The American was one of just 12 players to finish under par as firm and fast conditions made scoring devilishly difficult in Georgia.
First round leader Justin Rose was a world apart as he picked up a remarkable nine shots in 11 holes to lead by four at seven under, but Reed was safely in the chasing pack after a 70, and was enjoying the conditions in one of his favourite places.
"I love this type of golf, especially around here because you have to be creative," he said.
"You can't just play golf swing after golf swing. You have to start using slopes. You have to play out of different windows into greens.
"There's a lot of thinking and thought process and creativity that goes through this golf course and I feel like that's usually when I play my best, when I sit there, and rather than sitting there talking about a golf swing, I sit there and think about shots and try to hit different kinds of flights and all that stuff.
I think the biggest thing is I just love a challenge. I love having your back up against the wall and you having to go and produce, try to do something
"I think the biggest thing is I just love a challenge. I love having your back up against the wall and you having to go and produce, try to do something. I love just the satisfaction of pulling off crazy golf shots or the tough up and downs and things like that.
"I feel like, to me, that's something I've always done as a little kid. I love to put myself behind trees, just kind of on the practice range. We had two trees on the range as well as hit different windows and then do a lot of short game games.
"When you get around a place like this, you have to use that creativity. You have to hit different golf shots. It's just not just a basic chip ever around here."
Reed holed an 11 footer after getting up and down on the second and put an approach to four feet at the ninth to turn in two under.
He had to take a drop after finding the flowers at the side of the 13th green but he put his tee shot to six feet on the 16th and holed a lengthy putt on the next to join the lead.
A bogey on the last dropped him back to two under but the 30-year-old could be proud of his day's work in tricky conditions.
"With how firm and fast this place played and then on top of it, with the wind kind of picking up, it was kind of swirling there early in the round, I'll definitely accept a two under par round," he said. "I would have loved to make the last putt to get to three.
"Still, I felt like I made a lot of quality golf swings, felt like I was hitting a lot of good putts.
"Any time you can come out and shoot under par around here, especially in the opening round, you definitely have confidence going the rest of the week."