Patrick Reed is not looking forward to giving back his Green Jacket this week but is confident his game is in a good place to claim another one on Sunday.
The American earned his maiden Major Championship at last season's Masters Tournament and while he has not won since his triumph at Augusta National Golf Club 12 months ago, he does not believe being a Major winner has been a burden.
He finished in the top five at the U.S. Open and top ten at the WGC-HSBC Championship before a tie for second at the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai handed him second place on the 2018 Race to Dubai Rankings Presented by Rolex.He has spoken in the past of his desire to be Europe's Number One but this week his focus is entirely on a successful defence of his title.
"It's been amazing," he said. "Just to actually put the Jacket on last year at this point and then to go home and actually have it set in and be able to reflect on the year and reflect on what we did here last year was just unbelievable.
"Having the Jacket always around, travelling with it and allowing other people to see it was definitely a treat."Knowing that I have to give 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.
"I position the Jacket everywhere I go so every time I wake up, I see it, and every time I come home and go to bed, I see it. I use it more as motivation.
"It was a long year but we had an opportunity to win at Shinnecock (at the U.S. Open). I needed a good back nine. I came close there.
"I felt like I handled the extra obligations, the extra attention. I felt like my team and I have handled it really well. It's different, but it's a good different.
"Every time you go up to the first tee throughout the entire year they are '2018 Masters Champion', it just brings goosebumps and memories back.
"The great thing about golf is it's a work in progress. I feel like the game now is where it needs to be."
As the only course to host the same Major every season, Augusta National holds a special place in the hearts of golf fans and players alike.The unique traditions that lie at the end of Magnolia Lane make this an event like no other and Reed is delighted to be back.
"It's a place that you feel like you can get away," he said. "Nowadays, everything's so much in the fast lane. Everything is so much in electronics."It's the fans coming out and experiencing such a perfect golf course, being able to actually watch golf. Not sit there and try to take photos or video people as they are hitting golf shots, so they actually get to experience it."