Golfer Patrick Reed was best known for the trophies he shared at the Presidents and Ryder Cup. It’s for his performance at the latter that he picked up the nickname “Captain America.”
But all that changed on Sunday when Reed, 27, won his first major championship at the Masters in Augusta, Ga. Reed is the fourth consecutive Masters champion to capture his first major at that tournament.
On the 18th hole, Reed finished with a 1-under 71 to hold off challenger Rickie Fowler. For Fowler, it was his eighth top-five finish in a major championship and third as runner-up. He’s still waiting to celebrate his first major title win.
From the beginning of play at Augusta National, it was clear that Reed, who’s originally from Spring, Texas, was not the crowd favorite. He picked up on that when he and four-time major winner Rory McIlroy, who’s from Northern Ireland, were announced on the tee box — McIlroy got a noticeably louder ovation.
ESPN reports it’s understandable why the fans didn’t want Reed to win:
“It was never going to be pretty with Patrick Reed, the golfer who collected more enemies than most on his stormy rise from boyhood prodigy to college bad boy to self-promoting PGA Tour winner to master of the Masters. Reed was kicked off his University of Georgia team, and nearly voted off his Augusta State team by his schoolmates, for offenses that ranged from alcohol-fueled misbehavior to an arrest for underage drinking and constantly talking down to lesser teammates, as well as alleged cheating infractions. His coach at Augusta State, Josh Gregory, suspended him and warned him that his entire career was about to go up in smoke.”
Reed’s parents live in Augusta but they weren’t at the tournament and it is reported that they weren’t at their son’s wedding in 2012. Despite the estrangement, Golf.com reports Reed’s mom Jeannette and dad Bill hosted a Masters party.
“The Reeds lived and died with every shot on the back nine, hooting and hollering at the TV. When the final putt dropped, they clung to each other like survivors in a life raft. Struggling to catch her breath, tears streaming down her cheeks, Jeannette said, “I can’t believe my son is the Masters champion. It’s surreal.” It was a dizzying mix of pride and pain.”
Reed won’t discuss his family situation. When asked about it after his Masters victory, Reed told reporters, “I’m just out here to play golf and try to win golf tournaments.”