Whenever a defending champion returns to Augusta National, they are often the centre of attention as they soak up the lion’s share of questions from the media in the build-up. Most of the frenzy is centered around whether they feel they are capable of retaining the Masters title, especially as it’s becoming increasingly difficult to do so. Amazingly, Tiger Woods was the last man to do it back in 2002.
In the case of Patrick Reed, it’s slightly more complicated, which may not come as a surprise to anyone. However, it seems that he is as concerned about whether his estranged parents will turn up as he is about winning successive Green Jackets.
It wouldn’t be the first time that his family have pitched up at an event during their ongoing feud with Reed. Bill and Hannah Reed, father and sister of Patrick, made the trip to Le Golf National last year for the Ryder Cup in France, and even walked the course during Reed’s singles match against Tyrrell Hatton.
It’s all quite bizarre really and it’s hard to figure out why his family, who are obviously not welcome by Reed at any of his events, keep defying their son’s wishes by showing up. They’re obviously ready to bury the hatchet but it seems Reed wants the exact opposite.
In some ways, it’s very unfortunate for Patrick Reed that this his difficult relationship with his family has been thrust into the public spotlight. The 28-year-old will, without a doubt, be fighting against his reputation as a divisive character for the remainder of his career and yes, it’s worth remembering that a lot of damage done has been self-inflicted. Who can forget when he called himself a top-five player in the world when he was ranked at 20th?
But as for judging him on his fallout with his family, who can really say with the utmost certainty who is at fault and should it be anyone’s business? It’s on the golf course where he should be judged and to be fair, that is the place he has given his critics a lot of ammunition to use against him.
Maybe the noise around him this year as the defending champion needs a subplot or two, given that he makes the trip up Magnolia Lane in horrendous form. Just take a look at the 2019 masters odds from Paddy Power and you’ll see Reed down the page at 55/1 to triumph at the 83rd playing of the Masters. Reed’s game has gone a similar way to that of Danny Willett’s after winning the Masters, with both players suffering a catastrophic loss of form during the 12 months that followed their maiden major win.
If Patrick Reed’s family are going to make the short six-mile journey from their family home to Augusta National to watch their son this year, they may want to do it on the Thursday and Friday as there’s no guarantee that Reed will be around on the weekend, but then again, that’s something they have grown used to.