Reed: Contact lenses helped me win Masters
May 02, 2018
By Cameron Morfit, PGATOUR.COM
- Patrick Reed made an eye appointment, at his wife's urging, shortly before winning at Augusta National. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Patrick Reed says a much-needed visit to the eye doctor and his first pair of corrective lenses may have been the secret to his breakthrough Masters victory last month.
The doctor’s visit led to Reed getting a new pair of contact lenses the Monday of Houston Open week, and less than two weeks later he was wearing the Green Jacket.
“You know, it was just something (where) I was able to make a lot of putts,” Reed said Wednesday at Quail Hollow Club, home of this week’s Wells Fargo Championship. “Honestly, that has to be credit to not only the work that we put in the week before, but also the work my wife (Justine) had to do to drag me to Vision Source to get my eyes checked.
“First week ever wearing contacts,” Reed added, “and I go ahead and make every putt I look at and win a golf tournament.”
A year ago, when the Wells Fargo Championship was at temporary home Eagle Point Golf Club in nearby Wilmington, Reed had a chance to win but came unglued with a final-round 75 to finish well back. He came to Quail Hollow for the PGA Championship in August, and finished second.
What no one knew then was that he was competing with less-than-perfect vision. Anything outside 30 yards, he says now, was blurry, and he was constantly asking his caddie, Kessler Karain, where the ball went. The situation finally came to a head when Reed was watching TV with his wife and in-laws 10 days before the start of the Masters.
“I'm sitting at the kitchen table in our kitchen, and we have a pretty big TV in the den, and kind of flipped through channels and I cannot read the guide,” Reed said. “I'm just moving slowly. Justine goes, ‘You can't read that?’ I'm like, ‘No, can you?’”
As it turned out, everyone in the house could read the words on the TV screen, except Reed. He could, however, make out the disbelieving looks from all of them, even his father-in-law, who wears thick glasses and still had no trouble deciphering the words.
How could Reed not be able to read the screen?
“He's like, ‘Maybe that's the reason why we haven't been making putts for a year,’” Reed said.
You could say the trip to the eye doctor has paid off. Reed had to learn how to put contacts in his eyes, but they’ve proven surprisingly effective. Before picking up his sixth TOUR title at the Masters, where he held off Rickie Fowler by one and a hard-charging Jordan Spieth by two, Reed, 27, hadn’t won since THE NORTHERN TRUST in August 2016.
To his father-in-law’s point, part of the problem was his putting. He came into the Masters ranked 75th in strokes gained: putting, but was third best in the field at Augusta.
“I got a prescription for contacts, put them in, and all of a sudden I'm just looking out like, ‘Wow, I can see everything,’” Reed said. “Now all of a sudden I'm not having to ask Kessler where that ball goes. … Now all of a sudden I can read greens pretty well, and it worked at Augusta.”