The 2018 US Masters was set to be one of the best in recent years and the build-up to the tournament was incredible.

Rory McIlroy was looking back to his best, Tiger Woods was fit and playing good golf and Dustin Johnson avoided any mishaps prior to the tournament. Other popular players including Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and defending champion Sergio Garcia were also present, although the latter failed to make the cut.

The 2018 US Masters was set to be one of the best in recent years and the build-up to the tournament was incredible.

Rory McIlroy was looking back to his best, Tiger Woods was fit and playing good golf and Dustin Johnson avoided any mishaps prior to the tournament. Other popular players including Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and defending champion Sergio Garcia were also present, although the latter failed to make the cut.

Heading into the fourth and final round at Augusta, Patrick Reed was the man leading the tournament, 3 shots clear of second placed McIlroy. The round was being billed as Reed vs McIlroy and having studied at Augusta State University, the American was sure to get the backing of the crowd.

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Photo: Patrick Reed (www.pga.com) 

However, it appeared the fans were edging towards McIlroy early in the round, perhaps because they wanted to see a close finish. As the round developed and it became clear McIlroy was not going to challenge, attention turned to Spieth, who was enjoying a fantastic round.

As Spieth finished on 13 under par and it appeared Reed was not going to drop below 14 under, the fans switched to Fowler, who recorded a birdie on the final hole to leave himself on 14 under par for the tournament.

McIlroy, Spieth and Fowler all enjoyed the backing of the fans at Augusta, yet the tournament leader, Reed, was not receiving the same vocal support.

Following his third round 67, which saw Reed become the first player in eight years to shoot in the 60’s for all three rounds, he was asked a question about his popularity.

“Patrick, it doesn’t take much to do a quick Twitter search to find a lot of people rooting against you. Why do you think that is? Why are there fans that don’t embrace you?”

Reed smiled wryly before saying he didn’t know and didn’t really care but there were not many fans cheering him on during the final round, so why are golf fans seemingly against the American?

Perhaps it was his attitude during the Ryder Cup, shushing the crowd after he made a putt and having the image put in silhouette on his belt buckle. It could be the time he said, “Nice f***ing three-putt, you f***ing faggot”, to himself after he missed a putt at a WGC event in Shanghai.

Reed apologised for the comment afterwards but he has also been quick to big himself up, saying he was “one of the top five players in the world” having never played in a major tournament. Then there was Reed’s time at the University of Georgia, where he said he left because of two drinking offences but there were also allegations of him cheating during a qualifying tournament.

This accusation has been denied by Reed but his family problems have come light in recent years and despite living in Augusta, his parents were not at the course during the tournament.

Reed is not the most popular winner of the Masters but golf at the highest level is not a popularity contest, it is about which player can get the job done on the course. At the 2018 Masters, that man was Patrick Reed and he deserved his victory.

Categories: golf

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