How Woods ‘banter’ fired up Ryder hero Reed


Team USA vice-captain Tiger Woods talk at the 13th green during the practice round for ...
Team USA vice-captain Tiger Woods talk at the 13th green during the practice round for the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota, September 28, 2016. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports/File photo

Patrick Reed on Tuesday described how he had been fired up by some “friendly banter” with Tiger Woods en route to his starring role in the USA’s Ryder Cup win in October.

Reed said he had thoroughly enjoyed his mid-round trash-talk with the American great, who was a non-playing vice-captain at Hazeltine.

According to reports, Woods fired a verbal broadside at Reed as he played with Jordan Spieth against Sergio Garcia and Rafa Cabrera-Bello in the Saturday foursomes.

“Don’t worry Patrick, you only need 74 more wins and 14 more majors,” Woods was quoted as saying, referring to his tournament victories.

Reed said there was no malice intended in Woods’ comment, recalling: “There were a lot of shots where we gave it back and forth to each other.”

“It was friendly banter… But I definitely did what I needed to do that week,” he said, ahead of this week’s Hong Kong Open. “It was fun.”

It certainly didn’t harm the form of the current world number eight, who was one of the stand-out performers as the USA won for only the second time this century.

Reed was also paired with Woods at last week’s Hero World Challenge, where the former world number one made his return after 16 months out with injury.

He said it was “awesome” to have Woods back in the game and said he had shown some glimpses of his old form in the Bahamas.

The 26-year-old Texan finished third at last year’s Hong Kong Open, which is co-sanctioned by the European Tour and the Asian Tour.

He was delighted to have been allowed to keep his European Tour card, despite failing to contest the minimum five tournaments when he skipped the Turkish Airlines Open over security concerns.

“You’re not going to get your full potential just playing at home,” he said, following his reprieve by the European Tour.

“You’ve got to put yourself outside of your little bubble, outside your comfort zone, see different courses, different cultures, weather — those are things that help you grow as a golfer.”

Reed said he had gained valuable experience last year in how to tackle Hong Kong’s Fanling course, which he described as among the shortest and narrowest he had played.

“I’m always playing aggressively,” said the renowned big-hitter, adding that he would have to play “position golf rather than power golf”.

Other top names at the $2 million event include defending champion and Olympic gold-medallist Justin Rose, who pulled out of the Hero World Challenge with a bad back.

Masters champion Danny Willett, who is also struggling with a back injury, and Ian Poulter are also among the competitors in Hong Kong.

 

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