Patrick Reed hopes “home” advantage can pay dividends as he tries to claim a first major title in the Masters.
Despite playing college golf at Augusta State University, Reed had never broken 70 in any of his previous competitive rounds at Augusta National before this week.
However, the Ryder Cup star added a superb second round of 66 to his opening 69 to reach halfway at nine under par, two shots ahead of Australia’s Marc Leishman.
Asked about the prospect of being presented with the winner’s famous green jacket on Sunday, Reed said: “That was always something I thought about ever since I was really small, as a little kid, just growing up through my whole entire life. I don’t know how many times on putting greens I was like, all right, well, this putt is to win the green jacket.
“It’s one of those things that all kids growing up think about, and to have the reality to be able to sit up here after Friday and having the lead in the tournament, it’s great. But, you know, we’re only halfway. I’ve got a long way to go and just need to continue doing what I’m doing.”
Reed has a star-studded leaderboard behind him, with Henrik Stenson on five under, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth four under and the world’s top two ranked players – Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas – another stroke back.
But that will not dent the confidence of the 27-year-old from Texas, who made headlines when claiming he was a top-five player in the world after winning his third PGA Tour title.
“Everyone wants to win (majors) and if you don’t believe you can win them, then you probably shouldn’t be playing in them,” Reed added. “I believe that if I play the golf that I know how to play, that I can win majors.
“I have to go in and not get ahead of myself, just take it shot by shot, hole by hole, like I’ve been doing. There’s a lot of holes left and I just need to go out and keep to my game plan, play some solid golf and just go out and continue shooting in the 60s and see if it gets the job done.”
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