Patrick Reed explains why he comes across as aloof on tour ahead of Hong Kong Open
- The fiery American says the disappointment of losing the Ryder Cup is behind him as he prepares to return to Fanling
He has been called aloof, selfish and plenty more in recent years but for 2018 Masters champion Patrick Reed a laser focus is the only way to combat his hectic schedule and unyielding drive to be the best he can.
Reed is not exactly a fan favourite and his issues with his estranged parents and sister have been well documented, while he was right in the thick of the ugly fallout after the USA was trounced by Europe in the Ryder Cup in September.
That is not to say he doesn’t hold a special place in the hearts of some golf fans – he was dubbed “Captain America” after spearheading the USA’s charge to Ryder Cup glory in 2016 – and the 28-year-old will not be straying from his tried and true methods to appease the masses.
“I’ve always been the type that I show up to the golf course, I pop in my headphones and get in my own world and grind, get my work done and get back out and rest,” he said at the launch of the Honma Hong Kong Open on Tuesday.
“I think the biggest reason I do that is because of how much I play. Playing worldwide and playing on both tours consistently means you are going to be playing more events, but also you’re going to be travelling all over the world.
“I just try to figure out every way possible to conserve energy, yet at the same time get all the work I want done and be as efficient with my time [as possible] in order to keep the consistency and keep the great play from the first event through to the last event.”
Reed returns to the Hong Kong Open for the first time since 2016 and says the disappointment of losing the Ryder Cup and the drama that followed are behind him.
“Any time I come over and play in Hong Kong it’s a sigh of relief,” he said. “It’s hard to look at it in one way because, even though this is the start of a new season, it’s still finishing off the calendar year. So whether you’re finishing off the year in Hong Kong or starting the year here, it’s a real treat to come over and play.”
Reed finished second behind Francesco Molinari in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai, which reached a climax last week at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
It was the highest finish by an American in the 10-year history of the Race to Dubai and Reed says he has “always wanted to be a worldwide player”.
“A dream of mine has always been to play on both tours. Every time I play on the European Tour I enjoy every moment of it,” he said.
“You have so many different cultures, cities, golf courses and time zones, so you have to adapt. You have to teach your body to adapt really quickly and I feel like it really helps you as a person and helps round you as a human being on knowing how to deal with adversity and knowing how to find a quick plan of action to make it into a familiar situation.”
Reed was joined by 2017 Masters champion Sergio Garcia, 2017 Race to Dubai winner Tommy Fleetwood, last year’s Hong Kong Open winner Wade Ormsby and Hong Kong’s Steven Lam Tsz-fung in launching this year’s tournament, which begins at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling on Thursday.