Patrick Reed is buoyed by the experience of winning the Masters last year and now feels primed to defend the green jacket at Augusta.
The American claimed his first major title in 2018, leading through 36 and 54 holes before holding off Rickie Fowler to triumph by a single stroke.
Reed returns this week as the defending champion and says he is now able to take a different approach, playing with more confidence having mastered the course 12 months ago.
“It makes me more confident and comfortable around this golf course,” he told a news conference of his 2018 victory.
“[Before, it was] a situation where, even if you have a perfect game plan and you know what you’re trying to do around the golf course, you still always are wondering, ‘OK, well, is this the right game plan or am I doing the right things?’ You haven’t won here.
“But now, actually having the win, I know what I need to do in order to compete and have a chance on Sunday.
This is a dream come true. I can’t thank everyone enough. Family, friends, and fans- I couldn’t have done it without you all. This is what TEAM REED IS ABOUT! @TheMasters #TheMasters #MastersChamp pic.twitter.com/NBIJAWUvX2
— Patrick Reed (@PReedGolf) April 9, 2018
“Knowing that I have to get the jacket back at the end of the week, it makes me more hungry and more motivated to keep the jacket and continue playing well and trying to win another one.
“There’s nothing like being able to walk around and position the jacket everywhere I go. Every time I wake up, I see it. Every time I come home and go to bed, I see it. I use it more as motivation.”
The defending champion certainly feels ready for the challenge, adding: “I feel like the game now is where it needs to be.
“We’ve put in a lot of hard work throughout the entire year. When you come here, you need to be mentally and physically ready to go out and play.
“I’ve been really close [in recent tournaments]. I’ve put myself in position in some events. It’s just one round here or there that has kind of hurt me. I just need to go out and put four solid rounds together.”
Storms disrupted the practice rounds as Reed addressed the media and play was soon suspended, with the course evacuated.