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September 29, 2016

Patrick Reed

Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

JOHN DEVER: Good morning and welcome back to Hazeltine and the 41st Ryder Cup. I'm really pleased to be joined by Patrick Reed.

Patrick, you played really, really, really well back in 2014 at Gleneagles. As you look back on that time, you were pretty young, but what really clicked for you that week? What was going well in your game at that time?

PATRICK REED: You know, really I felt like I played -- I just played like myself. I played kind of my normal game, and I feel like the main thing was I love match play. Any time I kind of get in this kind of one-on-one kind of battle, it always seems to bring the best out in me.

You know, it's just one of those formats that I absolutely love. Any time I can wear red, white and blue, it means everything. It just kind of brings out even more of a competitiveness in me and also brings out an even more fire in me, which kind of just gets me going. You know, hopefully I can have that feed onto the team.

JOHN DEVER: If you had to take yourself into the U.S. Team room and kind of look around, if you had to surmise, what was the greatest on-course strength of that group collectively?

PATRICK REED: On-course, they are completely different. You have some of the guys that hit the ball 500 yards, and you have other guys that are just kind of magicians around greens and you have other guys around the golf course that are plodders.

I feel like this year, we have a group of guys that all have different strengths. You have a small group that hits it a long way. You have a small group that doesn't hit it as far but is very accurate. And then you have another small group that is really good at scrambling. I feel like that helps us on match-ups, on figuring out who is best with alternate-shot, who is best with best-ball, those kind of things, on pairing up players. We have such a diverse group that we're able to, you know, pick and choose who we feel like is going to be best with each other on different kind of strengths.

Q. You alluded to how proud you are to wear the red, white and blue and play. Could you talk about the dynamic of team golf with guys that you're out there every other week of the year trying to beat, and how that comes together as a team and just how incredible it is to represent the United States as a team?
PATRICK REED: Well, you know, yeah, we're out there trying to beat every guy every week. But at the same time, every time I go out and play a golf tournament, I'm there focusing more on trying to improve and be the best golfer I can be. Because there's some weeks that you're going to play some really great golf and play really well and at the end of the day, you might not win a golf tournament.

For example, Hero last year, I feel like I played really well. I improved each day. Felt like I was doing everything correctly, but Bubba, he just flat-out outplayed me.

If you take care of yourself, that's all you can do, because there's so many guys playing, and with how deep the competition is these days, you can play your best golf, but if someone else does, as well, you might get edged.

So I feel like that has helped me become more of a team player. So when we're out on the road and at events like this, we know all the guys. We know not only the guys on our team but we also know the guys on The European Team. It's kind of one of those things that for us, I feel it's getting a lot more comforting to be with these guys. Now being on my second, I see a lot of these guys again now.

It's just one of these things that we're a team and we're going in there and we're trying to help each other rather than focus so much on ourselves, but we're trying to help each other because one person can't win The Ryder Cup. If you go out and play your best golf, you can go 5-0. Well, you still need nine and a half points to win the Cup. We're now more kind of focusing on what is it that we can do to help each other than what is it we can do just for ourselves.

When you get into these kind of scenarios with Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup, any time you have a team event, you have to be selfless. You have to be there to help each other. And if you're willing to help everyone else and help the team and try to become one as a group, then at the end of the day you're going to be successful. I feel like we're doing a really good job of that and we're building our team and helping and doing things to allow us to become a one unit. It's just kind of one of those things that we're working hard on.

Q. Given your regard for Tiger, what is it like to be in his pod and what do you know or have you learned about him that you would have not known just seeing him as a competitor?
PATRICK REED: You know, it's awesome being a part, not only to have Davis as the captain but then be part of Tiger's pod.

Tiger, you see a guy like Tiger and you see the credentials he has, all the major wins, the 105 worldwide wins, and you know, ultimately one of the best golfers ever to live on the planet, when you have someone that's that successful, there's either -- they are either going to do two things. They are either going to be like, you know, I don't need time for this, or they are going to be, you know, forthright.

Tiger, when I got here, I didn't quite know what to expect. I've talked to him a little bit, but I haven't spent a lot of time with him. And to have a guy like that who, if you ask him any question or if you need anything, he is there. He's all-in. He'll answer any question, whether it's about golf, on the golf course, off the golf course, anything. He's there to genuinely help you and help you on not just Ryder Cup but throughout other things, and it really speaks volumes on what kind of person he is.

It's awesome to see that and be a part of, because you know, you need people like that. And to have somebody like him walking down the fairways and being there with you -- we played nine holes on the first day, and the whole group, it was so windy, they only wanted to play nine. I decided I wanted to go see the back nine, so I just walked the back nine backwards. He was like, "All right, well, let's go." And he walked it with me, helping me figure out the golf course. You don't get that very often. And to have somebody do that for you, especially a guy like Tiger Woods, it meant a lot to me.

Q. At Gleneagles, you got a bit of crowd involvement going. Do you expect to be winding up the crowd again, whipping them up more this time tomorrow and how are you going to do it?
PATRICK REED: Of course, hopefully, I get the crowd going, but I have nothing planned. It's going to be just like how it was at Gleneagles. I didn't have that planned. You know, it's just that's the kind of fire and competitiveness that I have in me that just kind of came out, and it just happened to get the crowd going.

So you know, I'm not planning anything or anything like that. I mean, just when I get in these kind of situations, I'm going to do something, I'm sure. Just kind of one of those things that, you know, if you sit here and try to plan something or try to do something, now all of a sudden you're taking away from preparing for the golf and doing things that actually that's more important, and that's going out and winning your point.

So I'm going to go out there and just do -- be me, and hopefully do it well.

Q. I asked Jordan earlier in the week about why you two seem to make such a good pairing, and he said because you two wanted to beat each other's brains in; not Europe's, each other's brains in. Is that the fine line you walk this week about being so competitive? We saw your fire at Gleneagles, but is that really what it boils down to, first you want to beat Jordan and then you want to beat the Europeans?
PATRICK REED: Yeah, if I'm playing with Jordan, I'm going to go out and try to beat him on every hole. It's just one of those things -- I grew up with Jordan. I've played junior golf with him, amateur golf; I feel like I've known Jordan my whole life.

Every time we play, I go out there and he goes out there, and we're pushing each other so hard on trying to beat each other, that just brings the best golf out in us; in that we know that if I'm beating him and he's beating me, and we both succeed now in beating each other, that really, at the end of the day, the number is going to be really low. That usually, if we do our job by taking care of ourselves by beating each other, then at the end of the day, hopefully we'll close out and win our point pretty early.

Q. How excited are you to hear the roar of the home crowd this time around in The Ryder Cup?
PATRICK REED: I can't wait. You know, I've represented the U.S. three times at Olympics, Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup, and all of them have been on the road. I haven't been home yet.

And so finally, having a Ryder Cup and being able to represent my country in the U.S., is just going to be awesome. I can't wait to get out there and just hear the crowds just going crazy and all the U.S.A. chants and all that. Because there's just something about playing for your country, and then playing for your country at home, I can only imagine how awesome it's going to be.

The fans have been awesome the past couple days and I was shocked with how many people actually were out here during the practice rounds. It's been amazing and hopefully it just keeps on getting better and better.

JOHN DEVER: If I can ask, you're playing your second Ryder Cup. Lee Westwood is playing in his 10th, and Phil Mickelson in his 11th. If you just sit back and think about that, that's two decades worth. Does that blow you away in some way?

PATRICK REED: It's crazy. To think about, you know, Phil and Lee, for how long they have played and how many Ryder Cups they have played, it just speaks volumes on how great of golf they have played consistently throughout their career. You know, it's hard to make a team. And to be able to make the team that many times, it just shows how consistent and how good of golfers they are.

And to see, you know, to see how Phil has been these past two Ryder Cups in the team room and on the range and on the golf course and how much of a leader the guy is, it shows that he is a huge asset to the team; whether it's on the golf course or off the golf course, he just seems to know how to bring a group together.

And to have somebody like that, it's hard not to have a guy like that, not only on the team, but also if he wasn't on the team, to be a captain or an assistant captain because you need something like that. This is an individual sport and you're trying to bring guys together, and you need guys to do that; to have guys like Phil, and now Tiger being there, these older veterans. We have Jim Furyk there. Those guys are the ones that can bring a group together, especially with one of them being a guy who is playing, it's amazing. Just the stuff that Phil and those guys have done with Davis, it truly is -- I have the easy part of the job. I just have to go out and swing a golf club and do my job and go earn a point.

Now, those guys, they are trying to lead the team. They are trying to make sure they make the correct decisions on the pairings and all that. But really, for us to make them successful, we have to go out and do our job, and that's to go win points. You need people like Phil and Davis, of course, to make the decisions, Tiger, Furyk. You need those older guys who have all the experience to be able to bring them together.

The funny thing with Phil is he just does it naturally. He walks in a room, and it could be just sporadic, you just never know. He walks in and now all of a sudden everyone is kind of huddled around and having a great time. That's just the type of person Phil is. It's awesome to be a part of it.

Q. Two quick follows about Tiger. Have you seen him swing a club this week? And when you went around with him that back nine, when he is explaining things about the course, are you able to understand, because of the detail, why he has won as many tournaments? Is it clear from the information he conveys?
PATRICK REED: So, no, he has not swung a golf club, unfortunately. We are all pushing him to, but he's not going to do it.

When we walked the golf course and we started on the first -- 18, 17, as we're starting to go back, you know, you could tell he was -- he kind of was just kind of watching, kind of seeing how I do my thing. After we got through about two or three holes, then he was like, all right, well -- he's played the golf course before. He's like, Well, this green kind of slopes this way, so if you miss the green, the ball should kind of go there. So he throws the balls over there and says, This is where you need to be chipping and this kind of stuff.

The way his mind works on the golf course, it's impressive and it definitely shows why he has won so much and where he is. It was amazing. I learned so much just from that nine holes walking around that I felt like just that alone could save me so many shots throughout my career, because of -- just by thinking about just the little minor details. And it's not rocket science. It's really stuff that you're like, well, I should have been thinking about that.

So it's nothing complicating or confusing. It's just actually knowing what to look for, and just the experience and expertise he has in sharing that with me this week has been awesome.

Q. The brother of Danny Willett, Peter, schoolteacher back in England has made some incendiary remarks about the American audience. I wonder what kind of impact that has had on the team and how you feel about those words?
PATRICK REED: You know, there's a saying that I've really lived by. It's forgive and forget. And honestly, everyone has said things that have either been great and have made comments that they haven't really liked.

But honestly, you know, for me, it's unfortunate that something was said, and not from actual Danny. Because really this is his first Ryder Cup. And I know last Ryder Cup, it was my first Ryder Cup, and it's such a special and awesome moment. And to have something to kind of distract you from enjoying your first moment, it's unfortunate.

And to have a guy like Danny, because I've played now on The European Tour, so I've gotten to know Danny a little bit and I've gotten to know a lot of those guys. I heard the other day that his family was embarrassed; that they were thinking about flying home, because they are here this week. And you know, that's just -- to me, that's something that, that just can't happen. This is such an important and great event, that to me, yes, he might not have said some great things. But at the end of the day, you have to be able to enjoy it.

I'm hoping that the fans and people can put that aside and allow the rookies, not only on our side, but the rookies on their side, they have six rookies, allow them to enjoy it and somehow forgive and forget and allow Danny to enjoy the week, because this is a special moment. It's your first Ryder Cup. You dream about these things.

And I just hope that he can enjoy his week and have a good week and play some great golf, hopefully not too great because I mean, at the end of the day, we want the Cup. But it's one of these things that it hasn't affected us in any way. But at the end of the day, we just hope the best -- I hope the best for Danny and their family and hope they actually enjoy the week and that our fans don't just completely annihilate them.

Q. Having played so well as a rookie, do you feel the guys on the team are looking at you differently this time around, and do you feel more pressure to kind of live up to the expectations that you have created?
PATRICK REED: I definitely don't feel any more pressure. I just go out and go out and be me, go play some golf and try to do it the best I can.

As far as the team, it's hard to say. I mean, they treat me the same whether we are at a PGA TOUR event or whether we're at the Ryder Cup, whether it was our first Ryder Cup or whether it was this week. We all know each other, so we're all treating each other the same way.

Come game time, I'm the same way. I'm a fiery guy. I'm a competitive guy. So I hope to start getting these guys fired up even more. Being me, I might push them over the limit on trying to fire them up even more. That's who I am. The more fire I can bring to the team, the more I can get them going, especially if I get out there and I start getting hot and start getting on a quick run, hopefully they can see some red on the board early and get going.

It's more on kind of building off of momentum, I feel like. In the first Ryder Cup, when we had red early on Sunday, there was a lot of red early on Sunday. But once it kind of looked like a couple of the matches started to get halved, one or two of the matches got halved, it was a domino effect. Hopefully I can keep on bringing the fire and doing my job so the team can do their job.

JOHN DEVER: Thank you for your time, sir, and we'll see you Sunday.

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