Pre-Tournament Interview With:

Patrick Reed

Wednesday May 2, 2018

AMANDA HERRINGTON: We'd like to welcome Patrick Reed to the interview room here at the Wells Fargo Championship. Patrick, back to Quail Hollow after a runner up finish here when the PGA was here last. What are your feelings and emotions coming back here after having the success you did most recently?

PATRICK REED: Yeah, I feel good. Anytime you can come back to Charlotte and Quail Hollow and come play, it's always awesome. Weather's always usually really good, the golf courses are normally in perfect shape and it's just one of those events you look forward to every year to come out, play some good golf and hopefully have a chance to come down late Sunday.

AMANDA HERRINGTON: You've had another week past the Masters win. What has the last three weeks been like and how are you processing it?

PATRICK REED: Yeah, it's been last three weeks have been a lot of fun. Being able to do all the media tour and just being able to hang out with friends and just being able to reflect on the week on what we did at Augusta. I think the biggest thing was just these past two weeks getting back to normalcy, back to playing golf, back to grinding, getting inside the ropes and working. I'm just -- it's just awesome to be back and playing.

AMANDA HERRINGTON: While you were out playing today, the United States Olympic Committee announced that you are a nominee for athlete of the month.

PATRICK REED: Awesome.

AMANDA HERRINGTON: So I'm not going to ask how are you processing that information since you just found out, but what's your initial reaction?

PATRICK REED: That's awesome. I mean, to be a part of the Olympic team and be a part of all those athletes and some of the things they do is just unbelievable do going to see other sports and watching it on TV, just seeing how hard they have worked to get to where they are as well, it's awesome, an awesome time, and to be nominated, it's really cool.

AMANDA HERRINGTON: You're going up against a few paralympic athletes as wells a fencer, but you are the only golfer for the month.

PATRICK REED: All right. We'll wait and see. Hopefully I don't have to fence against anybody.

Q. You touched on your high finish at the PGA last summer. That was the last major before the Masters. Did that finish, maybe was that the last step in your progression when you think back on all the golf you've played in your career to get you ready to go ahead and win the Masters as you did this year?

PATRICK REED: It helped. You're talking about two totally different golf courses and two different totally tournaments. Yes, they're both majors, but the way you kind of come into them is a little different. Coming into the PGA last year, it was my ninth straight event that I'd played so I was already in good playing form, I felt great. I felt like I kind of let one slip away with how I played on Friday. I hit I think three greens, shot 73 and I saved myself by getting up and down on almost every hole. To win a major, you have to have all your game working the whole entire time; you can't have any off days. To finish second and feel like I had one of those off days, I knew that, all right, if we continue playing the way we're playing, especially in the majors and continue playing like that, you're going to have a chance. I just was in the right mindset and felt like the game was going into Augusta.

Q. Patrick, you guys make this game look pretty easy, but it's not. What do you find the most difficult specifically about the game, what makes it so tough?

PATRICK REED: Man, there's so many things that make golf difficult, but I think the biggest thing is just kind of the unknown. You don't know what everyone's going to do. You're sitting out there, all you can control is what you're doing, and some mornings you go out and play and the golf course seems really easy, really receptive. All of a sudden you go in the afternoon, it's blowing 30, it's firm and fast or it could be vice versa. It's such a big difference on scoring, especially at the level we're at now because you get benign winds and soft greens, guys are going to attack. I mean, you expect to see a 64, 63 out there from somebody. But then all of a sudden if you take the same as that golf course and all of a sudden it baked out a little bit and it's blowing 20 or 30, now 67, 68 seems like a good golf score. So I think that's the most difficult thing is just not really worrying about what everyone else is doing, just going out and trying to play your game.

Q. Patrick, Tiger and Rory both spoke earlier today and said very nice things about you. I'm wondering in the aftermath of the Masters was there someone, something one of your peers said to you that meant the most to you?

PATRICK REED: I think the best message I got was actually Dave Pelz. He had a voice mail on my phone and he was so proud and excited about how I played and everything. He just reminded me, hey, work's not done, it's just a steppingstone, this is the beginning and now keep that pedal down, go and play golf and let's get some more.

That's just kind of the mindset that I've had and I'm going to have to have going forward because I'm never going to settle. I'm not the type that just because I won one major means I'm done. I want to go out, compete and get that feeling more and more and try to win as many golf tournaments as I possibly can.

Q. Well, since you just answered the question I had, did you hear from any players from the Masters until New Orleans, and if not, what was the reaction when you got to New Orleans?

PATRICK REED: I've heard from so many, I had so many text messages, phone calls from all the guys. All of them were just saying congratulations, you deserved it, you've worked really hard to get to this point and continue playing well.

PATRICK REED: Yeah, it's really cool to see that, getting text messages from all the guys whenever you win and stuff like that, just shows how much of a big family we are out here playing and grinding. We all want everyone to play well at the end of the day, but of course you're hoping that you play one shot better. All of us want to go out and give a good show and play some good golf. Just to get to have the guys recognize me for the win and that, hey, all that hard work you've been putting in is paying off, it's satisfying hearing that from other competitors.

Q. You get upset when you don't win as you're supposed to as a competitor. Have you ever been upset at somebody for beating you?

PATRICK REED: No, no, because, I mean, really you look at it, at the end of the day they beat you because they played better. That's how it is. That means that, okay, well they played better that day so there's no reason now. Of course I look back through those rounds like okay, well, there's thing I could have done in order to win the golf tournament and those are things you just learn from.

Q. Do you think anyone's ever been upset at you?

PATRICK REED: I don't know. Probably. Seems like everyone's always upset with me. That's a normal thing. I just kind of live in that world that everyone's upset with me. That's okay, I'll just go out and try and do what I do.

Q. I asked this actually of Justin earlier, but you're only just one tournament in since winning your first major. I just wonder if you feel a feeling as you continue on here having gotten that major out of the way, not to say you're going to relax as you just stated, what do you think that will do propelling you forward, whether it's an inner confidence thing or whatever knowing you closed it out in the hardest circumstances, so to speak?

PATRICK REED: Well, it definitely helps your confidence because you've won. Even though you could be the most confident person in the world going in and all of a sudden you're playing some great golf, you're playing a major, you finished a bunch of top 5s, top 10s, but you believe you can win. But if you haven't done it yet, there's still a little bit of that doubt in the back of your mind.

PATRICK REED: So going ahead and closing one off, especially early on like this, just gives you confidence going on throughout the rest of the year and throughout my career that if I get in that position again, well, I've done it before, why can't I do it again. You know, I mean, moving forward it's just getting back to who I am. That's playing golf, that's grinding, that's going out there and working and trying to work harder than anybody out there and not let up. That's just something that I've always been kind of ingrained in and that's kind of how we move forward and continue trying to grow as a player and person and try to get better.

Q. Patrick, where's the green jacket right now?

PATRICK REED: At home.

Q. And do you have much experience, do you know anything about Shinnecock, have you ever been there?

PATRICK REED: No, I've never been there. I've heard a lot of great things about it. I've talked to other players, I've talked to members of the course and stuff. All of them say such great things about the golf course, but I haven't played there yet. I can't wait to get up there and see it.

Q. Do you have a plan of how you're going to attack it?

PATRICK REED: No, because I haven't seen it yet.

Q. Well, I mean do you have a plan when you're going to go up?

PATRICK REED: I don't know. I'll probably go up at some point. Just kind of got to see how the schedule pans out and really just kind of how I feel physically and mentally going in.

Q. Going back to the Masters in the final round, how was the environment different playing with Rory versus at the Ryder Cup?

PATRICK REED: They're a lot louder at the Ryder Cup and there's a lot more that can be said at the Ryder Cup than can be said at the Masters. But it was electrifying both ways. I think the biggest difference at the Ryder Cup, those first eight holes with Rory and I, we were 5 or 6 under each, so with how good of golf we were playing, the place was just going nuts because you're hitting long putts, you're hitting these incredible golf shots. At Augusta, it was just kind of a dogfight, one guy was kind of struggling a little bit, another guy was just kind of playing okay. It wasn't a 6 or 7 under par eight holes, that's for sure.

Q. Of course you got that first major under your belt, looking back now to 2013 when you got that first victory at Wyndham, just talk about the years throughout the process going from that first victory to now for that major?

PATRICK REED: Yeah, I can go back farther than that. Just to think that Justine and I running around, having no card and chasing the Mondays and qualifying for six out of eight of those and making kind of a season out of it, coming out here and playing as many events as we can.

I remember pulling in here and Mondaying for this, would have been my third event and the guys in the locker room are just like, you're here again, you did it again? I was like, yeah. Like, all right.

PATRICK REED: To come out add play really solidly here and having all that work paying off and being able to make it through Q School and our first season coming out and getting our first win, it's just been so satisfying and humbling how hard we have worked as a team to be able to get to where we are, just seeing the progression of our game moving forward, the progression of our whole entire team moving forward and how unified we are as a group. It's been awesome and can't wait to get out there and hopefully win some more.

Q. Rory told a funny story in retrospect of being on the first tee on Sunday and some of the Augusta members saying, well, we hope we'll see you at the dinner tonight, to him. I'm wondering if you were anywhere within earshot when those words were spoken?

PATRICK REED: No, no. I had a couple members that are good friends of mine come up and talk to me throughout the week and throughout Sunday over near the driving range and stuff, but once I got to the first tee, it was by that point I was trying to get in my zone, focus.

And he loves to get to the tee box like two minutes before they tee off. If I did that it would be too much anxiety, I have to get there seven minutes before. So by that point he's back there talking and I'm already at the tee box trying to figure out what I'm doing.

Q. So he also said that what he saw from you Sunday was that you didn't play perfect but you made the putts when you needed to. Do you agree with that and was that a bit of a revelation that you could win a major without having a golden round?

PATRICK REED: Yeah. I felt like throughout that round there was a couple more loose shots than there was throughout the week, but I felt really comfortable on the greens, felt really good with the putter that if I hit a bad shot, no matter what day it was, Thursday through Sunday, I was like that's fine, just get the ball on the green and let your putter do the work. You know, it was just something I was able to make a lot of putts.

Honestly, that has to be credit to not only the work that we put in the week before but also the work my wife had to drag me to Vision Source to get my eyes checked. First week ever wearing contacts that week and I go ahead and make every putt I look at and win a golf tournament.

Q. Patrick, could you talk about how you play 16, 17, 18, and do you do anything in practice rounds to get ready for the Green Mile?

PATRICK REED: You know, you avoid left at all cost on all three of the holes. You've got water left on 16, water left on 17, water left on 18. Really, just I go in there and treat them as if they're other golf holes. Yeah, they're long, but if you make quality golf swings and hit quality golf shots where you're looking, then you shouldn't have any issues with them. They're very situational holes. Early in the week you try to make some pars, hopefully make some birdies on them, but if it's coming down late Sunday, that's then when decision making becomes a lot different.

Q. Tell me a little more about this visit to the eye doctor.

PATRICK REED: So I'm sitting at the kitchen table in our kitchen and we have a pretty big TV in the den and kind of flipped through channels and I cannot read the guide. I'm just moving slowly. Justin goes, you can't read that? I'm like, no, can you? She's like, yeah. Then I look at my mother in law, she has glasses on. Can you read that? She's like, yeah, you can't? I'm like, no. My father in law's sitting over there and he has really thick glasses. You can't see that? He's like, maybe that's the reason why we haven't been making putts for a year.

So we went to the eye doctor and next thing you know I could see up close, but I can't see anything past about 30, 40 yards. Everything's really blurry. So I got a prescription for contacts, put them in and all of a sudden I'm just looking out like, wow, I can see everything. Now all of a sudden I'm not having to ask Kessler where that ball goes. All the time I'm like Kes, where'd it go? He's like, you didn't see it? He's like, over here or on the green. I'm like, okay, cool. Now all of a sudden I can read greens pretty well and it worked at Augusta.

Q. How long ago, do you know the exact date? Where you were watching the TV and couldn't see anything?

PATRICK REED: Oh, that was -- well, I've always struggled seeing the guide probably for a year, but finally went and got checked the Monday before Augusta.

Q. Like the Monday the week of Houston?

PATRICK REED: Yeah, Monday the week of Houston. You know what I'm talking about trying to put those things in your eye. It would take me 30 minutes to 45 minutes to get them in. Getting them out's easy, putting them in I was struggling. Now it's easy, but those wake up 15 minutes before you've got to leave that first week at Augusta, no chance. It was wake up an hour and spend 45 minutes on my eyes.

Q. Anything within 30 yards you're okay, 30, 40 yards beyond it was cloudy or the other way around?

PATRICK REED: Yeah, it was blurry. Outside 30 yards it was blurry.

Q. But you said it helped you on the greens?

PATRICK REED: Probably. But really I feel like it helped me more kind of longer distances being able to see, judge, that kind of stuff. Yeah, you know, it was interesting.

Q. I also wanted to ask you if you don't win the rest of the year at all --

PATRICK REED: I would be disappointed, yes.

PATRICK REED: Q. That wasn't the question. The question is, would this still be the best year of your career?

PATRICK REED: No. So far we -- I had a two win year in there with winning at a World Golf Championship and I had a lot of top 10s as well that year. To me I treat every event as if it's just a normal golf tournament. For me to have the best year, I have to have at least two wins and as many top 10s, if not more. Honestly, I need to go there and try to win as many golf tournaments as I can and hopefully just play some good golf.

Q. Do you write any goals down?

PATRICK REED: Yeah, I have a lot of them.

Q. Do you actually write them down?

PATRICK REED: Um hmm.

Q. Where are they?

PATRICK REED: In my phone. Technically, I type them down.

Q. Are you one that shares them?

PATRICK REED: No.

Q. Ever?

PATRICK REED: No.

Q. Even at the end of the year?

PATRICK REED: No. I will say there has been one check.

Q. Contacts?

PATRICK REED: Exactly. Get my eyes checked, check.

Q. Patrick, on this journey you talked about the Monday qualifying. I'm sure there have been some lows. Have you ever had to fight losing the passion either for the game or what you do out here, and do you have to fool yourself at times to find it?

PATRICK REED: Never. That's something that I've never had an issue. I'm all in. It's golf, family and go out and play as hard and as well as we can. Always strive for perfection in it. I think that's what keeps me going is trying to be perfect in the game, which is almost impossible to do. That's just something that I've always wanted to go and try to achieve and try to become the best player in the world and to be able to do that. I mean, if you don't have the drive and the passion for the game, then there's no way that's ever going to happen. That's a huge goal of mine. I've always had that, I'm trying to strive for. So there you go, there's one of my goals.

Q. Check.

PATRICK REED: Yep.

Q. Patrick, when you were courtside at the Knicks, did you have any interaction with the players? Were they seemingly at all impressed that this person wearing the green jacket was watching them?

PATRICK REED: J.R. Smith came over before the game, he's a huge golfer. Came over and said hi. So he's a member at Bluejack as well and he's like, hey, we need to play in the member member together. We'll have to see how our schedules are and if we can make that happen. That would be pretty fun. O'Quinn came over and said hello, Beasley came over and said hi. And also when they announced me, it was in the middle of a time out and Kevin Love came over and gave me a sweaty bro hug. He got my jacket a little sweaty.

Q. When you were going out and running those Mondays, you said like six of eight that you qualified, were those six medalists or six qualifying? How did those break down? Did you win all six?

PATRICK REED: No, I just qualified for all six. I don't know how many I won or anything like that. I just knew I had to go out and shoot as low as possible and be in the top 4.

Q. And that obviously helped to harden you to the game, it was win or go home?

PATRICK REED: Yeah, for sure. I've always had that kind of mindset, that's why I've always loved the team events and match play kind of stuff because it's win or go home. It's one of those things that to be able to kind of pull from those experiences on the Mondays where you had to flip the switch. It doesn't matter. You have 18 holes, you have to you shoot the lowest round possible and you don't have three rounds to catch up if you have a bad round. I think that's what helped me kind of mold my game into kind of how I am now.

AMANDA HERRINGTON: Patrick, thanks so much for joining us today. Good luck this week.

PATRICK REED: Thanks.