Patrick Reed: A Masters win for LIV would be huge for the team
Patrick Reed believes it would be “huge for LIV morale” if one of the 18 rebels in next week’s Masters wins the Green Jacket.
Reed is one of six former Augusta champions on the Saudi-funded circuit, but says that if he replicated his 2018 success it would be a bigger deal.
“If you’re able to go out and win, it brings a boost not only to yourself, but to the league and the team that you’re on,” he said, here at the Orange County National Golf Course where the third LIV Golf event of the season begins on Friday.
“Now it’s just not sharing it with yourself and your inner circle but you're sharing it with these guys out there. It would just be huge for morale.”
Brooks Koepka, the four-time major winner, concurs. “Yeah, I would say so,” Koepka replied when asked if a LIV winner would be a big statement, with Cam Smith already holding the Claret Jug. “Anytime you win the Masters or the Open that’s usually a big statement.”
However, both tried to downplay the burgeoning narrative of the rebels against those who stayed loyal to the traditional Tours. “The storylines are going to be obviously LIV versus the PGA Tour and all that kind of stuff, but really at the majors, the top players will be playing against each other no matter where they come from. It doesn't matter what tour they’re playing on.
“So, for us at least, it’s going to be business as usual. Would I like to have LIV at the top [of the leaderboard]? Of course. But at the end of the day of the day it’s all us going up there and trying to play the best we can.”
Reed has already tasted the tension of a cross-Tour showdown. At the Dubai Desert Classic two months ago, he battled Rory McIlroy down the stretch at the conclusion of a controversial week which saw The Northern Irishman ignoring the American.
Reed told reporters that McIlroy was “an immature little child”, with the world No 2 expressing bemusement why Reed expected a warm greeting. “I mean, I got a subpoena from his lawyers on Christmas Eve,” McIlroy said, referring to a case Reed's lawyer has launched against the PGA Tour. The acrimony escalated throughout that tournament and McIlroy’s status as the most vocal opponent of the breakaway circuit was only further cemented.
Koepka, however, says the bitterness is overblown. “I was just with Rory and JT [Justin Thomas] yesterday in Jupiter,” he said. “We see each other quite a bit. I was talking with Rory for probably about 30 minutes, just about the ball proposal and all the other stuff going on. Nobody is angry at anybody from what I’ve seen.”
The ball and the governing bodies recently announced proposal to curtail distance is bound to be another hot topic in Georgia. In response to the length the modern pro hits it, Augusta has added 35 yards to the iconic par-five 13th.
On a two-day scouting trip last week, Reed played it for the first time in the company of Dustin Johnson and his revelations may be of concern to the fans who adored the risk and reward element of a hole that has witnessed so much drama.
Several pros have noted that the drive at the dogleg left hole is more straightforward as there is no opportunity to draw it around the treeline to set up an approach shot that for some that was as little as a wedge. But the second will now be so long there will not be nearly as many going for it over the creek. If any at all.
“DJ laid up both days,” Reed reported. “I laid up. Tournament time I would have laid up both times, but since we're out there seeing it, I of course went full send.
“I think it'll take a little bit of the excitement out of it. Unless you get the right wind conditions, you could just start seeing lay-ups on both of those par 5s [the 15th as well]. It used to be you could make a three but you could also bring six and seven into play. Now a lay-up it’ll be a four or a five.”