Reed remains true to himself

By Rex HoggardMarch 4, 2015, 9:56 pm

DORAL, Fla. – Patrick Reed has lived his short PGA Tour career on the fine line where confidence lapses into cockiness.

He’s fallen over that divide on occasion, like last year at the WGC-Cadillac Championship when he declared himself a “top-5 player,” but he has always been ready with an answer.

A day after that declaration, Reed’s competitive mea culpa came via a one-stroke victory for his third triumph in his last 14 starts.

On Sunday at last year’s Ryder Cup he stunned the partisan galleries when he shushed the crowd during his match against Henrik Stenson, a match he would win, 1 up. Reed would finish his week in Scotland with a 3-0-1 record, a rare bright spot from an otherwise forgettable American side.

“That’s me,” Reed smiled on Wednesday at the WGC-Cadillac Championship.

Patrick Reed is brash and unapologetic and arrives at Doral an unchanged man. Truth is he wouldn’t know how to alter his course even if he wanted to.

He returns to Doral this week and is still not a top-5 player, although he’s on a well-marked path to arrive there in the not-so-distant future after a victory at the year-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions moved him into the top 15.

True to his DNA, Reed still holds to his “top-5” comment like a 3-yard draw with a 5-iron.

“That’s more of what people think,” he said. “Honestly for me, it’s just more on the determination and passion that I have for the game.”

Reed is neither confident nor cocky. He’s simply driven. Driven to be a top-5 player, driven to play in every international team match until he draws a pension, driven to be mentioned in the same breath with the likes of Rory, Tiger and Phil.

“Any time you go up and play against the top player in the world, you'd better be comfortable,” Reed said. “I would love to get up to that position where I'm a true rival against [McIlroy].”

WGC-Cadillac Championship: Articles, videos and photos

For all of the microanalysis, Reed is not a villain. In fact, he can be charming when the topic and the tone of a conversation align properly.

During Wednesday’s give and take with the media, Reed was asked if his wife, Justine, had turned in her status as a professional caddie, “Ask her, she's right back there ... she's not retired yet,” he laughed.

On the golf course, however, there is an edge that hasn’t softened regardless of the negative attention he received in the past year.

A recent story in Sport Illustrated chronicled Reed’s rocky history and his estrangement from his teammates during a brief stay at the University of Georgia and finally Augusta State. For the latter, it was Reed’s driven desire to be the best that didn’t exactly make friends and influence people.

While last year’s “top-5” missive may not sit well with his Tour frat brothers, most will concede that inner belief is a job requirement for a professional golfer. Some would say Reed’s only miscue was offering his thoughts on camera.

To his credit, Reed knew the “top-5” questions would be waiting when he arrived back at Doral, site of his most high-profile victory. But instead of fixating on it he waxed over the importance of winning such an important event.

“To be able to actually play against them and have a lead going into Sunday and having Tiger in the group in front of me, having Bubba right there, having Dufner, having all these guys that have won majors all around me; and be able to hold them off and go out and win it, it just gave me that extra confidence that I can play with everybody,” he said.

Some Tour professionals play for trophies, others for money; Reed thrives on the thrill of the duel. Confrontational by nature, he is at his happiest when the tension is highest.

Even the Honda Classic, where he finished tied for seventh after a closing 73, was a learning moment.

“When you win, you always look at all the positives and everything you did well,” said Reed, who tees off Thursday at Doral at 11:22 p.m. ET. “But when you play poorly, you can fine-tune and find really what it is that you need to work on.”

For Reed, improving on the course, not softening his competitive edge, is the only thing worth focusing on.

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Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

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Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

“There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

“I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

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Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

“I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

“It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

“I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”

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After 36, new Open favorite is ... Fleetwood

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 7:49 pm

With a handful of the pre-championship favorites exiting early, there is a new odds-on leader entering the third round of The Open at Carnoustie.

While Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner share the 36-hole lead, it's England's Tommy Fleetwood who leads the betting pack at 11/2. Fleetwood begins the third round one shot off the lead.

Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at

Tommy Fleetwood: 11/2

Zach Johnson: 13/2

Rory McIlroy: 7/1

Jordan Spieth: 8/1

Rickie Fowler: 9/1

Kevin Kisner: 12/1

Xander Schauffele: 16/1

Tony Finau: 16/1

Matt Kuchar: 18/1

Pat Perez: 25/1

Brooks Koepka: 25/1

Erik van Rooyen: 50/1

Alex Noren: 50/1

Tiger Woods: 50/1

Thorbjorn Olesen: 60/1

Danny Willett: 60/1

Francesco Molinari: 60/1