Patrick Reed fights in the Tour Championship
ATLANTA – Apparently Patrick Reed drove 3pm from Texas to Georgia in the back of a van on Tuesday to chase the FedEx Cup title and as much of the $ 46 million on offer at the end of the championship as possible. season.
The truth about Reed’s presence at the East Lake Golf Club is much simpler.
Two weeks earlier, Reed had emerged from what he called “a dark space” and “was fighting for my life” after nearly a week in a Houston intensive care bed with bilateral pneumonia. He came to the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club to add to his FedEx Cup point tally and prove to U.S. Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker that he’s healthy enough to warrant one of the six picks in the captain for the game which kicks off Sept. 24 at Siffling Straits, Wisconsin. When asked if he would be in Atlanta if it wasn’t a Ryder Cup year, Reed replied succinctly, “No.
Stricker watched Reed complete his first nine holes of golf on Wednesday since the final round of the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Championship in Memphis on August 8.
“He came up to me when I was on nine and I hit an eight foot hybrid and putt for him,” Reed said the next day after posting a scramble of two on par 72 at the first round of the Tour. Championship. “So you know honestly the most important thing is talking with Stricks and all that is just making sure I’m healthy and I think the most important thing for me this week is just to see where I am.
“And I know at the Ryder Cup my game will be where it needs to be, as long as I feel like my health is where it needs to be and as long as I feel like I can sustain myself through games. golf course. “
Playing a fourth consecutive Ryder Cup was the least of the worries of the past two weeks. Reed suddenly pulled out of the Northern Trust on August 19 ahead of the first round of the FedEx Cup playoffs, citing an ankle injury. But he returned home to Houston and was quickly admitted to the hospital. He said pneumonia hit him in both lungs “like a brick”.
“Suddenly I went from feeling good to literally feeling like I couldn’t breathe and almost drowned in the air,” he said. “It hit me so fast and it was so brutal.”
Reed first told Golf Channel he had COVID-19, but then retracted it in a vague statement on Twitter: “My main diagnosis was bilateral pneumonia. I was vaccinated against COVID-19, so I don’t know if I had the delta variant, but I’m just happy to be here. He said on Thursday that the hospital had not tested him for the coronavirus until he got a negative test result before checking in last week.
“Their main priority was to make sure we were fighting this pneumonia in both lungs because of how fatal it can be,” he said.
“The first couple of days they were sitting there telling me to make sure to text your family a little bit, talk to your family, because you just don’t know,” Reed explained. “I mean, it’s not good. We are not in a good position at the moment.
“With the way hospitals are these days because of Covid and everything that happens no matter what. They won’t let people in, so it’s just you in there. So I’m sitting there and for the first couple of days the only thing that was going through my head was that I wouldn’t be able to say goodbye to my kids. I won’t be able to tell them that I love them. I won’t be able to tell my wife that I love her and give her a hug.
Despite not making any of the first two playoffs of the PGA Tour, Reed still qualified for the last of 30 places in the Tour Championship this week when KH Lee missed the last hole in the BMW Championship. This allowed him to pass one final audition before the U.S. Ryder Cup squad was finalized on Wednesday.
Normally, Reed would be considered a likely choice. However, his health as well as his bitterness towards couples after the 2018 event in France put his chances in doubt.
It is expected that Stricker will pick Tony Finau, Xander Sc Chaudele, Jordan Spieth and Harris English. Reed is mainly in consideration with Daniel Berger, Webb Simpson, Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns for the two remaining places.
Reed clearly wasn’t at full power playing his first full rounds in nearly a month. He touched 10 of 14 fairways off the tee, but missed 12 greens in regulation on Thursday. He was a bit more consistent on Friday, but followed an opening bogey with 15 straight pars before finishing with two birdies to shoot a 69 under par, tied for 26th in the 30-man squad at one-to-one. above normal.
“The good thing is that my short game hasn’t left me,” he said.
But Reed believes he can be ready when the Ryder Cup kicks off in three weeks.
“It’s like my third day back swinging a golf club, so there’s going to be some rust in there, there are going to be things you obviously don’t want to do on the golf course,” he said. said Reed. “But the good thing is I feel like I can play now, I feel like I can do what I’m supposed to do. I think now it’s enough to do a few reps and get the energy level and strength back, which just takes a little while.