Reed’s Ryder Cup heroics could pay off in a major way

Patrick Reed’s superb Ryder Cup record in his two appearances might serve him well when he gets into a battle for a major championship such as the Masters Tournament.

One major champion, Zach Johnson, credited his own Ryder Cup experience in 2006 with helping him win the 2007 Masters. He later won the 2015 British Open after three more Ryder Cup appearances.

Reed is 6-1-2 in the past two Ryder Cups, including team-best scores in both his 2014 debut (3-0-1) and 2016 (3-1-1), the latter coming as the U.S. beat Europe 17-11 at Hazeltine National Golf Club to end a three-match losing streak.

Asked about Johnson’s statement, Reed said, “I wouldn’t know because I haven’t won a major yet. But I haven’t felt more pressure ever in golf than during Ryder Cups. I definitely see how that could help. If you could perform well in Ryder Cup, you should be able to perform well in majors.”

Reed has made quite an impression in his two Ryder Cup singles matches. In 2014. he shushed the Scottish crowd after a birdie en route to victory over Henrik Stenson. Then, last year, he outdueled Europe’s top player, Rory McIlroy, in an epic battle.

Reed is still seeking his first top-10 finish in a major. In 12 starts, his best finish is a tie for 12th in the 2016 British Open. In the Masters, he missed the cut in his debut in 2014, tied for 22nd in 2015 and tied for 49th last year.

“I just need to get out of my way in majors,” Reed said. “I keep on tinkering too much and changing equipment rather than sticking with the stuff I win golf tournaments with and playing from there.”

Reed, a former Augusta State All-American, burst on the national golf scene when he won the WGC-Cadillac Championship and declared on national television that he considered himself a top-five player in the world. After the victory, he was 20th.

Since then, Reed has won three more times for five career titles. The closest he’s come to reaching the top five in the ranking is seventh last October. A so-so start this season has seen him drop out of the top 10 heading into the Masters.

“The past couple of months, I’ve been going in the wrong direction,” Reed said. “It doesn’t help playing as much as I do. But I don’t live by the world ranking. I live by competing in golf tournaments and trying to win golf tournaments. At the end of the day, if I compete and win golf tournaments, all that will take care of itself. Honestly. if I wanted to play for the world ranking, I’d play 44 or 46 events in two years, not 70 or 72 that I normally play.”

Reed is a member of both the PGA Tour and the European Tour.

“I like playing overseas,” he said. “I’m going to play on both tours. I’m enjoying doing that.”

He can still have fun with his “top five” comment, which continues to follow him around. At last year’s PGA Championship, a reporter mentioned that some people thought Reed was cocky and mistakenly said Reed said he felt he was a top-three player at the WGC-Championship victory.

“I appreciate you saying top three because I said top five,” Reed said, “and I appreciate you calling me cocky as well. You have to believe in yourself. If there was not a mic around and you asked every single guy where they want to be, they’re going to say No. 1 in the world. And if they don’t, those guys don’t have a chance to win golf tournaments because they don’t believe in themselves.”

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