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When a golfer wins the Masters, there’s usually that moment of incredible celebration, followed by a golfer-caddy embrace, and then he’s swarmed by joyful family. For new Masters champion Patrick Reed, he celebrated, hugged his caddy, and then embraced his wife. But the rest of Reed’s family, his parents Bill and Jeannette, and his sister Hannah, weren’t at Augusta National on Sunday, or at any point during the weekend.
In an article for Golf.com, Alan Shipnuck shares what few details are known about Reed’s family situation. He’s estranged from his parents and sister, and has been since 2012. That’s when he married Justine Karain at age 22. Bill and Jeannette thought Reed was too young to get married, and according to Shipnuck, Reed then cut off all contact with them before the wedding and hasn’t spoken to them since.
Things have gotten more complicated. In 2014, a friend gave Bill, Jeannette, and Hannah tickets to the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2. They attended to watch Patrick play, only to be escorted from the premises by police at Justine’s request. Then, in 2016, Justine wrote a Facebook post calling Bill and Jeannette “sick people,” and she accused them of being abusive toward Patrick when he was growing up. Hannah responded with her own Facebook post, calling Patrick a “horrible stranger” who wasn’t the same person he used to be.
Even though Reed’s parents and sister haven’t spoken to him in six years, they were still rooting for him to win it all at the Masters. They gathered at a house in Augusta to watch him play that fateful final round, and when her son sunk that final putt to seal his win, this is what Jeannette told Shipnuck.
Struggling to catch her breath, tears streaming down her cheeks, Jeannette said, “I can’t believe my son is the Masters champion. It’s surreal.” It was a dizzying mix of pride and pain.
Jeannette also routinely shares throwback pictures of her son on Facebook. She shared one Sunday morning with the caption “Let’s do this Baby! GO PATRICK!” It featured Patrick at age 3 or 4, looking quite adorable holding a golf club and wearing saddle shoes, a pair of patterned shorts and a matching tie. After watching Patrick win Sunday, that picture is now her Facebook profile photo.
After Reed received his green jacket, Shipnuck asked him about his family.
I asked Patrick in the champion’s press conference if it was bittersweet not to be able to share the most triumphant moment of his life with his parents and baby sister. “I’m just out here to play golf and try to win golf tournaments,” was his cold-blooded reply.
There’s obviously a lot more to this sad family situation that we don’t know. But one thing we do know: a family reunion doesn’t appear to be in the immediate future.
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