AVONDALE, La. – In some ways, Patrick Reed’s journey began here at the Zurich Classic.
Two years ago, he played in his first of eight Monday qualifiers. He advanced through six of them, a mind-boggling achievement considering the 18-hole format, and it paved the way for his breakthrough 2013 season. Now, he’s a three-time winner, the 25th-ranked player in the world.
In 2012, Reed was operating on only “two or three hours” of sleep after his wife made the eight-hour drive from San Antonio to New Orleans. Playing a course he had never seen, he hit 8-iron shot on the second playoff hole to 2 feet to advance. In the tournament proper, he birdied five of the last eight holes to finishT-24.
“Just thinking back on that still gives me goose bumps,” Reed said, “not only because of what I put myself through but what I put my wife through, all those all-nighter drives, the all-nighter flights, trying to play courses blind. … It’s just one of those things that it was very tiring and in the long run, it actually built up our stamina as well as it gave us the confidence knowing that we can play out here.”
Now, Reed is one of the headliners at this week’s Zurich Classic. He attended high school about an hour and a half away, in Baton Rouge, and won the state title a year after another Louisiana product, Andrew Loupe.