John Deere Classic interview: Patrick Reed

July 12, 2013

MORE INTERVIEWS: John Deere Classic transcript archive

DOUG MILNE:  We'd like to welcome Patrick Reed to the interview room here at the John Deere Classic after a nice career tying 8 under 63.  Patrick, congratulations on a great second round.  With that I'll just turn it over to you to get some comments on your play today.
Well, thanks.  A lot is going well right now.  We're hitting the ball really solid, and you know, I mean, the past 27 holes it seemed like every putt we hit that was on the right line went in.  I can't really say the same for the first nine.  We hit a lot of good putts, just nothing really fell the first nine of the tournament.  That's why we were 1 over par.  But we just kept on sticking to our lines and just kept playing normal golf, and we were starting to make some putts here and there, and next thing you know, here we are.

Q.  What was happening on that first nine?
A lot.  (Laughter.)
    I hit a couple wayward tee shots, but really nothing that really got me in trouble, just didn't make any putts.  My speed was off.  We made a normal par on 1.  2, I had a 70 footer for birdie because I decided to hit my drive    I didn't really take into consideration the wind, hit it way over that bunker on the left, kind of made a mess of the hole.  Even for that 70 footer I left it 10 feet short, made that for par.
    3, we had a 20 , 25  footer for par and left that eight feet short.  So it was just speed.  I mean, besides through the first three holes, it felt like I was still hitting the ball real solid, just wasn't making anything, and it just happened to click once I got to hole 10, and just started running with it there.

Q.  Was there a mental adjustment to make things click?
Not really.  I almost felt like I was going to beat myself with my putter if I didn't adjust.  It looked like I was consistently short throughout that front six or seven holes.  Even the putts that got to the hole barely got to the hole and dove just over the front edge.  You know, I just felt like just see the hole be about a foot farther than what it really is, and it happened to work.
    It always helps at 11, I had such a fast downhill putt, I was above the hole and to the left, probably the fastest putt on the course.  I had that one for birdie, so I wasn't going to leave that one short, and that kind of just rallied everything.

Q.  I think six of your last seven second rounds at tournaments were in the 60s.  Is there something to say for you getting warmed up after the first nine holes?
I didn't even realize I was six for seven on that.  I just feel like that first round we have a game plan, and then that second round you're just more comfortable with the game plan, and if you have to make any minor adjustments you do.  Unfortunately today when I did decide to make the adjustment it happened to be the wrong one.  I tried to hit driver on 14, even though my wedge game is really good.  I don't know why I didn't just lay up to 80 yards and hit a nice little wedge in there.  That was really my only mistake of the day.

Q.  Obviously missed cuts aren't your goal out here, but what does missing the cut do for next week?
It gives you a little more fire the following week.  You don't want to miss two in a row, that's for sure.  But especially later on in the season if you miss a cut you get to go to the event earlier, get a little bit of rest, and you get to make sure you're really refreshed for the next week.  That's key out here.
    I love to play.  I'm a competitor.  If I had it my way, I'd play every single week.  But we need to find time to take breaks because I think the last two times we came out we had a week off and then came out to play    the first time we did that was at Pebble and we finished seventh, and then we did it at FedEx and I had a chance to win and finished fifth, so that break for me obviously is good.  I just have to figure out when in the schedule I want to take a break.

Q.  When did you get here for this tournament?
We got here Saturday.  Got here Saturday, didn't practice Saturday.  We didn't really do much on Sunday, did we?  A light practice on Sunday.  And then Monday we just played the pro am.  I saw the golf course last year, so I knew what to expect.  We played Monday, the 18 holes, had a good warm up before, probably got here two hours before, got a good hard practice in.  Tuesday was a light practice day.  We actually went out and played four holes.
    6, 7 and 8 are the three holes last year that really killed me.  I think I was like 8 over par or 6 over par through those three through two rounds which caused me to miss the cut last year.  Our main focus was to make sure we had those holes down and not let them get us.  I feel like I have a good game plan for those holes now.

Q.  Were you in on a sponsor exemption last year?
Sponsor exemption, yes.

Q.  You use the term "we" a lot.  Is this really a team effort, and how much does she help you out there?
It's definitely a team.  I mean, she helps me with everything.  I never check wind.  She tells me what the wind is.  She's always right on that.  Most of the time she helps me pick most of my clubs.  She seems to know my distances better than I do.  I always want to hit something hard, and that's then where I start getting in trouble because I have to stay in rhythm.  If I do, that's when I shoot low numbers.  She's great at reading putts, so I kind of have the full package.  It's definitely not an "I," it's definitely a "we" for us.

Q.  Do you do that to keep peace in the family or do you really appreciate her service?
No, no, I really appreciate it.  I mean, she's just as much a competitor as I am.  She's out there working just as hard if not harder than I am.

Q.  Is there anything that you've seen in your practice or in your rounds lately where you've felt like a tournament like this might be coming where you could maybe break through and go really low?
You know, I mean, I saw it at FedEx, I saw it at Pebble.  I mean, Pebble we would have gone extremely low if I didn't four putt from like 10 feet on our fourth hole of the day at one of the courses, Monterey.  There's been a lot of spurts where I feel like I should have gone really low and didn't.
    I'm kind of seeing more of these low rounds that I finish off once I got to the new equipment, to Callaway.  The stuff is amazing.  I mean, the ball seems to not really do much in the wind, and the    I just have so much confidence in all the equipment that it's just one of those things, all right, if I feel like I'm in a good pattern on my swing that I can literally take it at every flag.

Q.  When did you switch to Callaway, beginning of the year?
No, we switched at Byron Nelson, so this six for seven, six cuts in the past seven events, has been nothing but Callaway.

Q.  What were you playing before then?
DOUG MILNE:  Speaking of the competitor in you, one pretty remarkable element to your story is last year you played in 12 TOUR events, six of which you Monday qualified for.  If you could just comment on kind of that extra grinder in you that got the job done.  Three or four of them you parlayed into top 25 finishes.  But just the fact that you Monday qualified for half the events you played in last year is pretty remarkable.
Yeah, you know, last year I didn't have a schedule.  I didn't really know what I was going to do.  Once I moved to Houston I changed swing coaches, and I really was just fine tuning things and decided that once I wasn't getting sponsor exemptions early on in the year, once San Antonio came around, we decided let's go try to do the Monday.  We were in the middle of the Monday qualifier when we got an exemption into the event.  Made the cut, played pretty solid, and then my wife decided to drive us all the way to Baton Rouge.  We got in at like 2:00, 2:30 in the morning.  We had about two and a half hours of sleep before the Monday of Zurich and just shot 68, made it in a playoff, made it through the playoff.
    But it just seems that if I really need to go low or I put my mind to, okay, I need to get to this number, that's what we shoot for.  Yesterday 4 under was our number that we shot for, and being 1 over through 10, it was like, okay, and then I just stepped on it and we got to our number.  It's one of those things, never give up and grind as hard as you can.  You never know.

Q.  So she drives you to events?  Does she set your schedule, too?
No, she drove to most of the Mondays for us just so I could get rest because it seemed like every week before we made the cut Sunday, we had to either drive or take a late flight.  I mean, I couldn't ask for anything better.  She allowed me to get some rest.  She was struggling, I'm sure, due to the fact that she has to carry that heavy bag on very little sleep.  At least I can get a little more sleep, and I was just really successful.

Q.  Obviously it's a unique relationship you have on the golf course.  How long will you continue that?
I mean, it's going to be    I mean, you're going to see us basically forever, until we decide to have a family, and at that point she'll be off the bag maybe for I'd say three, four months, and then she'll be back on.  (Laughter.)

DOUG MILNE:  Congratulations on a great day.