A lot was missing Sunday at the Masters. Sure, the azaleas were there. So was the back nine drama and even a worthy champion.

Patrick Reed deserved to win. He was the best golfer over four days. He was also the most disliked. Good karma apparently took the weekend off.

It's ironic how storylines are so perfect that sometimes, they're too good to be true. Here's one--a local guy is about to win his first major golf championship--and everybody's rooting against him?

Reed wore Nike pink instead of red. Perhaps a Patrick Reed line of black was in order. He's become the Darth Vader to Jordan Spieth's Luke Skywalker and apparently likes it that way or so he says.

But this isn't football and golf's etiquette is to celebrate success not revel in misfortune. Folks are going to have a challenge marketing this guy if he stays around.

It was clear that the gallery, the tournament, CBS and anyone else was looking for Reed to go away. If they could have shouted "Miss it Noonan!" like they do in Caddyshack, they would have.

Call it an APB for ABP -- anyone but Patrick. Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler come on. One more shot. Rory McIlroy, get it together. Didn't happen. The Force was with Reed. The Evil Empire isn't supposed to win. Take that. The disdain, like his Reed's green jacket, is well earned. He's difficult, prickly and nasty at times.

But it goes further. He was kicked out of the University of Georgia amid rumors of stealing and cheating. His next stop was Augusta State in Georgia, a school that's a nine-iron from Augusta National. He helped them to two national titles and they couldn't stand him there either. Yes, right around the corner. Just like his folks.

So, as he walked up 18 and then sank his winning putt for a one-stroke win, the loudest applause came from a few miles away. His parents live in Augusta but don't go to his tournaments. They've been estranged for years.

As he celebrated with his wife but no parents it reminded me of an instance many years ago. I was in wrestling at Woodland Junior High School in East Meadow, New York. Our coach Bruce Bardes told us we had a scrimmage coming up with Jerusalem Ave. At that point, Larry Diamond, whose folks happen to be good friends of the family, asked if it were acceptable for parents to come watch It, brought the predictable Bronx cheers from guys and a stern reprimand from Bruce who never raised his voice.

"Hey!" he said. "Don't ever make fun of that. You'll never how much how miss 'em until they're gone."

I was only 14 at the time, but even then, I knew I'd just heard something important. Ten years later, I lost my mother to bone cancer on January 1, 1994. Mr. Bardes knew. H's no longer with us either.

Reed and his wife Justine and their two children live in Texas. I don't know Patrick Reed or his family or why the split.

But I know this much: I hope they fix it. Patrick, you're a Nike guy -- just fix it, man. Watching that celebration was as empty as the hollow applause throughout Augusta National. I hope he does it for his kids, his folks, himself -- for all the people who wish they had another chance with someone but don't.

I'd give anything -- even a green jacket to see my mother again.

Patrick Reed, take a hint.

Mr. Bardes, you were right.

 

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