Tokyo 2020

Reed Shoots 68 after Last-Minute Trip to Tokyo

Patrick Reed Golf - Olympics: Day 6
KAWAGOE, JAPAN - JULY 29: Patrick Reed of Team United States talks with his caddie and swing coach Kevin Kirk during the first round of the Men's Individual Stroke Play on day six of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Kasumigaseki Country Club on July 29, 2021 in Kawagoe, Saitama, Japan. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

A last-minute flight and lack of a practice round weren’t enough to keep Patrick Reed from excelling in a red, white and blue uniform.

Despite arriving in Japan on the eve of the Olympics’ first round and not hitting a shot before Thursday’s opening tee ball, Reed fired 68 on Thursday. It matched the low score among the four-man U.S. contingent – Xander Schauffele also shot 3 under – and left him in a tie for 12th place, five shots back of Sepp Straka.

Reed has wholeheartedly embraced the Captain America moniker he earned early in his career with his heroics in international team competitions. That’s why he didn’t hesitate when he found out about another opportunity to play for the United States.

Reed was informed Saturday about Bryson DeChambeau’s positive COVID-19 test, shortly after finishing his third round at the 3M Open. Reed said it was “a duty of mine to go out and play for our country … whenever I get the call.”

Because of the plethora of paperwork needed to enter Japan during a pandemic, Reed only got 35 minutes of sleep before his flight to Tokyo early Tuesday. “I actually almost feel like that helped me because it allowed me to go to sleep on the plane and get on the (Japan) time zone,” he said after Thursday’s round. “I slept through the night last night.”

He arrived in Japan on Wednesday but didn’t have time to hit a shot at Kasumigaseki. He toured the course in a golf cart, driving the final four holes in darkness.

“I felt good today coming out and … the swing actually held in there all day,” Reed said. “A couple mistakes out there, not really knowing spots to hit it, kind of ended up in bad spots, but besides that it wasn't too bad.”

He shot bogey-free 33 on his front nine before making two birdies and two bogeys on the back nine. His bogey on 17 was an example of where his lack of preparation hurt him. He thought the green was sloping toward him, so he hit a low wedge shot with less spin.

“The back part of the green actually slopes away from you, so it skipped over the green, made bogey,” he said. “If the green was running away like that, I would just hit a normal 61-degree and not worry about spinning too much.”

Reed is one of four players here representing the United States. They are competing in individual stroke play but the fact that they share a uniform made players more willing to help than most weeks. There was only so much Reed could glean from his teammates, though.

“JT hits it way past me. And then you have Xander, he spins his irons more than I do. Then you go to Collin and he hits cuts and I hit draws,” Reed said.

Thomas shot even-par 71 with 18 pars today. He is in 41st place. Morikawa, making his first start since winning The Open, shot 69.

This article was originally published on PGATOUR.COM. <>

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