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June 23, 2020

Patrick Reed

Cromwell, Connecticut

THE MODERATOR: We'll get started with Patrick Reed at the 2020 Travelers Championship. Patrick is making his ninth consecutive start at the event with a T5 in 2017, his best result. Patrick, how does it feel to be back at TPC River Highlands?

PATRICK REED: It feels awesome to be back here. It's one of my favorite places, and it's one of the reasons why I've played here since 2012.

THE MODERATOR: We're two weeks into the resumption of the season here. You had a top-10 at Colonial at the Charles Schwab Challenge. How would you say your game feels right now going into the third week?

PATRICK REED: You know, the game feels solid. I mean, I feel like I've been doing a lot of things well. I feel like I've tightened some things up, obviously, and it's just kind of one of these things that having that long of time off for me, it's just trying to eliminate some of the careless errors on the golf course and just trying to allow my course management to be a little better and just kind of getting back in the flow of hitting golf shots under the gun with different flags and things like that. But the game feels good. It feels like it's where it needs to be. I feel like really close knocking on that door. Just need to continue to grind, keep on pushing and just keep playing.

Q. What was your reaction when you heard about Nick Watney's positive test result?
PATRICK REED: You know, it was unfortunate, obviously. But we felt like at some point someone was going to test positive. I mean, with how contagious the virus is and with us traveling, we knew at some point someone was going to test positive. But it's unfortunate for us as well as unfortunate for Nick. Really we just hope for him the best, hope for him to get healthy, get back out here playing. It just shows the risk that we have out here playing and just kind of traveling and stuff like that because even if you do everything that you're supposed to and do everything correctly as we know Nick has been doing, it's just all the outside elements that you can't control, going into restaurants to pick up food and going to hotels and things like that and traveling that's the scary part and the unfortunate part.

Q. How safe do you feel in general? How do you feel the social distancing guidelines and all that has been working?
PATRICK REED: Yeah, I feel like the TOUR has done an absolutely amazing job on it. I feel like with what they have in place for us here at the golf course and when we kind of come into town, basically telling us hotels to stay at where they know have been cleaned correctly, disinfected, and same thing at the golf courses and the social distancing that we have in place while we're out here playing and practicing. I feel like we're really safe on the golf course. It's the risks you have when you're not on the golf course that are the parts that you just have to be careful of. That's the hardest thing; you can have people that have the virus that don't know they have it, and you can be right next to that person when you're grabbing takeout food or at the grocery store or anything like that, at a gas station, that can put you in harm's way.

Q. You're a guy who kind of thrives on the crowds, whether positive or negative. What has it been like for you to have to play in a very different environment right now?
PATRICK REED: It's been interesting. It's definitely different, but at the same time it's awesome just being back playing. As a professional, my longest off-season or break I think has been three and a half weeks, so having that 90 days off, I didn't know what to do. I was practicing every day and just grinding, and to be able to be back out playing just is amazing. It's a great feeling to be back playing. But it's definitely different when you step up on the first tee and they announce your name and there's no one there, you just hear crickets basically. When you kind of hit a tee shot and you're used to seeing grandstands and now you're seeing the actual golf course itself, you're not having things impeding your views of anything, and you get on that kind of birdie run and you make your second or third birdie in a row, you're kind of amped up, you want to throw that fist pump but there's no one there. There's no one to throw the fist pump to, there's no crowds going. It's just awesome to be back playing, but at the same time we always love when the fans are there. But that time will come.

But right now just being able to play is just amazing.

Q. Can you imagine a Ryder Cup without fans?
PATRICK REED: I can't. I mean, I would think that that event on its own is an absolutely amazing event and it's a team event where you can go out, you want to have that banter back and forth with the crowds. If you're a home team, you basically want that 12th man. If you're the away team, you're expecting to kind of going into a hostile environment.

Without fans, it just seems like it would be hard for everyone to kind of get up and show the emotion that you normally would whenever you have fans there.

Q. There's been some reports that the Ryder Cup may be canceled for a year; what would your reaction be to having to wait another year to try to get the Cup back?
PATRICK REED: Yeah, it would be disappointing, honestly. You always look forward to being able to play and represent your country, especially in Ryder Cup. It's just kind of one of those things that with the unfortunate times and the scary times we're going through right now that the PGA and both teams, they need to make the best decision, not just what's best for the people and the players but also the best thing for the history of the tournament, and trying to play that event with no fans, I would prefer them to push it back to where we can have fans than to go out and play without fans.

Q. Obviously a huge part of coming back out on TOUR is honoring the healthcare heroes who have been on the front line during this pandemic. How special is it to be able to be part of that initiative and honor them through this?
PATRICK REED: Oh, it's amazing. You know, we're out there just playing golf and having fun, and to have and to kind of recognize the people that are actually out there risking their lives because of the virus that's going on, to have them being out there trying to save lives and at the same time putting themselves at risk, to be able to give back and show respect to them is amazing. Especially my wife Justine who's a nurse, as well, and who's in that medical field, anytime you can give back and help them out and just show your respect, it means a lot.

THE MODERATOR: Patrick, we appreciate your time, and best of luck this week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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