Patrick Reed admitted it was a dream come true to win the Masters, despite his Augusta connections not being enough to make him a crowd favourite.
Reed carded a final round of 71 to hold off the challenge of Ryder Cup team-mates Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth and claim his first major title.
The 27-year-old from Texas helped Augusta State win two NCAA titles and his parents still live in the area.
But he has been estranged from them for several year and was described by his sister Hannah as a “selfish, horrible stranger” in a Facebook post in 2016.
Asked if his win was bittersweet because he would not be sharing it with his parents and sister, Reed would only respond: “I’m just out here to play golf and try to win golf tournaments.”
But he admitted he used the popularity of playing partner Rory McIlroy with the galleries to his advantage on a pulsating final day.
“I walked up to the first tee and had a really welcoming cheer from the fans, but then when Rory walked up to the tee his cheer was a little louder,” Reed said.
“But that’s another thing that just kind of played into my hand. Not only did it fuel my fire a little bit, but also, it just takes the pressure off of me and adds it back to him.
“For me trying to win my first major, for him trying to win the career grand slam, it’s about who is going to handle the pressure and who is going to have more pressure on them.
“Growing up, everyone always dreamed about winning Augusta, winning the Masters. Every time you think about it as a kid, it’s always ‘This putt’s to win the Masters.
“I think that’s just because of the history and everything that’s gone on here at Augusta National and how special it is to all the golfers and special it is to just golf in general around the world.”
Reed saw his three-shot lead cut to a single stroke after just two holes, but held his nerve and carded crucial birdies on the third, seventh, 12th and 14th, the latter edging him back in front after Spieth tied the lead with his ninth birdie of the day on the 16th.
“I knew it was going to be tough, any time trying to close off a golf tournament is really hard but to close off your first major and to do it to a place that’s so close to me being where I went to college,” he said.
“I knew the lead would shrink at some times, and the lead could grow – it’s just the flows of golf, you have to know how to handle it and the way I could get that done was to make sure the putter was working.
“It’s almost impossible to put into words. Just to make par on the last and to watch the ball go in the hole and know that I’ve won my first major. To finish off that drought meant so much to me.”