Patrick Reed said he loves playing in challenging conditions, and that’s exactly what he got on Friday when he overcame swirling winds, thick rough and speedy greens to jump to the top of the leaderboard in the second round of the U.S. Open at Winged Foot.
Despite hitting just five fairways, the 2018 Masters champion battled to an even-par 70 thanks to a superb short game that left him four under for the week and one shot clear of fellow American Bryson DeChambeau.
“I love the grind,” Reed said. “I love getting in there. I love when it’s hard, when you have to be creative on all different golf shots.”
The 30-year-old said he could have scored lower but is confident he can tidy up his game over the weekend as he guns for his second major title.
“I feel ready to go out and put myself in position hopefully tomorrow to have a chance late on Sunday,” he said.
“But I think the biggest thing is, I feel like the game is where it needs to be. I feel good. I just need to tighten a few things up here or there, but the short game is sharp, and when I play around a place like this, that’s what you need.”
Reed said he was happy to be paired with DeChambeau on Saturday but he didn’t imagine they would be doing much talking.
“You don’t really hang out with the guys you’re playing with as much because you’re too busy trying to figure out where you’re trying to play this golf course and kind of put it together like a puzzle,” he said.
“There’s not as much talking going on at the U.S. Open as there is other golf tournaments because it’s a premium on every single golf shot.
“You let up once and you’re going to make a mess of the golf course.”