Patrick Reed prevailed against the likes of Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth Sunday, holding on to win the 2018 Masters.
Here is some of what he said after his one-shot victory over Fowler. It was Reed’s first major championship.
How does the pink and green combination suit you?
Patrick Reed: It works. You know, with Nike kind of on the storyline of having the azalea colors towards the end of the week, it seemed great out there. You know, just kind of one of those things that going out and playing on such great, green grass and having all those beautiful flowers and azaleas around seemed fitting. And to be able to go out and play, play a steady round, and just didn’t get really too high or too low. It was definitely harder than I thought it was going to be.
What was different this year?
Patrick Reed: The game was in a little better shape coming in, but just the experiences from in the past. I knew the golf course a little better. I had a little more experience around the course this year coming in. Really, my mindset going in was stick to my game plan, play golf, and, you know, I stuck to my game plan all week. Even today, I didn’t stray from it at all throughout the entire day. You know, it’s something that I needed to learn, especially at a place like this, how important it is to stick to what I believe and how I feel like I need to play the golf course. You know, with it, it gave me the reward of winning my first green jacket.
Were you leaderboard watching?
Patrick Reed: I did. I always, always watch leaderboards, no matter what event it is … I always want to know where I stand. I saw Jordan and Rickie just storm up those leaderboards and go up. I knew when I birdied 14, was about the same time that Jordan bogeyed the last. That point, I knew as long as there wasn’t just any catastrophic implosions coming in, that was going to be basically between Rickie and I. To hear that roar on the last, even though I knew Jon was in the group, I just knew it had to be Rickie, because, you know, to win your first major is never going to be easy. It definitely wasn’t easy today. I knew it was going to be a dogfight. It’s just a way of God basically saying, let’s see if you have it. Everyone knows you have it physically with the talent, but do you have it mentally; can you handle the ups and downs throughout the round.
How important was it to maintain at least a share of the lead?
Patrick Reed: It was huge. Especially mainly with Rickie and with Rory, because Rickie was only the group in front of me and Rory was playing with me. So I knew if Jordan made some birdies, he was far enough ahead that when he kind of went on his run, I was basically on hole 9. And when he birdied, I think he birdied 12 and 13, when he birdied ‑‑ well, yeah, he birdied 12 and 13. When he did that, it was kind of one of those things that I knew I had those holes coming up, and as long as I could keep it at least tied with him, that he would run out of holes and I would have more birdie opportunities coming in. But the way those guys played towards the end, when Jordan shoots a 64 today and Rickie goes and shoots 67; having to go shoot under par on my final round of your first major to win, it was hard. You know, it was awesome and satisfying to make the clutch putts I did on the back nine. After feeling like I wasn’t really making anything all day, to make that one on 12 for birdie seemed to kind of give me that momentum and just really that belief going into the last couple that no matter what they throw at me, I can do this and have a chance.
Was this Sunday final round different from everything else that you played?
Patrick Reed: Today was definitely probably the hardest mentally a round of golf could possibly be. At The Ryder Cup, it’s just a totally different type of pressure. You go to a Ryder Cup and you feel like you have a whole nation on your back. You know, if you win or lose your match, you still have a bunch of other guys there that could pick it up … No one expects me to go out and win. I expect myself to go out and win.
It seemed like the crowd was cheering louder for the other golfers?
Patrick Reed: I walked up to the first tee and had a really welcoming cheer from the fans, but then when Rory walked up to the tee, you know, his cheer was a little louder. But that’s another thing that just kind of played into my hand. I felt like a lot of that pressure was kind of lifted and kind of taken off of me. The fans, yes, were cheering for me, but some of them were cheering more for Rory. At the same time, you had a lot of the guys picking him to win over me, and it’s just kind of one of those things that the more kind of chatter you have in your ear and about expectations and everything, the harder it is to play golf.
Do you wish you were more popular with fans,?
Patrick Reed: If you hit quality golf shots, they are going to cheer.
But if two guys hit the same exact shots, whoever is the home guy is going to get louder cheers. For Rory being in position and trying to win here in the past, and you know, having some success here, it didn’t surprise me that the fans were cheering for him in the beginning.
What size jacket do you wear?
Patrick Reed: I think this is a 44. I don’t know. The one that fits.