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Despite all the odds, American pro golfer Patrick Reed won his first Masters tournament on Sunday. His victory was noticeably less climactic – almost every spectator seemed to be rooting against the 27 year old.

“I really hope Patrick Reed wins a green jacket.” Said nobody this week.

— James Cybulski (@JamesCybulski) April 8, 2018

In just a few short hours, Patrick Reed will be in a bar, wearing nothing but this green jacket, chugging down his 27th Bud Light and shouting “youll never wear this jacket, bro” at the bouncers as they ask him to leave. #TheMasterspic.twitter.com/zyK7YlDTYg

— Paddy Power (@paddypower) April 8, 2018

Hes been called the “villain” of golf and branded as a menace to the sport of civility, but what precipitated his simultaneous downfall and rise is a more complicated story.

As is routine in sports today, winning a major competition basically guarantees the victor gets a full public pat-down by way of social media. It happened to Villanova basketball phenom Donte DiVincenzo last week. And its happening to Patrick Reed as we speak.

In the span of 24 hours, countless articles detailing Reeds past churn online. Hell no doubt have to answer for his past in most media appearances going forward, and hell likely become the polarizing topic of the week. Such is 2018.

In college, Reed was expelled from the University Of Georgia after he was arrested for underage drinking and possession of a fake ID. He was also accused by his teammates of stealing some $400 and a luxury putter.

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And in 2014, Reed was caught on a hot mic berating himself after he missed a put in Shanghai.

“You f*cking three putt you fucking f*ggot. Go f*cking hang yourself,” he can be heard in a video.”

Hes also been accused of former coaches of cheating and he once hushed a crowd while teeing off.

Patrick Reed shushing the European crowd at the #RyderCup after being heckled. #TFM#USApic.twitter.com/PzHmEUKsQq

— Joshua (@BawlmerPanda) September 28, 2014

Reeds definitely not the most likable person in the world, sure, but the moral backlash hes received for the things in his past seems a bit over the top. Almost none of these allegations have been unequivocally proven, either. Theres a chance that Patrick Reed isnt a good dude. But theres also a chance that we live in a time where the public plays a feverish blame game with almost no due process. Weve seen dozens of high profile character assassinations based on nothing but anecdotes and high octane hashtag movements. Such feverish scalpings make victory almost as daunting as loss. The public should be reminded to take everything they hear with a grain of salt – both the good and the bad.

Follow Jena on Twitter.

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