Patrick Reed felt a break from golf had contributed after he returned to the winner’s circle by landing the Norther Trust Open. It was Reed’s first victory since his triumph at last year’s Masters at Augusta National.
After a slump in form earlier this season, Reed took a three-week break from the Tour, including a 10-day stretch where he didn’t touch a club, to try and regain the energy that made ‘Captain America’ one of the most fiery competitors on the PGA Tour.
Reed joked that it was the longest spell of his life without touching a golf club, but it has paid off. “I almost felt like I pressed harder and worked harder and tried harder [after winning the Masters] and therefore, it made me physically and mentally drained,” he said.
“I kind of went the wrong direction and that’s why I felt like I needed the break.” He came out on top during a final round Sunday that was a back-and-forth struggle between several players. His final-round 69 was just enough to maintain a one-shot advantage over Abraham Ancer in second spot and Reed triumphed on 16-under par at Liberty National in New Jersey.
Harold Varner III and Jon Rahm were one further back on 14-under par while Adam Scott took fifth place ahead of Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Louis Oosthuizen and Brandt Snedeker. For Reed, the mid-season break has paid rich dividends.
“I come back and I’m hitting the ball farther. I have a clear picture on what I’m trying to do and all of a sudden, I come out and I start hitting the ball where it’s supposed to go,” Reed added. “I’m starting to think clearly while I’m out there (on the course) and…the game starts turning around.”