HONG KONG – In LIV Golf’s first two seasons, Patrick Reed is the only non-captain to finish top six in the season-long Individual standings each year. The only other player to achieve that feat is his 4Aces GC captain, Dustin Johnson.
Reed’s season-long consistency is impressive – especially considering that, unlike DJ, he didn’t have the points benefit of reaching the winner’s circle. Johnson has won LIV events in each of the first two years, but Reed remains in search of his first win on any tour since 2021.
He’ll have two more chances to end that drought this year, as he makes back-to-back starts on The International Series, beginning with this week’s Hong Kong Open. “Why not just start right here in Hong Kong and go ahead and get the win right now?” Reed said on the eve of his first round at Hong Kong Golf Club, “Then I can use that momentum going into the next season.”
Reed was in a talkative mood Wednesday, sharing his thoughts on a variety of topics, including the upcoming LIV Golf Promotions event and his offseason preparations prior to starting the 2024 LIV Golf League campaign.
“My biggest thing is to build off the form that I finished the year off with on LIV. I feel like there's some things I was working on with my coach that are almost there. It was a bit inconsistent there towards the end, but I felt like we were doing a lot of things well, to just build off of that, get that consistency back. Work on the little things on my golf swing, try to get those to stick when they become consistent.
“I'm also playing next week in Indonesia, so hopefully can finish the year off strong and then from there going into the offseason, not only feeling good about the season but also at the same time having a good foundation and building blocks to build on it through the offseason, so we are ready to go start January.”
“It's crucial. I've always wanted to be a worldwide player and as a part of the PGA Tour, mainly in the United States, it was hard to become the worldwide player that I wanted to be. So when I had the opportunity to be a part of the European Tour (DP World Tour), that allowed me to touch some of these areas and regions.
“But really the biggest thing, it is why I joined LIV, was that it allowed me to venture out and not only to play around the world, but also to have a schedule to come play events like this on The International Series.
“I'm excited to come to new places and new venues, especially to a place over here that I've played before here in Hong Kong. It is a beautiful area, I feel like a lot of people want to play golf, but they also they want to see the top players in the world. Rather than just see them on TV, they want to see that drive and see them in person, and being there is something special for them.
“So, to come over and play always means a lot to me. I've always felt like this is an area that we all can help to grow not just the game of golf, but also to teach the kids about the morals and things that go along with golf. It is all you out there. We can teach them the drive and motivation needed to get up in the morning, get started, get working and taking ownership and hard work to do things. And then because of that, I feel like there's a lot of things that people can learn about it. Why not come to an area that really supports or really loves golf?”
“Yeah, it was one of those years that on paper look nice, but for me not getting the ‘W’ is always disappointing. I feel like I should have a chance whenever we tee it up, or there's no reason for me to play. I think that's the most important thing that separates some of the best players in the world from the guys that are just struggling to keep their cards. They don't have the intention and they don't have the belief that every time they tee it up, they have chance to win. Whenever I'm playing a golf tournament, I have one goal – to win the golf tournament.
“I came close. The problem is my Fridays, which were my first rounds, weren't very great and I've struggled a little bit and I’m always having to play catch-up and play really solid at the weekend, and it just shows with LIV being 54 holes, you have to be on immediately.You can't ease it around, you can't have just nine holes and have a lot of pars because you only have three days. So you have to be on right off the bat until the end and it's just one of those years where it was solid, steady - I just didn’t get the 'W.' So hopefully this year we're able to fix things.”
“There's a fine line there not to overwork and not to overgrind. I think this last year was an eye-opener to me, having as many weeks off. I think we had a five-week (break) at one point, I went through three sets of wedges. So, with the amount of work I put in, by the time I got tournament side, I was a little fatigued and had to play catch-up on getting rest.
“I love to grind, love to work at it and coming into this next year, obviously, this offseason I’m going to have to work really hard to get the game right and sharp to start the season. But also, you have to figure out the schedule on how hard to work - when to push and when to taper off to prepare for events. It was a learning curve last year.
“I feel great with the game plan that we have set up to start the year, and the big thing is sticking to the game plan. The game plan worked in the past, which is normally, 31 to 30 golf events a year.
“So playing less, or when I'm at home, it's OK to take a couple days off, we're home for five weeks, you can take a couple days off when you're home for one week. During that one week, I might take Monday off and then I'm preparing for the following tournament.
“Having time off, that means now I can spend more time with the kids and be a dad, hang out with family and still work at the game.”
“It’s really important for golf. With having that pathway from The International Series on to LIV, there's a lot of guys over here in Asia that are good enough to play at that next level. This gives them that opportunity to come out and play and be a part of LIV. Stamp your ticket to come over and now you never know how high you can reach in the field.
“To get an opportunity like that for the guys to come over and play, and also to have us guys come over and play at these events, gives a little bit more motivation to these guys to keep grinding, to try and get our point and so I feel like it helps everybody: the Asian Tour, The International Series, the players over here and I feel like everybody just needs to come together and do our best for the game of golf.
“It's all about growing the game around the world: not just your own game and your local areas. That’s one thing with LIV being a worldwide tour. I’ve played in the WGC in China and I’ve come over here and played in Singapore and Hong Kong and the support is amazing and they love it. So why is it that there aren’t more top players coming over and playing. LIV has now allowed that. Having these guys come over, the sky's the limit.”
“Allowing (PGA Tour) guys to come over and play the Promotions event, you would think that's a step in the right direction. But it really all depends on what happens after that. So if one of the guys come over and they get onto LIV because they finished inside of the top three, do they get suspended right away, immediately, or do they want to play on both? So we’ll just wait and see because we don't know how it's all going to turn out. We will have to wait and see what they decide to do at that point.
“I'm going to be optimistic and hope that it means that everyone's going to be getting along, and we're going to be able to figure this all out. But I don't really know much about it; it's all hypothetical and a guessing game.”
“I love the golf course. It is one of these that is more old-style, so it's not just a ballhitter’s golf course - you actually have to think and methodically place your way around the golf course. I feel like that's what separates golf these days, these days it seems like everyone is getting longer and longer and longer.
“With courses like this, with defenses in place, where it is more positional, if you're hitting the ball really well, you can attack but at the same time if you're just a hair off, it'll make you struggle. It is always fun coming back, and it's always in a perfect shape. The people are amazing and really the atmosphere is amazing.
“The big approach this week is it's a little softer than previous years because of all the rain they have had. And because of that, you have to get on the offensive. Immediately you have to start attacking, you have to play aggressive but at the same time pick your spots.
“So this week the game and swing is where I where I need it to be, and because of that it will be to start out right off the bat and go for it - try to make a bunch of birdies and try to shoot as low as possible and have a chance on Sunday.”