Patrick Reed learned a lesson.
Always listen to your wife – even if she is giving you club selection advice.
Reed took heed of Justine’s words and hit 3-wood off the first tee at Augusta National in the opening two rounds of the 2018 Masters. And behold, Reed is the leader. He shot a 6-under par 66 on Friday and rocketed up the leaderboard. He stands at 9-under par and leads second-place Marc Leishman at 7-under par. Behind the duo, the next five on the leaderboard own major championships – Henrik Stenson (-5), Rory McIlroy (-4), Jordan Spieth (-4), Dustin Johnson (-3) and Justin Thomas (-3).
“Hitting 3-wood off the first, it’s a hole I’ve always like to hit driver,” Reed said. “I’ve always got myself in trouble for it. My wife always tells me it’s a 3-wood, hit 3-wood. I listened to her. Put it down the middle both days.
“It got my round started and gave me some confidence.”
Reed recorded the lowest rounds in his Masters career in his first two trips around Augusta National this week with a 69 on Thursday. In 12 previous rounds, his best was two 70s, both shot in 2015. The other scores read like an NFL offensive line numbered 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77 and 79.
“Every time I step up to No. 1, I always hit driver and I hit it in the left trees or you hit it straight and you think it’s going to be perfect and it’s in the left rough,” Reed said. “I’m a drawer of the golf ball. That fairway is so narrow if you are drawing the driver because you have to fit it. I’ve hit it in the right bunker. I’ve hit it all over the place. I hit driver off the tee and I usually make a mess of that hole.
“The game plan last year was to hit 3-wood every day. I get here and it’s blowing 30 (mph). I’m like ‘If I hit 3-wood, I’m going to have to hit 4-iron into this green.’ I’m always going to hit 3-wood off that tee. (Caddie) Kessler (Karain) knows don’t allow him to pull anything else. If you do pull something else, pull 3-iron. Don’t hit driver. Because of that I’ve hit the fairway both days. I made birdie today. Yesterday I didn’t hit the green but I left it in a spot I knew I could get up and down. That’s been key. Get the ball in play off the tee and attack the course from there.”’
The advice certainly helped Reed got off to a fast start Friday. He birdied the first three holes – yes, including No. 1 – to move to 6-under par. He made another big move with three straight birdies at Nos. 13-15. That included the two back-nine par-5’s. Reed has birdied all eight par-5’s this week.
Reed was asked after the round that has him sleeping on the Masters lead, the former Augusta State golfer said. “She should.”
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