Patrick Reed says his outcast status among golf fans played into his hands during a gutsy Masters victory at Augusta National.
Starting the final round with a three-shot lead, American Reed's love-hate relationship with the US sporting public was evident when final group playing partner Rory McIlroy received a warmer reception on the first tee.
Northern Irishman McIlroy, a four-time major winner, was the clear crowd favourite as he tried to complete golf's career grand slam.
But Reed brushed McIlroy and other challengers aside during a one-under-par 71 that earned the Texan his maiden major title - with a total of 15 under and a one-shot win from world No.8 Rickie Fowler (67).
"When Rory walked up to the tee, his cheer was a little louder," Reed said.
"Not only did it fuel my fire a little bit, it just took the pressure off of me and added it back to him."
The galleries at Augusta also appeared desperate to hoist another hero on their shoulders, when 2015 Masters champion Jordan Spieth made a Sunday run for the ages.
Three-time major Spieth winner racked up nine birdies in 16 holes to surge into a share of the lead but a bogey at the 18th cruelled any hope of a second green jacket.
Spieth carded a 64 to finish solo third at 13 under.
"I knew every shot coming down the stretch was important, so I'm pretty gutted at the finish but it was a phenomenal day," Spieth said.
Reed's polarising public image stems from several controversial moments during the burgeoning stage of the 27-year-old's career.
He played a year of college golf at the University of Georgia before being dismissed from the team and was accused in a book excerpt, published last week, of cheating and stealing from teammates.
But he refuted the allegations and says he was dismissed for alcohol violations.
He transferred to Augusta State college and, despite a successful stint there, had more off-course problems.
Another public relations hiccup came in 2014 when Reed, aged 23, became the youngest player to win a WGC event.
He then announced he "truly (believed) I am a top-five player in the world," despite being ranked No.44 at the time.
But after his Masters win on Sunday, Reed stood his ground.
"Honestly, I don't ever regret anything I really say," Reed said.
"I stand by my comments; I feel I've played some golf I needed to play in order to get to where I want to be, and that's to be the best golfer in the world.
"I'm just happy to (achieve) one of my biggest goals ... to win a major."
Reed has also been estranged from his parents and younger sister for several years.
The disconnection came to a head at the 2014 US Open, when police escorted Reed's parents, Bill and Jeannette, off the grounds before USGA confiscated their credentials.
Reed's parents live locally in Augusta, Georgia, but he deflected from the family issue when asked about it in his winning press conference.
"I mean, I'm just out here to play golf and try to win golf tournaments," Reed answered.
But Reed has also turned saviour for American golf, earning the nickname 'Captain America' for a swashbuckling performance at the 2016 Ryder Cup when he beat McIlroy to help Team USA to a dominant victory over Europe.
Meanwhile, Spanish world No.3 Jon Rahm (69) finished outright fourth at 11 under.
Cameron Smith finished as leading Australian and guaranteed a start at next year's Masters courtesy of finishing inside the top 12.
Smith carded a 66 to finish at nine under and tied for fifth, while Marc Leishman (70) was solo ninth at eight under.
Jason Day carded a 71 to earn a share of 20th at two under, while 2013 Masters winner Adam Scott ( 71) shared 32nd at one-over.
Also at one-over was 14-time major winner Tiger Woods (69).