Earlier this week, Patrick Reed experienced one of the greatest moments of his life. He’d tamed the Augusta National golf course for 54 holes, and during Sunday’s final round, he held off his competitors to win the Masters by one stroke.
But after Reed sank his winning putt — and even before that, as he walked up to the 18th green — he wasn’t exactly celebrated. In fact, the Augusta patrons seemed to barely tolerate him, clapping, as is polite and expected in golf, but giving him a considerably muted reaction, not only when compared to the cheers for past winners, but even in relation to the applause that Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler had received mere minutes before.
Reed noticed the reception, or lack thereof (as he’s been known to do), and when he was asked at the Masters why the fans seemed to dislike him, he didn’t hold back. “I don’t know,” Reed said. “Why don’t you ask them? I mean, I have no idea, and honestly I don’t really care what people say on Twitter or what they say if they are cheering for me or not cheering for me.”
Reed is a self-assured guy, easily top five on the PGA Tour in confidence even if not exactly top five in performance, as he once famously claimed. He’s known to be something of a lone wolf on tour, practicing alone, staying in his own headspace during rounds, and chumming around with his fellow pros really only during the Ryder Cup cycle. As Alan Shipnuck detailed in a Golf story on Sunday night, Reed has complicated histories with former college teammates, was accused of cheating at golf while at the University of Georgia, and is estranged from his parents, who live just a few miles from Augusta National.
In the days to come, the narrative of Reed as complicated personality, unlikable victor, and even soul seller (???) took off, and his triumph on golf’s biggest stage almost appeared forgotten. But Reed hasn’t had the time to care about all that. He’s been too busy living his best, green-jacket-clad life.
From Sunday night on, Reed’s been seemingly … everywhere? At least all over the continental United States, fitting for golf’s resident Captain America. Sunday night he was at Augusta National, busy being congratulated by Bubba Watson, eating dinner with club members, and reveling in his first-ever major victory.
Then it was off to New York on Monday, where he visited the stock exchange (with much less flair than his 2016 tour), took selfies atop the Empire State Building, and caught the Knicks-Cavs game at MSG. There is a long, storied history of celebrities having epic nights at the Garden, and Reed might have wormed his way onto that list as he was photographed with Kevin Love and J.R. Smith (sure), Chris Rock and Aziz Ansari (mhmm), and 2 Chainz (what?!).
And that wasn’t all. Throughout the course of his NYC vacay, Reed was seen with Guy Fieri (and in a disturbing twist, had their faces swapped):
Plus Kelly Ripa, Jon Hamm, and Ryan Seacrest:
And, [checks notes, squints, squints even more squintly] Madeleine Albright?
Why not? And, because no celeb charm offensive is complete without the “famous people, they’re just like us!” image, Reed was photographed on Wednesday at a Chick-fil-A just north of Houston, where he ordered the standard Chick-fil-A sandwich and waffle fries.
Look who we had the pleasure of serving today at our Sawdust Road Chick-fil-A Drive Thru!! Welcome home to the 2018 Masters Winner- Patrick Reed with his beautiful wife! ⛳️— CFA THE WOODLANDS (@thewoodlandscfa) April 11, 2018
Green jacket ✅ Chick-fil-A ✅ pic.twitter.com/QEp8yWZcDv
This week has been a whirlwind for Reed, from winning the Masters to an almost instant comedown to a newfound celebrity status. If his many photographs, talk show appearances, and self-deprecating tweets this week didn’t win golf fans over, Reed is probably just fine with that. Even once his media appearances inevitably dwindle and his post-Masters fame dies down, Reed’s name is permanently inscribed in golf’s history books, and Sunday’s final round will be remembered as one of the greats (not necessarily for his performance, but still).
Like my at-the-time 5-year-old nephew and the red Power Ranger Halloween costume he refused to take off for a full month after buying it, Reed and his green jacket seem to be fused together. He doesn’t care that no one wanted him to win it — he’s going to continue to wear his prize to basketball games, talk shows, even fast food establishments.
Besides, American golf fans will be back on his side by September’s Ryder Cup anyway. And if he plays anything like he did two years ago, his stateside reception is guaranteed to be a lot warmer.