Patrick Reed hasn't been on many leaderboards this season, and it's a fact that he traced back to his equipment.
Reed won The Barclays last year and starred at the Ryder Cup, but this season he has yet to crack the top 10 in a full-field event. He missed the cut at both the Shell Houston Open and the Masters, and Reed explained entering the Valero Texas Open that he recently discovered the lies and lofts were off in his irons, some more than two degrees.
After addressing the problem and adding a new wedge to his bag, Reed opened with a 3-under 69 at TPC San Antonio. It's a round that could have been even better were it not for bogeys on two of his final three holes, and it put him three shots behind early leader Branden Grace.
"Right now I feel like 13 clubs in my golf bag are exactly where they need to be, very comfortable, feel like I can do whatever I need to with them," Reed told reporters. "The reason why I don't say 14 is because the new wedge I put in this week ... Just one of those things I have to get used to, and the only way I'm going to get used to that is getting it underneath the gun and play in tournaments."
Reed is a San Antonio native and finished second at this event last year, one shot behind Charley Hoffman. He briefly took sole possession of the lead with birdies on five of his first 11 holes, but despite his late stumble he remains in position for what would be his first top-20 finish since the CareerBuilder Challenge in January.
"I felt coming into this week that I got the equipment where I needed to and felt like the game was going in the right direction," Reed said. "My wife and I drew a line after the last event and said, 'All right, first quarter is over, let's go and get started.' And this is a great way to start. Felt like I finally had control of the golf ball, had control of what I was trying to do, and that's all I can ask for."