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August 8, 2018

Patrick Reed

St. Louis, Missouri

THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon, everybody. We'll start up with Patrick Reed here in about 30 seconds. All right. Let's begin. Welcome back to the 100th PGA Championship, Bellerive Country Club. I'm pleased to be joined by Mr. Patrick Reed, also known as Captain America, but these days best known as the 2018 Masters champion.

Patrick, last year Sunday you really surged at Quail Hollow, eventually finished tied for second behind Justin. What did Sunday at Quail Hollow maybe teach you that you may have used six or seven months later on Sunday at Augusta?

PATRICK REED: I think the biggest thing was patience. It seemed like, before the PGA last year, I tried so hard to play so well and tried to win at a Major, that I almost was pushing myself too hard to get something done. I felt like, after the second round where I didn't really play that great, shot, I think, 1 over par at Quail, and at that point, I thought I was far enough out of it that I just had to go out and play the best golf I can, go out and shoot a number, and hopefully try to get back into it.

With playing well on Saturday and then kind of going into Sunday and kind of just free wheeling it and going for it and having an opportunity down towards the stretch after making a decent amount of birdies early, it just kind of allowed me to kind of sit back and look at it and be like, okay, well, my thought process hasn't been right in these Majors. I need to go into it thinking a different way. And I carried that over into Augusta, just kind of going out and playing golf and having fun and, you know, just not try so hard. You know, just go out and play.

It's allowed me to get in contention, allowed me to handle the ups and downs that you're going to have in Majors because there's always highs, and there's always lows, and it's how are you going to handle those? Because in normal events, they're more kind of ripples. In Majors, when you make a run of birdies, it just seems to always elevate, and mounts are greater than at normal events than you were to make a run of birdies, because it's the top event you're trying to win.

THE MODERATOR: So this week you've got what is the unique task among the field to win bookend Major championships this season, but that hasn't been done since 1975. I believe Jack Nicklaus won the Masters and the PGA, so that's 45 years. What if you had to think about it -- and I just sprung that on you here -- but what might be so difficult about winning those two major championships in the same calendar year?

PATRICK REED: One is, when you win a Major, especially the Masters being the first one of the year, mentally and physically, the year becomes tougher. There's a lot more obligations, a lot more things that go on with winning a Major that people don't see behind the scenes. PGA being the last one and being a long ways down the road, physically and mentally, do you still have enough in the tank to play?

I feel like I've handled that very well. I feel like I've gotten myself where, mentally and physically, I'm ready to go on and play, and the biggest thing is you just have to go into it thinking it's just another golf tournament. Go out there and try to play golf and try to take Major and PGA Championship out of it, and just think of it as another golf tournament, another golf course. At the end of the day, whoever plays the best 72 holes wins the golf tournament.

Q. Patrick, is there another golf course that Bellerive reminds you off? And how do you feel like it suits your game?
PATRICK REED: I feel like it suits my game really well. I don't -- it's hard to remember a golf course that I've played it that have had so many dogleg lefts. Being a drawer of the golf ball, it fits my eye really well. A lot of those tee shots I'm comfortable setting up, aiming down the right side and being able to turn back to the fairway, since that's my normal shot.

That being said, it's a golf course that I feel like is going to be a lot of fun, and it's going to just kind of depend how aggressive I want to be out there because there's not many tee shots or really any iron shots that I look at that I'm like, oh, you know, I'm going to have to kind of play away from something because it doesn't really look correct.

But it's definitely going to test my -- you know, the aspect of staying patient and playing golf because with seeing the same kind of shots over and over again, just the draw, I can get out there and just need to stay in rhythm and not keep swinging harder and harder trying to hit it farther and farther down there.

Q. Patrick, John used the term surge earlier. Even though your final day at Augusta was a really grinding, workman-like performance, do you think the description of you as a player does include that you're a player who on any given day will surge on the golf course? I'm thinking the opening nine at Shinnecock. Are you the kind of guy who will get hot in stretches typically when you play?
PATRICK REED: Yeah, for sure. I think with all the Monday qualifiers we've gone through, it has allowed me to be able to flip that switch and be able to turn it on, whether it's through a five-hole stretch, nine-hole stretch, or if I need it, you know, flip it for 18. I feel like that -- you know, whether things are going great or things are going poorly, I can flip it and turn on and get it going and make some birdies down the stretch.

Q. You spoke earlier about the year unfolding ahead of you when you win that first Major of the year. What's life been like for you as a Major champion now, and how have you managed your time this year in order to stay fresh and hopefully, from your point of view, peak at the season's final Major?
PATRICK REED: I think the biggest difference is just being able to manage the time. You know, when going out to eat, when just going out everywhere in town, everyone seems to notice you, now that you're a Major champion. But, you know, really, inside the ropes and golf-wise, it hasn't really changed. I've always been the type that I go, and when I grind, I pop in my headphones, I get my work done, and then afterwards I sign autographs and everything. So really I feel like it hasn't changed as much as just managing your time and really being, you know, focused on, okay, now I need to be out here for this amount of time. I need to make sure I have this much time to recover, et cetera.

I feel like we've done a great job of that this year. I have a great team at home that's helped me to manage that. And because of that, I feel fresh, feel ready to go, and ready to finish the year off right.

THE MODERATOR: The green complexes here, Patrick, are rather large. Maybe you could talk about that, your propensity and your skill in terms of how you're going to attack the greens here at Bellerive this week.

PATRICK REED: I think really the biggest thing about the golf course that I've seen is with zoysia fairways you always have perfect lies, and with the greens being soft because of how hot it's been, they have to keep some moisture on them. You're going to have to attack this golf course. You're not going to be able to go through stretches where you go make nine, eight pars in a row. You're going to lose to the field. So you're going to have to play aggressive and attack it.

You know, I love playing aggressive golf. I love to be able to go and attack holes. I'm not the type that likes to just hit iron off a tee, hit it to the middle of the green, and try to lag a putt up there and make par. I always like, if I have the opportunity to hit the driver or I have the opportunity to go at a flag, I usually take those opportunities. So I feel like it fits my eye really well in that aspect.

But the person that wins this golf tournament is going to be a player that's not only hitting the ball really well and executing, but is very aggressive, is able to go out and attack and feels very confident in their golf game and is able to put the ball not only in the right spots off the tee but is able to really hit at flags and go for -- you know, go for shots that at home you're probably not quite going for because, if the greens are firmer, et cetera. You know, I was hitting 5 irons and 4 irons into some greens today that were only releasing three or four feet. With that being said, I mean, if there's a pin five yards from an edge, guys will attack it even with long irons.

Q. A Ryder Cup question. Yesterday European captain Thomas Bjorn said that this may be the best U.S. Team shaping up ever, and today Jim Furyk said the same thing about the European team, perhaps the best European team ever. Has the mind game already begun 50 days out? And is there any of that going on in the locker room?
PATRICK REED: There's some. I mean, there's some kind of bantering going back and forth, but nothing crazy yet. You know, we have some tricks up our sleeves later down the road to start getting the spirit going on both teams, but it's kind of like one of those things, they have such a deep team this year, as do we, that it's just going to come down to execution. Who's playing the best golf and who's able to go out and play as a unit and play as a group.

You know, it's just one of those things that on paper both teams are so strong that there's going to be a lot of fireworks, and it's just going to all depend on kind of the weather, how the golf course is set up, et cetera, on how low some of us are going to go and what we're able to do.

Q. Patrick, on that note, Jim Furyk was saying how he really likes your demeanor in that environment, where the crowd in France won't necessarily be on your side. How much do you thrive in situations like that?
PATRICK REED: I love it. You know, I didn't know how it was going to be having my first Ryder Cup, or really first time ever representing my country being overseas, you know, and to go over at Gleneagles in '14, it was unbelievable, you know, to have -- you hit a good shot, and they're so into golf and respect golf so much that, even if you hit a good shot, it doesn't matter what team you're on, you're going to get clapped. You hit a good shot, they're going to cheer for you. But if they hit a shot and it's equal to or even just a little worse, it's ten times louder roar on their side.

And when you have that and you feel like you're the away team and that everyone is trying to root against you, it seems to bring it out in me. I love kind of going back in against enemy lines and going out and playing against them. You know, it's going to be a lot of fun. I can't wait to get over there and get playing. I can't wait to see -- you know, and hang out with all 12 members on the team and captains and assistant captains and just having a good week and having fun.

Q. Patrick, if you analyze the four parts of the game -- woods, irons, short game, putter -- how would you compare your game now versus Masters week? Better, worse, same, or different?
PATRICK REED: I feel it's a little bit more consistent. At Augusta I putted lights out. I mean, I hit the ball great, but my putting was just unbelievable that week. I mean, I feel like that's a big thing at Augusta. The guy who wins is not only -- he hits the ball pretty solid that week, but he putts really, really well. I feel like right now I'm putting really solid. I feel like my chipping is a little -- I would say a little better right now than at Augusta, but I feel like my ball striking is about the same.

I feel good, and this golf course fits my eye really well. I mean, I can -- everything's a draw. And that being said, I feel really comfortable. Going into this year at Augusta, I hadn't played very well there, so I wasn't the most comfortable with the golf course, but I felt like the game plan that we had got me in a state of mind and comfort level that I was able to be successful at. You know, this is a golf course that literally -- you know, Kesler's just going to let the reins off and let me go and let me attack as much as possible because it's one of these that I feel -- I feel like it's a home course. I mean, everything's set up perfectly.

Q. You talk about the galleries getting you going. You're going to be playing in France. If they're yelling at you in French, are you going to know what they're saying to you?
PATRICK REED: No, but formally you can tell if it's a good thing or a bad thing. I mean, usually you can tell by how everyone else reacts to what someone says, whether it's a good thing, whether they're cheering for you or against you.

You know, every time I've gone overseas and played, whether it's in the Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup or on the European Tour, the fans have been unbelievable. They've been very respectful. Just they've been awesome. And I've really enjoyed going over there and playing, and I feel like it's going to be the same way when I go to France. I feel like the fans are going to be there to not only watch great golf, but also, of course, pull for their team, but they want to see great golf. They want to see the European team play to their best potential as well as the U.S. Team because they want to see a battle. You know, hopefully we can go out there and give it to them.

Q. When you got -- when an elite player like yourself gets that first Major under his belt, talk about how much expectations soar in terms of your own personal goals and self belief moving forward when it comes to adding to your tally as well.
PATRICK REED: Really, my expectations have always been really high. So winning at Augusta did not change that.

I mean, my expectations have always been any time I tee it up, if I'm here to play a golf tournament, I expect to have a chance to win a golf tournament on Sunday. So with always having my expectations really high like that, whether I won a big event or not, it's not going to change the way I look at golf, the way I look at how I'm supposed to, you know, improve in the game. I'm always striving to become the best, and because of that, winning big events, it's not going to change that.

And so I don't -- I don't ever have to change my expectations because they're already as high as they can be.

THE MODERATOR: Patrick, enjoy your week here. This is your fifth PGA Championship of your career. Enjoy the week, and thank you very much for your time.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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