Patrick praises putting form

07 April 2018 03:59:54 EST

Controlling his putting stroke will be the key to maintaining his US Masters advantage according to halfway leader Patrick Reed.

The Texan opened his tournament with a 69 but was on fire on Friday, carding nine birdies on his way to a 66.

That's enough to give him a two-shot lead on nine-under par, with Australia's Marc Leishman his nearest rival.

I've been working really hard on my putting speed.

Patrick Reed

Reed has never won a major, finishing in a tie for second at last year's PGA Championship but has experience of winning big tournaments, having claimed the 2014 WGC-Cadillac Championship and The Barclays in 2016.

Key to his success has been his form on the famously slick Augusta greens, tallying only 51 putts in 36 holes, including 22 one-putt greens.

The 27-year-old has never been shy to talk up his ability but is understandably in confident move after his exploits over the opening two days at Augusta.

After shining on Friday, he admitted that the hard work he has put in on the greens will again prove crucial over the weekend.

"I was really steady throughout the entire day and got myself in a position where I could attack the pin positions," said Reed.

"You have to give yourself opportunities and then I let my putter do the work. I've been working really hard on my putting speed, the biggest thing has been getting the speed down, and letting the ball hit the hole. My speed been really solid."

Reed is 1/12 to win the Green Jacket.

The Texan can be backed at 20/23 to win the his third-round three-ball, with Leishman 20/21.

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