Tournament Interview With:


Thursday May 2, 2019

Q. Patrick, wonderful first round. It seems like when you look at your record at this event, it gets better and better each year; last year 8th and today you start with 4 under par. How good was that out there today in these very nice conditions for scoring?

PATRICK REED: Yeah, I think that was the biggest thing. Early on it was a little cooler and it's pretty calm out there for what we've seen. I just know kind of from the past you just have to on the early day you have to go out and shoot a number. The biggest thing is, especially around this place is just try to play boring golf; hit fairways, hit greens, and if you miss greens, miss them in the right spots. I felt like that was the biggest thing is I kind of got out of my way. I stopped thinking about the golf swing and just started swinging the golf club and played golf shots. From that point I was able to go out and put the ball from point A to point B pretty well and make some putts.

Q. Looked like the scrambling was on point, especially on the 9th there because guys were having trouble from that spot. You were able to roll in your six footer for your par.

PATRICK REED: Yeah, you know, it's such a basic area. It looks so simple, it's just kind of uphill, not really much break. It just seemed to kind of take a little bit bigger skip than some of the other greens. Obviously kind of where it's sitting it's kind of getting baked out by that sun, so pretty sure a lot of guys have kind of run that one by.

Q. Which you did, but you made the putt, though.

PATRICK REED: Yeah, I did. Just kind of one of those that almost feel like you almost get too aggressive because you know how straight it is, you kind of take it for granted uphill and that's where you can leave that dicey putt coming down.

Q. Patrick, if we could just get an opening comment after that opening 4 under 67.

PATRICK REED: It was a boring day really. It was just kind of one of those days I put it from point A to point B really solidly, and the holes I missed the fairways, besides hole No. 1, I missed them in the correct spots. You know, I missed the greens in the right spots. So when you do that, it just makes golf a little easier because you're not having to put a lot of stress on it mentally, but also at the same time you're not leaving yourself six , seven , eight footers for par.

Q. How much validation do you get from a round like this on a golf course like this?

PATRICK REED: You know, it always feels great, especially around here to go shoot a low number in the beginning. No, we've been working hard, my team and I. We've been working really hard on trying to put the club in certain spots, and I think the biggest thing is starting from last week, once I got to last week it was, okay, we've done the work technically, now it's just go out and when I get to the golf course instead of always trying to play golf swing, play golf shots and be an athlete. I think that's what I did really well. I felt like I did it really well last week, just the putter wasn't quite going. Just today was really solid. Just tried to hit golf shots rather than play technique.

Q. Has it been mostly technical stuff? What's been missing for you? Do you feel it's been mostly technical?

PATRICK REED: A little bit. You know, I feel like the swing has been in probably the best position that the golf club has been in, it's just now timing it up. The only way you're really going to time it up is spend a lot of time on the range hitting reps, but at the same time going to the golf course and being able to transition that into hitting different shots, whether it's off speeds, fades, draws, flights. I feel like that's the part that I was missing in the past and now I feel like I'm back kind of being who I am and being a golfer and playing.

Q. I wonder if sometimes you wonder if you're overworking yourself because you're known as a guy that grinds a lot. Is there a balance there somewhere where you have to kind of stay fresh and not grind it out too much?

PATRICK REED: There is, but the biggest thing is, the great thing about my team is they know when to pull me back to say, hey, no, you're done practicing, or hey, today's a good day to kind of rest and recover. If it was up to me, I'd be up there from sun up to sundown every day. The good thing is I feel like we've learned from that mistake I felt like our first two years on Tour and we've learned to know how much we can and can't push.

Q. What was the most important technical thing that you fixed?

PATRICK REED: I think the biggest thing was right at the top of my swing I was getting a little long and kind of disconnected. You know, we're just trying to feel like it stays a little shorter and a little bit more connected and feel like it's a little bit stronger at the top. From that point, if I feel like I can get there, then I can explode however fast I want to and have control of the face, the ball's going to go where I want it to go.

Q. (Inaudible) top 10 this year, how much has your patience been tested?

PATRICK REED: It's been I think it's been tested a little bit, but I don't think it's really as much as top 10s and stuff like that as it's been where I felt like I've made some pretty good golf swings and because it's been a little loose at the top, I hit it and I'm like, okay, that's going to be good, and I look up and the ball's nowhere near where I'm trying to hit it. So that's where now that I feel it's a little tighter and deeper and strong at the top, I feel when I make that good golf swing, I know where the ball's going to go.

Q. 14 greens today. You mentioned you're striking the golf ball better. How much does that confidence carry over to other parts of the game?

PATRICK REED: I think that's the biggest thing. When you're hitting the ball well, it frees up the putter. You know, when you happen to miss a green because you know how you're hitting it, you're a little bit more fresh, you can be a little bit more aggressive on your chips. I think that was the biggest thing. Some days I wasn't hitting the ball very well. Also, I was putting a lot of pressure on my putting. That's when you try to force the putts in rather than let them happen. The good thing around a place like this with how fast the greens are, especially if you're downhill, you can't force anything because you don't want to hit it five, six feet by, so everything is kind of free flowing motions.

Q. Patrick, a number of golfers wearing those green ribbons on their hats. I was wondering if you can speak to that.

PATRICK REED: Yeah, you know, it was tragic. For me, honestly, anytime we have any kind of ribbons and we can support anything that's bigger than golf, we're going to support that because we have a platform here where we're not just out here playing golf, we're out here to try to make the world a better place as well.

Q. Have you ever had to play at a tournament following something major, tragic the same week or the week after? Have you guys ever had to do that?

PATRICK REED: We have. I mean, there's been especially since I play worldwide, I mean, and I feel like I play every single week, there's always something that's going on in the world. I think this might have been the closest from where we're playing. I mean, but it's one of those things that all of us out here playing, we're out here to support not just golf but beyond that.