Ryder Cup star Patrick Reed predicts ‘fireworks’ when he and Team Europe big guns return to the Hong Kong Open
Tommy Fleetwood and Sergio Garcia will also grace Fanling’s fairways as the tournament turns 60 in November
He’s a hero to some and a villain to plenty more but above all Masters champion Patrick Reed is an entertainer and he has predicted “fireworks” at November’s Honma Hong Kong Open.
Reed, Sergio Garcia and Tommy Fleetwood were on Thursday confirmed as the headline acts for the tournament’s 60th anniversary, with Reed hinting the Ryder Cup rivalry that will reach a crescendo in Paris later this month may still be simmering when the trio take to Fanling.
“Depending on what happens at the Ryder Cup, those guys might want revenge or I might want revenge,” Reed said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun and hopefully we can give you a bunch of fireworks while we are there.”
American Reed, often in the spotlight regarding his turbulent personal life, famously took down Rory McIlroy on the final day as the USA defeated Europe in the 2016 Ryder Cup and he will be one of the stars when the rivals resume hostilities later this month.
“It’s such an awesome event and the environment is ... it’s not normal,” Reed said. “You go to golf and it’s supposed to be a quiet, laid-back game, so to be able to go to an event that – growing up in the States and watching college football, NFL or Major League Baseball – you feel like you are in that type of an arena.”
Fleetwood and 2017 Masters champion Garcia feature on a strong Team Europe, but Reed feels the USA are ready to break their overseas drought in Paris, a run of outs that stretches back to 1993.
“I think the biggest thing is that we’ve finally got a taste of victory,” he said. “Us having control of the Cup right now, we have the confidence in ourself that we have won.
“To bring the dynamic of having Tiger and Phil [Mickelson] back on the team and then have the rookies in [Bryson] DeChambeau and [Tony] Finau, it just feels like we have a lot of confidence in our guys.
“Everyone thinks they’re just going to win the Cup, so we’re able to come in and feel like we’re still the underdogs and go out and play the best we can.”
Reed is appearing in the Hong Kong Open for a third time, with his best finish a tie for third in 2015.
“It takes discipline [to win at Fanling]. There’s a lot of holes where driver is not the club, you have to put the ball in the right position,” Reed said.
“It’s a place that I feel suits my game, but it’s not going to be easy going against guys like Sergio and Tommy,” added Reed, who was effusive in his praise for the tournament.
“A big key that a lot of golfers look at is how consistent is the golf course, are the people friendly, is there a great turnout? It’s one of these events that – on the list that all of us have on what makes a great event, it literally checks every single box.”
Fleetwood has been within two shots of the winner in both of the past two years and is looking forward to returning to a golf course he says “everybody loves”.
“I think it’s great that those guys have been announced, it shows the prestige of the tournament that they want to play,” he said.
“It’s great to have people back, Patrick’s been before, Sergio’s been before and Wade will be there again defending his title, when people come back that just shows how good the event is.”
Defending champion Wade Ormsby will also return and Honma will be stepping out as title sponsor for the first time, with chairman Liu Jianguo saying the company’s investment is motivated by its determination to grow the game.
“We really want to push forward and promote the sport in Asia and in the local community in Hong Kong,” he said.