AUGUSTA, Ga. — Patrick Reed's play was only part of the narrative of his career breakthrough at the Masters last spring, with his reputation and personality also taking center spotlight. As Reed returns to Augusta National to defend his title, it appears his past is still causing him concerns.
Reed's parents, both of whom are estranged from Patrick, have continued to show up at tournaments despite Patrick's insistence they don't, according to a New York Times report. Reed's father and sister showed up to the Tour Championship in Atlanta last September and a week later went to the Ryder Cup outside of Paris. Although unaware of their presence while competing outside of Paris at Le Golf National, their appearance at East Lake startled Reed.
Reed told the New York Times that his worries have carried over to this week, as his family lives just six miles from Augusta National.
“I wouldn’t at all be surprised if they show up,” Reed told the NYT.
As for the other components of Reed's tale, his public perception has taken multiple hits since his Masters victory. There was a dust-up with a TV crew, a bizarre social-media incident with the PGA Tour involving baseball tickets and, most famously, Reed called out Jordan Spieth, Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk following the Americans' loss to the Europeans at the Ryder Cup. All have fed into a villain label for the 28-year-old.
On Tuesday at the Masters, Reed was asked if it's important for him to be popular.
"You know, that's one great thing about the sport we play is you know, whether it's here, whether it's anywhere else we play or whether it's around the world. A lot of the fans, they respect great golf and they want to see great golf," Reed said. "It all depends on how you handle yourself, and the more interactive you are with the fans, the more they are going to respect you. Because at the end of the day, the more the fans and the people get to know you, the more they realize that you're just a normal guy out there playing golf and you're just doing your profession."
Reed has had a rough go in 2019, with just one top-10 finish on the season and ranking 75th in strokes gained. He recently employed the help of renowned instructor David Leadbetter.
"You know, I've been really close," Reed said. "I've put myself in position in some events. It's just one round here or there that has kind of hurt me. I just need to go out and put four solid rounds together."
Reed is looking to become the first player since Tiger Woods in 2002 to go back-to-back at the Masters.
Correction: In a previous version of this article we incorrectly stated that Patrick Reed’s parents were escorted from the course at the request of Justine Reed. In a statement released in April 2019, John Bodenhamer, Senior Managing Director of Championships, United States Golf Association explained that, “USGA officials took action and removed Bill and Jeannette Reed from the course based specifically on the observations of local law enforcement officers, who reported that Bill Reed had made what they described as intimidating movements towards Justine Reed. Patrick and Justine Reed had nothing to do with Bill & Jeannette Reed’s removal from the course, their badges being confiscated, or any request for them not to return to the event that week.”