Press Conference - Wednesday, January 20, 2016
MARK WILLIAMS: We would like to welcome Patrick Reed to the interview room here at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Thanks for coming. Obviously, a winner two years ago of this event and you've had a great start to the season three Top-10s in your first three events and not only that, seven Top-10s in the last seven worldwide starts, including three or four Top-3s, so pretty impressive. I would like to know just what you've been doing to get that consistency in your golf swing and your scoring. Have you been working on something specific to do that.
PATRICK REED: I changed coaches at Deutsche Bank this year and I just felt like things were just kind of stalling. I felt like I was hitting the ball well, just couldn't get anything together. So I was just like, maybe try to make a switch. When I made the change to Josh Gregory, I just went back and he just kind of did what he did in college, which was have me go out and play golf. Get out of my own way, go and just play and just get the ball in the hole. I felt like that's what I was missing at that point in time and I seem to be getting that back. Made a little kind of minor tweaks, nothing major, and it just kind of has stuck and been a lot more consistent now.
MARK WILLIAMS: Just before we open up for questions, just your thoughts on coming back to this tournament with a couple of different venues than what you were used to when you won. Your thoughts on that.
PATRICK REED: It's awesome to be back. That's for sure. First place I went back to was La Quinta because I just figured I've played there before and just kind of see how my game is at the time and because it's always good to be back there. And then driving into here at the stadium and Nicklaus Course, it was one of those moments that I was just like, all right, well, finally back where Q-School was, so it kind of brought back those memories on that long, six-round week, but it's always great to be back. The golf courses here are always in perfect shape, the weather can't get any better and hopefully it could be like this every week we play on TOUR. 70 degrees, sunny, no wind.
MARK WILLIAMS: Q-School is often happy memories for some people and unhappy for others. So, happy for you, by the sounds of it.
PATRICK REED: Yes, it was. We were able to kind of get it going those last four rounds and barely get our card, so.
MARK WILLIAMS: Questions, please?
Q. How would you compare the streak you're on right now with two years ago when you got the two wins before the Masters? Obviously no wins in the last seven but played so well and come so close, is it the same kind of golf you were playing at that time or just different?
PATRICK REED: I would say it's completely different. Two years ago I was hitting big slinging draws every where. Now I still hit my draw, of course, but I know how to work the ball from left-to-right a little easier. Now it's a lot more consistent. Because even though I had those two wins, I had some events in there that I finished 50th or don't make a cut. But last year only missed two cuts and this stretch we have been playing pretty solid where we're in contention seems like almost every week. So it just kind of seems like the game's matured a little bit and I'm not as streaky, I'm just kind of more consistent, solid, and if I get going, I can rally off five, six, seven birdies. Which is a good feeling.
Q. What stands out when you look back at QSchool here?
PATRICK REED: Oh, being at the bottom of the leaderboard with four rounds to go. I think I was only beating like five guys, 130 something place with four rounds and I thought for sure we're done, there's -- I could play some good golf, but I didn't think I could jump to the Top-25. Justine just kept me in it and told me, all right, treat every day like a Monday. And I went out there and went 4-under, 5-under, 4-under, 5-under. And just kind of gave me the confidence that I can put four rounds together, as well as if I need to turn it on, I can. Back then it was a lot colder, so this golf course was playing really long compared to now. So it was a lot warmer now. It's definitely going to be a good test. It's one of those places I can't wait to go back out and play another tournament on and just kind of see if I learned from my mistakes three years ago.
Q. Bill Haas was in here yesterday and said, selfishly, he wishes it was still over there, because he won twice over there. Your win was over there. But you're completely comfortable coming over to these two new courses?
PATRICK REED: For sure. Guys at this level, you learn, there's not many of these guys that need to learn how to adapt. They all can do that really well. I definitely know where Bill's coming from, I wouldn't mind being over there, that's where I shot all my 63s. But at the same time, these two golf courses right here are great golf courses and if you're playing well, you're hitting good golf shots, you can score. But I definitely feel like these two are a little bit harder than the other two that we played last year. But by far La Quinta is the same as you'll always get.
Q. I was going to ask, everybody's focused on the Stadium Course because of all the horror stories from '87, but there's another course over here that's new, too. How easy is it to adjust to a course like that as opposed to the dramatic golf course over there?
PATRICK REED: You have to be patient. It's one of these places that you focus so much on what is the harder course, but really at the end of the day you can make anything difficult. You can play the easiest golf course and if you're not hitting the ball very well, then you're having to scramble and get up-and-down for pars or having to hit out of the rough to the par-4s. It's all about keeping the ball in play and keeping it in the fairway. It doesn't matter really what golf course you play. If you're hitting from the fairway, it's not going to be that difficult to get the ball on the green and make some easy pars and some birdies. So really, whether you're playing La Quinta, these two courses or the two that we played last year, if you're playing from the fairway, it should be no problem.
Q. How does the 17 here compare to 17 at Sawgrass for you?
PATRICK REED: Well, I hit two in the water today. I haven't hit it in the water yet at 17 at Sawgrass. It's different. At Sawgrass the green's a lot big. It's a wedge. But it's always blowing, the wind's always blowing. You're always trying to figure out what the wind's doing. Here the wind doesn't really blow very much, but at the same time it's 30 to 40 yards farther. You're so elevated that, if there is wind, the ball's just going to drift and with how firm the greens are, just at Sawgrass, the greens are firm. If you land on the back half, it's going to skip in the water. So just kind of one of those things that depending on weather and conditions, I would say if there's no wind, no wind here is easier than wind at TPC. But if there's some wind here, I feel like because you're hitting 8-, 7-iron, if it's into the wind might even be hitting 6, to a back flag. I feel like this hole could potentially be a little bit more difficult. But just going to have to be situational. If you have a one-shot lead going into 17, we'll see how tough it really is.
Q. You've said before you're a Top-5 golfer in the world and the golf world and some people think that they kind of need personalities in this game to bring in a newer generation. Do you feel like you represent that? Do you kind of try to showcase your personality a little bit better to kind of help people get to know you and maybe be a headliner on the PGA TOUR?
PATRICK REED: I just like people to know who I really am. When I do interviews or when I'm out on the golf course, I mean, I'm passionate and confident in the game and I love the game, and I just want people to notice that and see that. I'm never going to be one of those guys that goes out there is even keeled and is going to go out and come up to a podium and have a script on what I want to say and all that. I just kind of go with how I feel and kind of that's how I am.
MARK WILLIAMS: Anything further? All right. Patrick, we appreciate your time and good luck for the rest of the week.
PATRICK REED: Thanks.