Press Conference - Tuesday, January 17, 2017
DOUG MILNE: We would like to welcome Patrick Reed to the interview room, 2014 CareerBuilder winner. Thanks for joining us for a few minutes. Before we jump into this week, just coming off a good finish in your last start in Hawaii, top-10 finish there, T-6, and before that an amazing season last season. 11 top-10 finishes, including your fifth PGA TOUR title, the Olympics, Ryder Cup. So very busy and very successful season. How do you kind of transfer that into a new season, especially a week like this where you're coming back to a tournament where you won before.
PATRICK REED: Yeah, really the main thing for me is to build on what we did last year. Everything we seemed to do last year was the right things. Our game plan was great. So the main thing for us going forward is just to keep on working on what we did last year and just keep on improving where the consistency gets a little better. The more consistent you are, therefore the more top-10s, but also the more times you're in contention, have a chance to win golf tournaments. And the more times you can put yourself in that position, the more tournaments you're going to win at the end. So, really just keep on doing what we were doing last year and just keep on improving day by day.
DOUG MILNE: Saw you on the range earlier. How are you feeling coming into the week? Is there anything that's really connecting for you as far as the mechanics?
PATRICK REED: Everything feels solid. I feel like we're going in the right direction. It's Tuesday, so there's a lot of tinkering going down on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. But everything feels solid. I just we're trying to get the consistency a little better, where, one day I hit the ball really well and then on a day that I'm off it's still pretty good. That's just the main thing. My swing's great, I just need to get the consistency factor down a little bit and that's the same with everybody. So just trying to get that little push.
DOUG MILNE: Questions?
Q. Welcome back. I would think a year like last year demonstrates just how hard it is to really win out here, because you played as well as a lot of guys who won tournaments, but just didn't have the four days in a row. Is that the way you look at a year like last year when you have gone without an individual victory?
PATRICK REED: Well, I won at Barclays. I won a playoff event.
Q. The regular season. The Barclays is a playoff.
PATRICK REED: Well, not really. I felt like I did everything really well last year. There was a couple things I could have worked on and I'm going to work on this year to kind of improve on. But it is tough winning out here. You have a lot of great golfers and fields now are really, really deep. I put myself in a lot of good positions, I just wasn't able to close any of them out, until the playoffs. But to close out, especially the first playoff event, it's just like a normal PGA tournament you have a full field and you have all the guys that are inside the top 125 Money List, the top 125 guys who are playing that year. So to go out and win an event like that, it meant a lot, because our playoffs we have had a couple good finishes here and there, but normally it's kind of on the decline. This year I felt like we really stepped up and played how we were supposed to during the playoffs.
Q. It does seem that some of your higher profile performances came on some of the higher profile events. Playoff, obviously we'll never forget the Ryder Cup. Do you get more juiced up for those or just maybe you work a little harder for your game to get ready for those?
PATRICK REED: Well, no, you definitely get more juiced up. Any time you play a bigger event, you're going to get more excited to play. But for me, any time I can go out and play and compete against somebody it just, I get really amped up and get ready to go. I think the biggest difference was, in the past, I almost over-prepared during the big events and last year I just treat them like normal events. Went out and did my normal routine, my normal warmups and everything and preparation going into it. So by the time I got to the tournament, I wasn't tired and I was able to play pretty solid and had my two best finishes in Majors last year, won a playoff event and played some solid golf. And I think that was all attributed to, not only playing a little better, but also being a little bit more energized during tournament days, because I didn't wear myself out Monday through Wednesday.
Q. Is there a small part of you that's pleased that Justin Thomas is not playing this week?
PATRICK REED: I wish he was. I'm not going to shy away from someone who is playing their best at the moment. That's not who I am. I want to go up against the best players at the best time. And he's won three out of his last five, he's playing some really good golf, and I can't wait to get him back in the field and go play against him.
Q. Are his sort of performances, winning three of the last five, does that impress you or was that talent always there?
PATRICK REED: No, he's a good player. He hits it a long way and when he matches it up and has full control with the tee shots. He's going to be a guy that can go out there and get on a hot streak like this. Time will tell. Time will tell throughout a long period of time, if he can keep up that kind of play or what, because people go through highs and lows in their game and it's how high can you get those highs and on those lows, how can you manage them to not be too low.
Q. With rain in the forecast, how do you think it will make the courses play a little different? Or change the scoring a little bit?
PATRICK REED: Well, it could. I never played here when it rained before, it's always sunny and beautiful and perfect. So, it's going to change a little bit, I'm sure. It depends on does the rain bring wind, how much rain is actually going to come, what's it going to do to the temperature. There's a lot of, a ton of different factors you have to take into consideration to figure out what is actually going to happen to the golf course. Because the golf courses aren't that long, by the numbers, but if it starts getting cold, now the ball's not traveling. If it gets wet, ball's not going to travel either. Then also, if it's raining while you're playing, not having that friction on the golf club the ball's not going to go as far as well. So, it's just going to make it a lot longer. If it's raining every day, you're not going to have to go shoot 28-under to win, a normal number, but just all depends.
Q. For a lot of guys there are different events that signify the start to their individual season. For some it's Kapalua or here or Torrey. Other guys it's maybe the Florida swing. For you, mentally, what really signifies that you're getting into the Matt to the start of your year?
PATRICK REED: Really for me it's Kapalua. You have Kapalua, usually don't play Sony, but then I dive right into it. I'm playing here, but even though I'm not playing next week, I'll rally off some in a row and, really, you use Kapalua going in and you feel great, your body feels great, you feel mentally prepared, you feel like you've done a lot of work at home ready to go and now you use that tournament to kind of not only try to win, but kind of see where it is that you need a transition driving range to golf course. And by that time it usually takes a week for us. So you get done with that and this is really the heart, for me, this is the heart of the season. So for other guys who played Sony, if they played Kapalua, that might be their start or depends on when they come back.
Q. Having lived here, it is always warm and sunny here, it seems like. Last year there was a lot of talk about the changes in the golf courses. Obviously, a little different than when you won here a couple of years ago. But they still seem to go out and shoot scores. Do you feel like the Stadium Course was a different kind of course for this tournament or did it just kind of blend in normally?
PATRICK REED: No, when we came over here we played these two, compared to the previous two, it's definitely different. These two golf courses are harder than the other two. And I don't think it's as much as length as it is you can get away with some golf shots on the other ones. Here, you can get penalized for hitting a poor tee shot or poor iron shot. And the biggest difference I feel like is for the amateurs. The amateurs over there, they could hit some loose shots and they're fine. Over here, when they hit a loose shot, they're really struggling and it just seems to make the rounds a little longer. And now if you're adding weather, some of these amateurs are going to struggle.
Q. Did they feel like the same golf courses you had played in Q-School?
PATRICK REED: Yeah, I would say they would, but the biggest difference I felt like there's a lot more pressure here during Q-School than there is now. After our first two rounds we were way back, we were 130 something place after two rounds. Having to fight back, especially on Stadium, having to go out there and shoot low numbers, it was really nerve wracking and challenging, but very rewarding in the end. And it just seems like this week, unlike at Q-School, the pins are a little bit more accessible, because you're playing with amateurs as well, they're not going to put pins three paces from the edge, because then you might not finish. So, they put the pins a little bit more accessible, that's why you see a little lower scores. If they were to tuck the pins like they normally do on PGA TOUR weeks, the score would get cut in half. Because now you're hitting some 6-irons and 5-irons and 7-irons into greens and you're able to go flag hunting. When, on a normal event, when it's three or four paces from the edge, a lot of guys aren't going to hit 6- and 5-iron at the flag, you're going to go center of the green, try to make a 30-footer, if they don't they make par. But these weeks you're able to go at it and get yourself 5, 10, 15 feet away.
Q. With no Ryder Cup this year, all your focus with all these top players is around the Majors. Do you sort of change your schedule around the Majors and looking ahead to the Majors, apart from Augusta, are there any of those three other venues that excite you?
PATRICK REED: We still have Presidents Cup. We still have that event and we're all trying to make the Presidents Cup team, because we all want to represent our country. But I think every year we tend to gravitate to try to make sure what we are doing is right for the Majors. But for a guy like me, who plays as much as I do and how much I love to be out there and competing, as long as a Major's not like the fourth or fifth week in a row, I'll be ready to go. So, it doesn't really change very much for me, it's just go out and play some good golf and make sure I'm ready to go for, not only the big event, but every event I play.
Q. What about those other three majors apart from Augusta. Quail Hollow, Erin Hills, and Birkdale?
PATRICK REED: Quail Hollow is the only other one I've played, because I played the Wells Fargo. But I heard they changed like the first six or first five holes? They changed quite a bit of the first couple holes of the golf course. So, it will be interesting to go over and see the golf course. It's a great track and it's an awesome area and it's always in perfect shape, so we're looking forward to getting back over there and hopefully doing what we're supposed to do.
DOUG MILNE: All right. All right. Thank you. We appreciate your time. Best of luck this week.
PATRICK REED: Thank you.