Patrick Reed was able to sleep easily in Turkey after Tiger Woods gave him the news of a Presidents Cup captain’s pick well in advance of Thursday’s announcement.
Woods confirmed the worst-kept secret in golf by naming himself as one of four picks to complete the US team to face the Internationals at Royal Melbourne next month, with Reed, Tony Finau and Gary Woodland also selected.
Reed is in action at the Turkish Airlines Open, where he surged up the leaderboard with seven-under-par 65 in Friday’s second round to sit four shots behind halfway leader Matthias Schwab.
“It was nice enough to hear before 3am in the morning,” said Reed. “We talked about congratulating me on being in the team and expect text messages, it’ll be 3am here and I’ll be asleep so make sure your phone is not on loud.”
The fiery American spoke of his determination to vindicate Woods’s decision to pick him, a call that will not be universally popular given Reed’s divisive character. Woods will be the first playing captain in the competition’s history since Hale Irwin in 1994.
Reed earned the nickname Captain America after his excellence at the 2016 Ryder Cup during which he relished whipping up the partisan home crowd, and he is ready for whatever the galleries in Australia can throw at him.
“I have a lot of good friends who are Australian and play out here and because of that I look forward to it and getting those crowds riled up, that’s kind of what I like to do. It’ll be fun. I can’t wait to go out and play the best I can,” Reed said.
The increasingly impressive Robert MacIntyre produced the lowest round of the day however, coming home in 29 on his back nine to sign for a 63 in the company of Reed.
“I was just trying to hang on to the coattails and see how far I could go,” said the 23-year-old Scot about playing alongside Reed.
Justin Rose’s hopes a third successive title in Turkey remain alive after another round of 67, and an exciting weekend is in prospect with 23 players within four shots of Schwab.