A week after Jimmy Walker won his hometown event at the Valero Texas Open, Reed is sleeping in his own bed this week just down the road from the Golf Club of Houston. Unlike Walker, though, Reed doesn’t boast much course knowledge at this week’s host course – he estimates he has played 27 holes here since missing the cut at the 2013 Shell Houston Open.
“Houston is huge. I don’t make it over here very often,” Reed said. “I mainly stay and practice out of my home course since my swing coach is there. I don’t really play here very often.”
Reed is making his first start since a playoff loss at the Valspar Championship, a result that surprised even him. After “flattening the face” on his driver two months ago, he remains in search of a suitable replacement and relied primarily on his short game to remain in the mix at Innisbrook.
“I hit the ball sideways that week,” he said. “The driver was going sideways, and because of that it was changing my golf swing in my irons, and I started to hit pull-hooks with those…just scrambled like crazy.”
Reed hopes to have the kinks worked out after two weeks off, with his second Masters start looming next week. While he estimates he has fielded close to 150 ticket requests from friends and family, the “home game” nature of this week’s event has yet to sink in.
“Come tournament time, when they announce me from Houston and the people are out here, it will probably feel more like I’m home,” he said.