Reeds game plan works a treat
Patrick Reed is a man who likes the quiet life but he is unlikely to be able to enjoy much of that for the rest of this week after starting The 145th Open at Royal Troon with a five-under -66.
The American finished tied-10th at last week’s Aberdeen Asset Scottish Management Scottish Open at Castle Stuart and he maintained that sort of form with a round which burst into life when he eagled the 377-yard par-4 3rd with a wedge from 159 yards and then collected five birdies to card what was his second best round in The Open.
Reed’s first came to the UK back in 2006 when he won The Junior Open Championship at Heswall and it was while watching Tiger Woods and the other competitors play in The Open at Hoylake that year that he started to develop a love for links golf.
“I watched them hit a variety of different shots and thought it would be fun to do the same,” he said. “At home we can’t do that because it’s too soft but over here you can hit a low stinger or a hook chip shot and watch it bounce over a hill.
“I feel like my creative side is able to come out.”
Reed is also a fan of the pace of life he experienced last week in the Highlands and believes the relaxed atmosphere put him in the mood to compete this week.
“It’s the simplicity I like,” he said. “Last week, when we were driving from the golf course to the hotel, you’d see a lot of farmland and a lot of scenery. There was water on the left and farms on the right so you couldn’t help but feel relaxed. It’s not like that a home where you sit in traffic and people honk at you.
“It’s stressful off the golf course but it seems like it’s just golf. It’s nice. It’s a great change of pace.”
It was against this background that Reed eagled the 3rd and the birdied the 4th, 6th and 7th to go out in five under par 31. Coming home he dropped shots at the 10th and the 13th but balanced that with birdies on the 12th and 18th holes.
“My game plan has been to play to spots and, whatever the weather, I’ll try to do that again tomorrow. I try to play to certain areas on each hole and I’m not going to stray from that even if means having to play a four iron rather than a six or a wedge rather than an eight.
“That’s the plan,” he added. “My game is really close. I’ve heard the stat that Americans have won the last few Opens played at Troon but that doesn’t matter. It’s more of a mental thing. I need to stick to my game plan because I know it works.”