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April 9, 2019

Patrick Reed

Augusta, Georgia

THE MODERATOR: Patrick, welcome back.
PATRICK REED: Thank you.
THE MODERATOR: Pleasure to have you back, our 2018 Masters Champion. Tell us a bit about what it's been like the last year for you with the green jacket.
PATRICK REED: You know, it's been amazing. Just to actually put the jacket on for last year at this point, and then to kind of go home and actually have it set in and be able to reflect on the year and reflect on what we did here last year, was just unbelievable, and you know, having the jacket always around, traveling with it, and allowing other people to see it was definitely a treat.
THE MODERATOR: Awesome. Let's just go back to last year, briefly. You had the lead on Saturday. How did you sleep on Saturday night?
PATRICK REED: You know, honestly, I thought I wasn't going to sleep very well. I've heard from the past from other champions and other golfers, that have always told me that whenever you have an opportunity to sleep on a lead going into a Sunday at a major, you're going to have a rough night. When you wake up in the morning, you're going to be itching at the bit to get to the golf course and practice, and honestly, I was completely surprised. I slept so well. I slept like a baby that night and actually I felt really calm throughout all warmups until I actually walked to the first tee. When I got to the first tee, I was like, oh, no, and I just kind of looked at my caddie and he went, don't worry, I'm nervous, too. Let's just get off the first tee and settle out and luckily I was able to do that.
THE MODERATOR: 17, you had that long putt across the green, the ball hit the pin. You made a great four there, and then you went to the 18th tee with a one‑shot lead, right. What were you thinking on that 18th?
PATRICK REED: Right after I made the putt on 17 to save par, while I was about halfway to get to 18 tee, I heard the roar, so I knew Rickie birdied the last. I knew at that point I only had a one‑shot lead, so when I got to the tee, all I could keep on reminding myself is just get the ball in the fairway. You've been doing it all week. All you have to do is, you know, just go and trust the helicopter, go hit the cut, it's a perfect setup for it. Once I was able to hit that tee shot and I got it in the fairway, I knew the hard part for me was over, because in the past, that tee shot has not been my friend. The scoreboard I feel like has been hit more times than not on the second shot because I'm always in those right trees.
So from that point, being in the fairway, you know, I try to hit it towards the middle of the green and I thought I'd be able to utilize the ridge and it tested me by staying on the ridge. At that point it was just a two two‑putt for victory.
THE MODERATOR: And it was no easy two‑putt. What were you thinking when you walked on to the green and saw it sitting up there, perilously close to coming back, but just sitting on top of that ridge?
PATRICK REED: I was confused. I was confused that the ball didn't come back but at the same time, honestly, I feel like, it's probably the easiest of the two putts you could have had on that green. You know, if the pin is in the back and I was below the ridge, you have to hit it to get it up. From being on the ridge, all I had to do was get the ball started and you just had to make sure it's high enough because if it ends up low, the ball is going four or five, six feet because it's always working from the flag.
I tried to tap it, because it was going by the hole and how slow it was moving, I was able to see the break coming back and at that point it was sit there and just reminded myself that, hey, it's a three‑foot putt and I just have to keep reminding myself, you've made a million of these, it's a three‑foot putt, so I was trying to take out all the perspective of it being to win the Masters. The more you can trick your mind into putting it back into reality that it's a three‑foot putt, you're able to get up there and make a normal stroke, rather than putting extra pressure on yourself.
THE MODERATOR: Nice to have you back.

Q. Curious, you're talking about the night before, sleeping so well. There's such a gap of time in the morning getting ready to play. What did you do that morning? What was your day like until you got to the golf course?
PATRICK REED: So I think the biggest thing was being able to sleep very well throughout the night, you know, this golf course is a hard golf course mentally and physically, walking, long days. You're always grinding on everything. I was able to sleep really well. When I woke up, the little ones were awake and I just basically hung out in my sweat pants and T‑shirt and kind of watched some TV with Windsor Wells and Baby Barrett, played with them a little bit and basically kept my mind off of golf as much as I could, because I didn't want to burn any extra mental energy that I needed throughout the round and throughout the day.

Q. Having won the Masters here last year, does winning make you more hungry or more comfortable, would you say?
PATRICK REED: Well it makes me more, I would say more confident and comfortable around this golf course, because now all of a sudden we're in a situation where even if you have a perfect game plan, and you know what you're trying to do around the golf course, you still always are wondering, okay, well, is this the right game plan or am I doing the right things, since you haven't won here. But now actually having the win, I know what I need to do in order to compete and have a chance on Sunday.
But knowing that I have to get the jacket back at the end of the week, it makes me more hungry and more motivated to keep the jacket and continue playing well and trying to win another one, because it's nothing like being able to kind of walk around and I position the jacket everywhere I go, so every time I wake up, I see it, and every time I come home and go to bed, I see it. I use it more as motivation.

Q. Of all traditions here at the Masters, whether it's no cell phones, skipping the ball on 16, no running, no advertising, nobody inside the ropes, which do you appreciate the most and which change the feel of this tournament compared to others?
PATRICK REED: I think for me, it's a place that you feel like you can get away. You know, nowadays, everything's so much in the fast lane. Everything is so much in electronics, and to be able to come out and get back to what golf is. It's the fans coming out and experiencing such a perfect golf course, being able to actually watch golf. Not sit there and trying to take photos or video people as they are hitting golf shots; so they actually get to experience it.
And you know, having the score boards, the old school score boards, to me, it's just amazing to come back and see it, and to come back and see every year you always find something a little different here or there, and it's something that, to me, to be able to put basically normal life right now, which is always in the fast lane, aside and just slow everything down and get to enjoy the week is something I love about this place.

Q. Is it important to you to be popular and well liked by the spectators here?
PATRICK REED: I feel like I have a lot of fans around here. You know, that's one great thing about the sport we play is you know, whether it's here, whether it's anywhere else we play or whether it's around the world. A lot of the fans, they respect great golf and they want to see great golf.
It all depends on how you handle yourself, and the more interactive you are with the fans, the more they are going to respect you. Because at the end of the day, the more the fans and the people get to know you, the more they realize that you're just a normal guy out there playing golf and you're just doing your profession.

Q. A number of Masters Champions have struggled in majors the rest of the year, maybe in part because of all the attention that comes their way. Did you find the rest of the year difficult for you, the rest of the season exhausting, particularly in majors, because of winning here last year?
PATRICK REED: I mean, it was a long year, but you know, we had an opportunity to win at Shinnecock. I needed a good back nine. I mean, I came close there.
I felt like I handled the extra obligations, the extra attention. I felt like my team and I have handled it really well. You know, yes, it's different, but it's a good different. You know, I mean, any time you can go out and you can play, and every time you go up to the first tee throughout the entire year, and they are like, "2018 Masters Champion" get to announce, it just brings goosebumps and memories back.
The great thing about golf is it's a work‑in‑progress.

Q. Patrick, where is your game now, compared with last year's?
PATRICK REED: I feel like the game now is where it needs to be. You know, we've put in a lot of hard work throughout the entire‑‑ basically, the entire year. You know, it's those things that you just need‑‑ when you come here, you need to be mentally, as well as physically ready to go out and play.
You know, I've been really close. I've put myself in position in some events. It's just one round here or there that has kind of hurt me. I just need to go out and put four solid rounds together.

Q. You shared a nice moment with the U.S. Amateur Champion on the putting green yesterday. Can you say a little bit about what you talked about and what kind of advice you have for him?
PATRICK REED: Yeah, right, he introduced himself. It's going to be a great week. I told him to enjoy it and have fun, because really, to be able to come and play as an amateur is such a special thing; and then on top of it, to win the U.S. Am, you definitely have the game to come out here and play and play it well, just put it in perspective, and that's to come out and have some fun and go out and play well.

Q. If the winner this week isn't Patrick Reed again, how special would it be to see Tiger Woods win another green jacket?
PATRICK REED: You know, it would be pretty cool, but at the same time, hopefully I can go ahead and fight him for it.

Q. I wanted to ask you about something that hasn't happened yet. When you go in the clubhouse tonight for the Champions Dinner, do you think that being a Masters Champion will hit you at a different level than it has, being in a room with the other champions and who do you share a locker with?
PATRICK REED: It's going to be a very fun night. Honestly, I just can't wait to go out and spend time with the past champions and hear different stories and be able to talk to the guys about, you know, how their experience was winning their first, whether it was a couple years ago, last year, whether it was a long time ago. I mean, everyone has their different stories and I just can't wait to kind of be in there and to listen to what they say.
And I share with Mr.Keiser.

Q. I think a fair amount of people feel that golf does need personalities like yourself that are a little different from the prototypical golfer. Over the years, have you heard that from fans or athletes in different sports, and if so, what has that meant to you?
PATRICK REED: I mean, yeah, everyone has their own different personalities. That's just the way everyone is. But you know, really, all the players and other athletes, the biggest thing is to be true to yourself and go out and do what it is that you feel like is best for you, best for your team, and also, helps you perform the best.

Q. How much lighter are you now than you were a year ago, and if you win another one of these green jackets, are you going to have to take it in?
PATRICK REED: (Smiling) I've lost a little, but the reason why I lost a little is because tonight, I knew what kind of menu I was putting out there (laughter) so I need to leave a little room to be able to fit back into it.
I've lost probably 10, 12 pounds, but I mean, you know, just over a gradual period of time. I just thought it would be better to get in better shape and just keep on getting stronger, because you know, the seasons seem to get longer and longer, especially playing on both tours. During the PGA TOUR off‑season, I'm overseas playing on The European Tour. I'm usually playing their finals.
It's something that I thought would help me for recovery purposes, and also just to stay strong from beginning of the year to the end of the year.

Q. What's been the most challenging aspect of the last year for you?
PATRICK REED: I think the biggest thing would have been, you know, in the very beginning is just really managing my time well. I'm a grinder. I mean, if anything, I probably hit too many golf balls and you know, I'm on the golf course too long. So as later in the weeks come, it can get a little more stressful in my body and on my mind. And then with being Masters Champion, now you're adding extra obligations and extra things that come along with it, and it's just trying to‑‑ in the very beginning was trying to figure out, okay, how do I manage the time and make sure I get everything in I needed to do on the golf course and also off the golf course to be ready Monday through Sunday.

Q. You kind of answered this before, but I'm curious, do you think it's harder to win a first or harder to win another?
PATRICK REED: I don't know. I haven't won my second (smiling.
But I would always‑‑ I would always feel like it would be harder to win the first because every guy out here believes that they can win a major, and you know, you feel like you have the game to do it, but until you actually do it, there's always that kind of self‑doubt in the back of your mind that's always like, well, you know, even though I believe I can do it, well, I haven't done it yet, and am I going to be able to do it.
So once you get over that hurdle and you do it once, then all of a sudden now your confidence goes even higher because you start believing; not only do you believe that you can win, but you've also already done, it as well.
To me, I was always thinking that the first one would be the hardest.
THE MODERATOR: Patrick, thanks for coming in. You've been a terrific champion and good luck this week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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