Sunday 25 August 2019

Green jacket motivating Reed in quest for back-to-back Masters as rain stops practice at Augusta for second day

Rory McIlroy congratulating Reed on the final green having started the day three behind before eventually finishing six off the winner. Photo: Getty Images
Rory McIlroy congratulating Reed on the final green having started the day three behind before eventually finishing six off the winner. Photo: Getty Images

Phil Casey

Patrick Reed is relishing the defence of his Masters title as he tries to join Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods in claiming back-to-back victories at Augusta National.

Reed secured his first major last year after holding off final-day charges from Ryder Cup team-mates Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth.

"It's been amazing having the (green) jacket around, travelling with it, and allowing other people to see it was definitely a treat," Reed told his pre-tournament press conference.

"Knowing I have to give the jacket back at the end of the week makes me more motivated to win another one."

Reed has yet to record a top-10 finish in 2019 and his wife Justine called in renowned coach David Leadbetter for help while Reed was playing his first round at the Valspar Championship.

"I feel like the game now is where it needs to be," Reed added. "We've put in a lot of work basically the entire year.

"When you come here you need to be mentally as well as physically ready to go and play. I've put myself in contention in a couple of tournaments, it's just one round here and there that have hurt me and I need to put four rounds together."

Meanwhile, bad weather has disrupted practice for the 83rd Masters for the second day in succession, with players and spectators forced to evacuate Augusta National.

Play was suspended shortly after 3pm local time on Monday and the course received 1.44 inches of rain that afternoon, with an additional 0.23 inches falling early on Tuesday morning.

The gates opened on schedule at 8am on Tuesday but with more storms approaching, tournament officials made the decision to close the course just two hours later.

While the rain will make the course softer and potentially play into the hands of longer hitters such as Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson, Augusta National has a SubAir system that can help to remove water quickly.

PA Media

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