “I’ve never regretted anything I’ve ever said.”
His Twitter account has almost 70k followers but he rarely interacts with anyone. It's like he's not interested. Tommy Fleetwood said his life would change if he won the Masters. I’m not convinced Reed’s will, at all. And that’s probably the way he’ll like it.