KAPALUA, Hawaii – For the first time in the last 39 tournaments her husband has played on the PGA Tour, Justine Reed had it easy. Instead of lugging a 45-pound bag over some five miles for more than four hours, she carried only a black handbag and walked along the even concrete of a cart path.
It was sheer torture.
''Being on the outside was a little more difficult than I thought it would be,'' she said Friday after watching – not helping – her husband open the new year with a new caddie and a 3-under 70 at Kapalua.
Patrick Reed, who qualified for this winners-only event with a playoff victory in the Wyndham Championship in August, has always been easy to distinguish on the PGA Tour. He's the player out of Augusta State who had his wife on the bag. He isn't the first player whose wife has caddied for him, but she always stood out. Justine Reed, with her long, blonde hair, barely looks bigger than the bag she is carrying.
But she knows her stuff. Reed loved having her at his side and raved about how well she could read putts. They were a successful tandem, first as he made it through one Monday qualifier after another, then after he made it through Q-school at the end of 2012, and then his win in Greensboro, N.C.
By the end of the year, change was in store.
The Reeds learned they would be parents for the first time. The baby is due on Memorial Day.
''We just found it's a little girl,'' Patrick Reed said. ''I can't wait. I'm so excited. Daddy's little girl running around the golf course.''
His other girl – Justine – will be there, too. He refers to them as ''Team Reed'' and says his wife will be there every step of the way.
''Instead of being inside the ropes, she'll be outside the ropes,'' he said. ''She's thinking of coming back right before the PGA (Championship). She wants to get back at it, and I want her out here.''
Until then, he's keeping it all in the family.
Justine's brother, Kessler Karain, played a fair amount of golf as a junior until he went off to the University of Texas-San Antonio and got a job upon graduation in medical sales. Reed called him late last year and offered him another job as his caddie for the next eight months. He didn't think twice about the chance.
The Reeds trained the 24-year-old Karain for a month – Reed's tendencies, the amount of information he wants, the intricacies of a round.
''We were wondering how the transition would be,'' Patrick Reed said. ''I trained him like I trained Justine. I guess it just runs in the family. He was really good when it came to wind and club selection. She played a little bit in high school, and her brother played a lot in high school. I don't know what it is. That family has it when it comes to giving me advice.''
Reed met his wife when she was at LSU and he traveled to Baton Rouge, La., to meet with his coach. She wanted to caddie and proved she was up to the task. Now that she's about to become a mother, that's not going to change. The Reeds plan to raise their girl on tour.
His mother-in-law plans to travel with them, and Reed said their daughter will be home-schooled.
''With the character of players out here, I don't think it will be an issue at all,'' he said.
In the meantime, his wife stays involved, even though she had to stand on the other side of the ropes. Reed chose to hit 3-wood off the tee on the 305-yard 14th hole that was playing downwind. He found a bunker and went on to make bogey.
Justine threw both arms out as if to say, ''What were you thinking?''
Because that's exactly what she was thinking.
''I just wanted to kill him,'' she said. ''I would have told him to lay up in the fairway. It's a short par 4. He ended up bogeying. That was the only decision-making thing that was off. Other than that, he did great.''
His wife doesn't have the most extensive golf background, but she is well-rounded in sports from the time she was a kid. And in her mind, someone who is sports-minded has good instincts when it comes to competition. She trusts her instincts, and her husband does, too.
''Only one, 'What the hell was that?''' he said to her playfully when he finished the round.
She forced a smile. This is her new life. She is a cheerleader now, not a caddie. The first round off the job was a lot harder than she expected.
''I'm used to carrying a 45-pound bag,'' she said. ''Being on the cart path was hard. It's difficult not being out there, but it was OK. It was fun to watch. But it's different. That's how it is right now. It's the best thing for our baby. We're both happy.''
As for that hand bag?
''This is easy,'' she said. ''It's only five pounds.''