Patrick Reed acknowledges Presidents Cup struggle: ‘The past couple days were tough’

December 15, 2019

Patrick Reed’s no good, very bad week at the Presidents Cup ended on a high note with a 4&2 win in his singles match against C.T. Pan. It was a rare positive moment for Reed, who struggled mightily in his first three matches in Melbourne, Australia.

“I think the biggest thing was just team effort,” Reed said to Golf Channel’s Steve Sands after his win. “With the fans back home and with [captain Tiger Woods] and [my] teammates, they said, ‘Hey man, the only thing we can do is play the best golf you can.'”

That team effort brought the Americans back from the brink of disaster all week at the Presidents Cup. Facing a four-point deficit before Saturday afternoon’s foursomes session, Team USA battled back to get within two points of the Internationals heading into Sunday’s singles matches, and eventually took lead midway through Sunday’s matches before Matt Kuchar, playing in the penultimate pairing, clinched the Cup outright on the 17th hole.

For Reed, though, the victory against C.T. Pan was more than just a return to form. Reed’s win marked the first positive moment for the 2018 Masters champion since his rules-breaking controversy enveloped the Hero World Challenge a week ago.

After the round, Reed tried to put the moment in perspective.

“I think the biggest thing is to continue grinding and not let the crowds of people get in the way of you’re trying to do,” he said. “The past couple days were tough and today still wasn’t easy.”

All week at Royal Melbourne, Reed has found himself the subject of tireless taunting and heckling, even leading to a testy, pre-Saturday exchange between captains Tiger Woods and Ernie Els. But much of it was self-inflicted — the crowd-stoking shovel celebration and his overall play leaving plenty of leeway for a rambunctious crowd.

“You make birdies, you don’t hear much,” Reed said. “The biggest thing I felt like I didn’t do early in this week is we didn’t get up on our matches. I was able to do that today and get going and silence the crowd a little bit.”

Of course, the biggest moment of the week came after Reed’s third match, when his caddie Kessler Karain was allegedly involved in an altercation with a fan. Karain released a statement apologizing to the fan while defending his behavior, but the PGA Tour banned him from Reed’s bag for Sunday’s singles match. Reed’s swing coach, Kevin Kirk, stepped in Karain’s place on the bag.

“Kessler was definitely missed, [Kevin Kirk’s] been out there with us during practice rounds and during practice,” Reed said. “He knew what to do during different situations. They’re both so even-keeled it was easy to go out there and play golf.”

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