In­ter­view with Pa­trick Reed

The newly-crowned Masters cham­pion talks ex­clu­sively to HK Golfer.

HK Golfer - - Contents - By Louie Chan

Louie Chan: I think con­fi­dence is a word a lot of peo­ple would re­fer to when asked to de­scribe Pa­trick Reed. How did that win­ning feel­ing - the early wins - how did that make you feel? Talk to us about how be­lief be­came such a big part of your game.

Pa­trick Reed: It made me feel that I be­longed out there. Whether it was, as a kid, be­long­ing with the older kids or whether it was on the PGA TOUR. Once you get on the tour, you're ex­cited that you made it. But then, once you get that first win, then all of a sud­den you be­lieve you de­serve to be out there. Once you get past that first win, you get the sec­ond one, then you start hav­ing that be­lief that you can com­pete in Ma­jors and re­ally com­pete for that top spot.

If you don't have a be­lief in your­self no one's go­ing to be­lieve in you. Get­ting that win gets you into that cat­e­gory that, not only do you be­lieve but, all of a sud­den, ev­ery­one else starts re­al­is­ing, "Oh, he's won so he has proven him­self. Now, let's give him a shot. Let's see what he re­ally can do." LC: There's a mo­ment you have no doubt talked many times, when you took down one of your con­tem­po­raries in the 2016 Ry­der cup which has to be up there with the two or three great­est matches we've ever wit­nessed. I guess be­fore you teed off in that round, you're ap­proach­ing the golf course, you know you're play­ing Rory. At what point do you start re­al­is­ing you're feel­ing good? How do you con­trol the emo­tion? How did you ac­tu­ally al­low your­self to per­form to that high level on that day?

PR: Right when I fin­ished on Satur­day, I walked straight over to the cap­tain and I said, "Hey, cap­tain I want Rory." I knew there's no way we could guar­an­tee that just by say­ing, "Hey, guys Pa­trick wants to play Rory, we're go­ing there." Be­cause you had to put down your names and hope that the other team put their names in such a way that matches up with your think­ing. In the past, Rory has gone out around the mid­dle of the sin­gles matches be­cause that's nor­mally where the

de­cid­ing match is, in the mid­dle.

That's usu­ally the win­ning point but be­cause we were lead­ing, we had a feel­ing that Rory was go­ing to go out first. I'm over there jump­ing out my shoes like, "Put me out first, put me out first. I want Rory." Be­cause I want to play their best guy and that week he's play­ing his best and I want to go up against him. When­ever it came out that I was to play Rory, I was just so jacked and ex­cited and ready to go. Ac­tu­ally, my warm up wasn't as good as I needed it to be. I was strug­gling be­cause I was so hyped that my tim­ing was ac­tu­ally too fast.

I was swing­ing out of my shoes, get­ting out of my nor­mal rhythm and be­cause of that, my coach was like, "Hey, come on, let's calm down. Let's get back to your nor­mal swings. Get back to your nor­mal tempo." But it just wasn't hap­pen­ing. Then Tiger walks over he just gives me this blank stare, he said, "Come here." I'm just sit­ting there go­ing, "Oh, what's go­ing to be said?" He just wraps his arm around me and tells me a story. It was re­ally funny. It was a good joke which kind of loos­ened me up and then from that point, I started hit­ting some shots and got back into my nor­mal tim­ing and nor­mal rhythm.

Once you start hit­ting a cou­ple of shots and you get back into that flow that you were in ear­lier that week, you just get that con­fi­dence You start think­ing, "All right, here we go, this is go­ing to be great. I'm go­ing to be ready to go."

LC: I think that the sports­man­ship re­ally shone through with you and Rory be­cause you’d given as good as each other and you edged him out. That must have been some­thing that you took a good deal of pride in, out­side of win­ning? Just know­ing that you cre­ated a great mo­ment in sport. Is that some­thing that fair to say?

PR: It is. The one thing that you don't see in golf any­more be­cause it's such an in­di­vid­ual sport is the ca­ma­raderie and just the friendly banter back and forth from play­ers. You get it in bas­ket­ball, you get it in ev­ery other sport you play be­cause you're in­ter­act­ing a lot with the guys. In golf you don't re­ally have that.

It's just you and your cad­die. Play­ing with Rory, I'll never for­get when he made his birdie on num­ber three to go one up in the match.

He just gave it just a non­cha­lant lit­tle hand wag, that's about it, and didn't show re­ally any emo­tion. So, as we were walk­ing to the fourth tee, I said, "I just want to let you know, when I win my first hole, you're go­ing to know about it." And he just starts laugh­ing. Then we tie four, go to five, I hit a great tee shot at the drive­able par four. I hit it up there to eight feet for ea­gle and make the putt and then I let him have it.

I go nuts and he just starts laugh­ing. At the par 5 sev­enth he hits one to 10, 15 feet, prob­a­bly wasn't up to his stan­dards but, it was good enough to make birdie. He makes a good putt and that's then when he starts go­ing. Then I make mine, I give him the bow be­cause he bowed the crowd ear­lier. A lot of peo­ple are like, "Well, are they like an­gry at each other or what's go­ing on?" We get to the next tee box and he's like, "Oh, my bow was bet­ter." It's like, "No, mine was. It was an Amer­i­can bow, we're on Amer­i­can soil." All match we're laugh­ing, hav­ing a good time and I think that’s the best part of com­pet­ing, the sports­man­ship and that ev­ery­one was able to see that. They can see this is a lot of fun for these guys and they're just show­ing how the game of golf can be. It's on eight, he makes the 9,000-foot putt that I told my cad­die, "He's go­ing to make this." And he's look­ing me like, "No, he's not." I was like, "No, he's go­ing to make this." He's like, "I guar­an­tee you he's not go­ing to make it." He's like, "I know you're go­ing to say you need to have the men­tal­ity that he's go­ing to make it and he's go­ing to make ev­ery­thing." I was like, "No, he's go­ing to make it." All of a sud­den, it's five feet from the hole and he goes, "Oh, he's go­ing to make it." I was like, "Yes." When he made it, he's like, "I can't hear you. I can't hear you yelling." Then I holed my putt and gave him the fin­ger wag, but I think the best mo­ment was right af­ter that. We're walk­ing off the green, fist bumps to each other, arms wrapped around each other's shoul­ders, just out there hav­ing a good time and talk­ing.

That's stuff that in golf you don't see be­cause it's such an in­di­vid­ual sport but for us out there, we're like a big fam­ily. Whether you're on the US side, Euro­pean side, it doesn't mat­ter. We're all out there try­ing to do the same thing. We all want ev­ery­one to play well and I think that's what's go­ing to stand out the most in that match.

LC: You are a char­ac­ter and an in­di­vid­ual. You do stand out, you have been through some in­ter­est­ing events, do you wear that like a badge of hon­our?

PR: Yes and no. I've al­ways be­lieved if you're 110% truth­ful and you stick to your be­liefs, then that's all you can do. Some peo­ple are go­ing to love you, some peo­ple aren't. At the end of the day, if you're true to your­self, that's all that mat­ters. I felt like my­self and my whole team has done that, and that's all that's all we can do.

LC: One other ques­tion, what has golf taught you?

PR: To be pa­tient. Golf is an in­ter­est­ing sport. It's a long sport es­pe­cially ev­ery week, 72 holes. Each round is at least four hours long. You're go­ing to have good days and bad days. You just have to stay pa­tient and know there are go­ing to be highs in your ca­reer. You're go­ing to have to be able to ride them out and con­tinue. You're go­ing to have lows in your ca­reer. You're go­ing to have to know how to ride the ship and not get too down on your­self.

I feel like the most im­por­tant thing in golf is stay­ing pa­tient and, also, I think it's stay­ing true to your­self. When you shoot a jump shot or you throw a fast­ball, it's all pretty much the same mo­tion. When you're play­ing golf, you step up on the first hole and there are 20,000 dif­fer­ent ways to play that hole. You're go­ing to have guys who are go­ing to hit driver. You're go­ing have guys who are go­ing to hit iron off the tee.

You are go­ing to have guys who hit draw or hit a fade, so the best way is just to stay true to your­self and be who you are. I feel like golf re­ally brings it out in you be­cause once you try to be like some­one else or change your game plan, a lot of times you walk off with bo­gey, dou­ble, or even triple. Just be­cause you changed your game plan to some­body else's when that's not who you are.

LC: Win­ning the Masters put you in the record books be­side the great­est play­ers ever to have played the game. What does it mean to you?

PR: The Masters is the pin­na­cle of the game of golf, to al­ways be known as a Masters Cham­pion is one of the great­est hon­ors in the game of golf. it is ev­ery kid’s dream to win the Masters and it was cer­tainly a dream come true for me.

I wouldn’t say that there was any mo­ment when I thought this was my year or time, but I pre­pared bet­ter, and my men­tal ap­proach was bet­ter. When I made the 20 to 25-footer for birdie on 12 on Sun­day, I had this rush like I’m go­ing to win. Noth­ing-no one is go­ing to stop me.

I stuck to my game plan. I watched the leader­board, so I knew where I stood, and I knew what I needed to do to win. I stayed in the mo­ment and didn’t get ahead of my­self.

It feels great to be amongst some of the worlds’ best ath­letes in their sport. It also means just as much to me to be a part of the Hublot team who has made me feel like fam­ily.

Pa­trick Reed celebrates on the 18th green af­ter win­ning his match as Rory McIl­roy of looks on dur­ing sin­gles matches of the 2016 Ry­der Cup

Pa­trick Reed ges­tures to the crowd while hold­ing the Ry­der Cup dur­ing the clos­ing cer­e­mony of the 2016 Ry­der Cup

Pa­trick Reed celebrates with his wife Jus­tine on the 18th green dur­ing the fi­nal round of the 2018 Masters Tour­na­ment

Pa­trick Reed and his Hublot Big Bang Unico Golf, a time­piece spe­cially cre­ated for golfers

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