Reed back at Augusta as Masters participant


AUGUSTA, Ga. – When the conversation turns to this week’s 24 first-time Masters participants, and it will, one name stands out among the Augusta National rookies.

In fact, you could say Patrick Reed is an Augusta National rookie only in name, not deed.

Reed, a three-time PGA Tour winner since last August, played his college golf at nearby Augusta State, where he was allowed three trips to play the Georgia gem, and attended the Masters twice as a patron.

“The only thing that seems different is the greens are a lot firmer and faster,” Reed said on Monday.

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Despite his experience, Reed said the week still felt like “a dream come true,” and that his first trip down Magnolia Lane as a Masters participant was so inspiring that he almost wanted to back up and travel the shaded byway again and again.

Reed, who said he hadn’t had a chance to visit the Augusta State campus but planned to either Monday or Tuesday, was transformed from newcomer to potential favorite with his victory at last month’s WGC-Cadillac Championship, where he turned heads with his play and his comments regarding his status as a top-5 player.

On Monday, Reed was asked if he was surprised by the reaction to his comments. “That’s a point I want to get to,” he said.