By Frank Pingue
AUGUSTA Ga. (Reuters) – Defending Masters champion Patrick Reed has used his Green Jacket as a motivational tool since he triumphed at Augusta last year and he does not want to hand it over even if it has not exactly been a lucky charm.
Reed has spent every day of the last year with the iconic jacket, given to those who win the year’s first major, and is ready to do everything in his power to keep hold of it this week.
“Knowing that I have to get the jacket back at the end of the week, it makes me more hungry and more motivated to keep the jacket and continue playing well and trying to win another one,” Reed told a news conference on Tuesday at Augusta National.
“I position the jacket everywhere I go, so every time I wake up, I see it, and every time I come home and go to bed, I see it. I use it more as motivation.”
Despite being the defending champion, Reed’s results since slipping into the Green Jacket a year ago mean he is largely flying under the radar this week.
Reed will set off in Thursday’s opening round hoping to get one step closer to joining Jack Nicklaus (1965, 1966), Nick Faldo (1989, 1990) and Tiger Woods (2001, 2002) as the only players to win back-to-back Masters titles.
Unlike last year when Reed arrived at Augusta National with three consecutive top-10 results on the PGA Tour, his game this season has not been anywhere near as consistent and he cannot seem to string together four solid rounds of golf.
“You know, it’s those things that you just need ‑‑ when you come here, you need to be mentally, as well as physically ready to go out and play,” said Reed.
“I’ve been really close. 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.”
Despite not coming into the year’s first major in top form, Reed feels he already has a mental edge given that, unlike most of the field competing this week, he has already won one of golf’s blue riband events.
“Every guy out here believes that they can win a major, and you know, you feel like you have the game to do it, but until you actually do it, there’s always that kind of self‑doubt in the back of your mind,” said Reed.
“So once you get over that hurdle and you do it once, then all of a sudden now your confidence goes even higher because you start believing.”
(Reporting by Frank Pingue; Editing by Toby Davis)