Resilience the key to Patrick Reed’s ability to block out controversy – and win

Photo by Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

Love him or hate him, you can’t deny that Patrick Reed is a great player … and a resilient one.

That resilience was showcased during the final round of last week’s Farmers Insurance Open when Reed shrugged off a controversy surrounding a plugged ball procedure the day before to win his ninth PGA Tour title by five strokes. While tour officials ruled that Reed had acted in accordance with the rules, some pundits and armchair observers still made a meal of the incident.

Reed credited mental resilience as the reason he was able to block the incident out of his mind during the final 18 at Torrey Pines.

“At this level, everyone can swing the golf club, everyone can hit the golf shot. It’s who can handle the days that aren’t so great, whether it’s ball-striking or whatever it is, to be able to mentally handle it to keep yourself in golf tournaments to be able to have a chance to win,” said the 2018 Masters champion, who throughout his career has courted rules controversies including allegations of cheating, all of which he vehemently denies.

“You look at all the great players throughout times, all of them are really resilient. It doesn’t really matter what’s going on around them, what’s going on on the golf course, whether they’re getting good breaks or bad
breaks … they seem to really figure out a way to get the job done, to really just drive in and to keep on improving each shot each day,” Reed elaborated.

“That’s golf, that’s what you’re supposed to do. That’s why I love the game. It throws punches at you, you throw punches at it and at the end of the day hopefully you’re the one standing.”

Reed was certainly the last one standing at Torrey Pines on Sunday, his closing 68 for a 14-under-par total on a tight, US Open-style set-up leaving the rest trailing in his wake. The 30-year-old’s emphatic victory and recent fine form – a missed cut in the previous week’s American Express Championship notwithstanding – is even more remarkable considering that he had made swing changes “for clarity” with new coach David Leadbetter following last September’s US Open.

“This one was pretty special; to go ahead and get this win, especially with making such a big swing change and changing coaches right after the US Open last year. The swing’s going in the direction we want it to go and it couldn’t have been better to go ahead and not just win the golf tournament, but to win it by a large margin as well,” said the Texan.

In Patrick Reed’s Bag:
Driver: Titleist TSi3 (9°) with Aldila Rogue Silver 125 MSI 70TX shaft
Fairway: TaylorMade SIM 3-wood (15°) with Aldila Rogue Black 130MSI 80TX shaft
Hybrid: Callaway Apex Pro 3-hybrid (20°) with UST Mamiya Recoil Prototype 95 shaft
Irons: Grindworks Patrick Reed Prototype (4-9, P) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts
Wedges: Artisan Proto (51°), Vokey SM8 (56°), Vokey SM6 (60°@61°) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shafts
Putter: Scotty Cameron Tour Rat Customized
Ball: Titleist Pro V1

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