SPRINGFIELD, N.J. – At this level, the difference between winning and a top-10 finish is miniscule.
Patrick Reed knows that all too well this season.
He has the second-most top-10s of any player on the PGA Tour, with nine. But he hasn’t won in 18 months.
“It’s just kind of a mixture of not putting all aspects of your game together,” he said Friday at the PGA Championship. “It just seems like every week and every day, there’s always one kind of aspect that’s missing.”
During Thursday’s opening 70, he hit his irons well but “couldn’t keep the driver on the planet.”
During Friday’s 65, he smoked his driver but missed a couple of short putts that could have made the round even better.
“The difference between a top-10 and a win out on Tour is, you hit fairways, you hit greens and those 50/50 putts, you’re always on the right side of them,” he said. “So far, we’re moving in the right direction. We just need to keep on grinding.”
Improving his driver play was the big key Friday at Baltusrol.
Reed hit only three fairways during the opening round, and none with his driver. After hitting a few wild tee shots while overseas for the Scottish Open-British Open double, he worked at home and put a new Callaway driver in his bag that was a bit heavier than his old model. After piping it in practice rounds, it turned out to be a mistake in competition.
“It just seemed like with the adrenaline going, with swinging a little harder, my swing speed got up a little quicker,” he said. “I couldn’t time it. I couldn’t keep it on the planet.”
Reed switched back to his old driver for the second round, and though he hit only half of the fairways (seven of 14), he was encouraged by his ball-striking. Of his seven birdies Friday, five required little more than a tap-in.