Reed seized control with a pair of eagles on the back nine, two big pars and a 5-under 67 that gave him a three-shot lead over McIlroy as he goes for his first major in the city where he led undermanned Augusta State to two NCAA titles. But his tee shots have finally been reliable for the first time all weekend, and he's entering a stretch on Nos.
Ignore the pretty name, players run into a brute at Augusta as soon as they make the turn.
The paint wasn't dry on the two masterful rounds Reed (5-under 67) and McIlroy (7-under 65) produced Saturday before McIlroy, victor of four major championships to none for Reed, attempted to insert himself into his competition's head with the guile of a manipulative sports psychologist.
The American sensation led heading into the second round following his opening 66 on Thursday.
"Everyone wants to win, and if you don't believe you can win them, then you probably shouldn't be playing in them", Reed said Friday evening.
To win a major, players need some magical things to happen. They have rules that many think are unconventional and unnecessary, they treat badly behaved patrons (spectators) on the course with extreme prejudice, the barriers to entry restrict access by numbers to the facilities to create exclusivity for these ten days (whereas access to all other golf events is unrestricted), and yet this is the most coveted golf event on the planet ever and creates more wealth for the enterprise and the community than any other event.
But the wardrobe switch has nothing to do with Tiger being in the field, though the four-time Masters champ, at 4-over through three rounds, is likely to be long gone by the time the 54-hole leader starts the finale in the last group alongside Rory McIlroy.
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson both made the weekend at the Masters, but the pre-tournament hype that the two 40-somethings could contend proved untrue. Paul Casey will go out at 10 a.m. ET, as scheduled. Looking for his first Green Jacket, Spieth went backward on day two, finishing at two over on the day.
Reed and Leishman will be the final pairing Saturday, scheduled to tee off at 2:30 p.m.
Joining McIlroy at four under is another potential victor, Jordan Spieth.
This week isn't just about Woods.
The senior from the University of Texas shot a 4-over-par 76 and made the cut to earn a spot in the weekend for the 82nd Masters Tournament. Its online coverage can be found at CBS AllAccess. Listen on BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.
CBSSports.com will also have live streams of featured groups, as well as coverage from Amen Corner (holes 11, 12, 13) and holes 15 and 16.
Woods bogeyed the first hole. Consult the full live stream schedule here. You also can stream the coverage.
"It was breaking so hard to the left, I couldn't tell if it was going to go in or if it was just going to burn edges", Reed said.
Saturday's third round could get a little dicey.
Saturday's forecast called for a 100 percent chance of rain. Players often bail out to the right with the pond left, but that's very much bogey country.
The skies will clear a bit for Sunday's final round, though it will be cool with highs in the mid-60s.