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12 April 2018, 06:15 | Kristopher Drake
Rory Mc Ilroy celebrates making an eagle on the eighth hole
Patrick Reed delivered an overwhelming performance under hard conditions to seize a two-stroke lead after Friday's second round of the Masters while Tiger Woods struggled but made the cut.
Even as he slipped into a green jacket, he was perceived more as a villain than a victor.
With a runner-up finish at Augusta National, Rickie Fowler moved up from No. 10 a week ago to No. 6.
The mood all afternoon screamed out, "Anyone but Patrick".
"To have to par the last hole to win my first major, it definitely felt right", Reed said from Butler cabin, right before Sergio Garcia helped him into a green jacket. "He's played some really solid golf here".
The 14-time major champion, who insisted as he set out to close a 13-shot deficit on Saturday that he was looking for a "special weekend", opened with back-to-back bogeys on the way to a 72.
From there, he chipped in from 80 feet.
Reed sank an eight-foot birdie putt at the par-4 14th to regain a one-stroke lead and parred to the clubhouse to win. If you win or lose your match, you still have a bunch of other guys there that could pick it up.
The applause, however, sounded more like acceptance than celebration.
Whatever the truth of the matter, there can be no denying Reed is a polarising figure - either the fearless, swashbuckling "Captain America" of the Ryder Cup, or a brash, cocky upstart.
Reed has been estranged from his parents, Bill and Jeannette Reed, for several years, and they were not at Augusta National on Sunday to celebrate with their son.
But he was unable to take full advantage and make birdie after an enormous roar from the 16th indicated that Spieth had done precisely that. Only one player, 55-year-old Vijay Singh, has a higher 54-hole score than Mickelson's 223.
Reed and McIlroy, in particular, are bitter rivals.
This was one of the great back-nine Sundays in the history of the Masters.
"With eight people ahead of me starting the day, to get that much help and shoot a fantastic round was almost impossible", said Spieth, whose only blemish was bogey at the 18th after his tee shot hit a branch.
And finally it was Fowler's turn.
That's why his reputation was built more on playing for his flag than for himself.
"Gave it our all, left it all out there, made P-Reed earn it", Fowler said.
The most important family in his life right now is his wife, Justine Karain Reed. But that's another thing that just kind of played into my hand.
He had it all, except the affection that appears to be harder to find than the wide fairways of Augusta National.
Reed can take the green jacket home with him and is allowed keep it for one year, after which it must be returned to the club.
After the usual topics of putts, pressure and the Ryder Cup were dealt with, Reed's popularity - or lack of it - was next on the agenda. Why don't you ask them? "There's nothing I can really do about it". He's the fourth different player age 27 or younger to win a major over the last four majors played. He does his work quietly on the range, rarely without his wife along for observations. "You have to go catch him". He wears boots, not flip-flops.
There were plenty of American fans cheering for him at Hazeltine in 2016 when he matched McIlroy shot for shot and at one point wagged his finger at him. Then again, he did add that he has been trying to build on his Ryder Cup experience during tournament play.
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