Patrick Reed Struggles at the Tour Championship

ATLANTA — Ostensibly, Patrick Reed drove 15 hours from Texas to Georgia on Tuesday in the again of a van to chase the FedEx Cup title and the largest potential share of the $46 million on supply at the season-ending Tour Championship.

The reality about Reed’s presence at East Lake Golf Club is much less complicated.

Two weeks earlier Reed had emerged from what he referred to as “a dark space” and “battling for my life” after almost per week in a Houston I.C.U. mattress with bilateral pneumonia. He got here to the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club so as to add to his FedEx Cup factors complete and show to U.S. Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker that his is wholesome sufficient to warrant certainly one of six captain’s picks for the match that begins on Sept. 24 at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin. Asked if he could be in Atlanta if this wasn’t a Ryder Cup 12 months, Reed answered succinctly: “No.”

Stricker watched on Wednesday as Reed accomplished his first 9 holes of golf since the ultimate spherical of the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Championship in Memphis on Aug. eight.

“He came out to me when I was on nine and I hit a hybrid to eight feet and I made the putt for him,” Reed mentioned the following day after posting a scrambling two-over-par 72 in the first spherical of the Tour Championship. “So , actually, the greatest factor is, speaking with Stricks and stuff, is simply ensuring I’m wholesome and I believe the greatest factor for me this week is simply to see type of the place I’m at.

“And I do know by Ryder Cup my sport’s going to be the place it must be, so long as I really feel like my well being is the place it must be and so long as I really feel like I can maintain by means of rounds of golf.”

Playing in a fourth consecutive Ryder Cup was the least of the worries the final two weeks. Reed instantly withdrew from the Northern Trust on Aug. 19 earlier than the first spherical of the first FedEx Cup playoff occasion, citing an ankle harm. But he returned dwelling to Houston and was promptly admitted to the hospital. He mentioned the pneumonia hit him in each lungs “like a brick.”

“Just all of a sudden I went from feeling OK to literally feeling like I couldn’t breathe and was almost drowning in air,” he mentioned. “It hit me so fast and it was so brutal.”

Reed initially advised the Golf Channel he had COVID-19, however later retracted it in a imprecise assertion on Twitter: “My primary diagnosis was bilateral pneumonia. I was vaccinated for COVID-19 so I’m not sure if I had the delta variant but I’m just happy to be here.” He mentioned Thursday that the hospital didn’t check him for the coronavirus till he received a adverse check outcome earlier than testing final week.

“Their main priority was to make sure that we fought this pneumonia in both lungs because of how fatal it can be,” he mentioned.

“First couple days they were sitting there telling me that make sure you text your family quite a bit, talk to your family, because you just don’t know,” Reed defined. “I imply, this isn’t good. We’re not in a great spot proper now.

“With how the hospitals are lately due to Covid and all the pieces that’s happening, it doesn’t matter what’s happening. They gained’t permit individuals in there, so it’s solely you in there. So, I’m sitting there and people first two days the solely factor that was going by means of my thoughts is, I’m not going to have the ability to inform my children goodbye. I’m not going to have the ability to inform them I like them. I’m not going to have the ability to inform my spouse that I like her and provides her a hug.”

Despite not enjoying in both of the first two PGA Tour playoff occasions, Reed nonetheless certified for the final of the 30 spots into the Tour Championship this week when Okay.H. Lee bogeyed the final gap at the BMW Championship. That allowed him the alternative to make one final audition earlier than the U.S. Ryder Cup roster is finalized on Wednesday.

Normally Reed could be thought of a possible decide. However, his well being in addition to bitterness about pairings after the 2018 occasion in France have solid doubt on his probabilities.

It’s anticipated that Stricker will select Tony Finau, Xander Schauffele, Jordan Spieth and Harris English. Reed is in consideration primarily with Daniel Berger, Webb Simpson, Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns for the remaining two spots.

Reed was clearly not at full energy enjoying his first full rounds in almost a month. He hit 10 of 14 fairways off the tee however missed 12 greens in regulation on Thursday. On Friday he was somewhat extra constant however adopted a gap bogey with 15 consecutive pars earlier than ending with two birdies to shoot one-under-par 69, tied for 26th in the 30-player discipline at one over par.

“The good thing is my short game didn’t leave me,” he mentioned.

But Reed believes he could be prepared when the Ryder Cup begins in three weeks.

“It’s like my third day back swinging a golf club, so there’s going to be rust there, there’s going to be things that you want to obviously not do on the golf course,” Reed mentioned. “But the great thing is I felt like I can play now, I feel like I can do what I’m supposed to do. I feel now it’s just get some reps in and just get the energy level and strength back which just takes a little bit of time.”