‘Listen to the players’: Patrick Reed rips PGA Tour on his way out the door
NORTH PLAINS, Ore. — Patrick Reed is eager to play less tournament golf.
For years, Reed has been among the PGA Tour’s grinders, logging roughly 30 events across the globe each calendar year. He has prided himself as a global golfer, regularly trekking to the European Tour and playing tournaments that other high-profile pros would skip. But on Tuesday, in his first appearance as a member of the LIV Tour, he made it clear he’s ready to simplify that schedule — and he isn’t in a hurry to get back to the PGA Tour.
In a 30-minute session in which he took questions alongside fellow debutants Pat Perez and Brooks Koepka, Reed emphasized that LIV’s new schedule will allow him to spend more time with his family. He also announced that he has resigned his PGA Tour membership and ripped leadership in Ponte Vedra for not listening to player requests over the years.
“Being the guy who’s played 30 to 35 events my entire career and basically living through Facetime watching my kids grow up, I wanted to spend more time with my children,” Reed said. “I wanted to be a dad.”
Reed is one of several LIV commits who have resigned their PGA Tour membership in an effort to avoid disciplinary action, though others — including Koepka and Perez — have not done so. All LIV contestants are indefinitely suspended from PGA Tour events, but Reed seemed unbothered by the ban, offering some choice words for his longtime workplace on his way out.
“Now all of a sudden [purses] went skyrocketing back up on the PGA Tour, it just shows that they obviously believe that [LIV] is not only a true threat, but a great tour as well if they’re going and copying what we’re doing,” Reed said. He was referring to the PGA Tour’s announcement about adding $54 million in purse size to its premier events, an answer to LIV’s big-time money.
It’s not clear that tweak would have done much to keep Reed anyway, given LIV’s limited schedule and sums of money. That’s a common query around LIV golfers — is there anything the Tour could have done to retain their talents?
“Listen to the players,” Reed said.
He left it at that, but was later prompted to expand on what that meant. It’s worth taking his answer with a grain of salt — he, like his fellow LIVers, are being paid enormous sums of guaranteed money to be there — but Reed’s gripes about the PGA Tour are relatively common among Tour pros and LIV defectors alike.
“Basically everything that [LIV] has done so far,” he said. “We have a smaller schedule. We actually have an offseason where not only can we get healthy, work on our bodies, but we’re basically allowing ourselves throughout the year to try to peak at the right times, when you’re playing, rather than feeling like you have to play every single week.”
Reed talked about the challenge of playing four or five tournaments in a row and then using his week off in between tournaments to get ready for those that came next. It’s a tale as old as the Tour — spending weeks away from home, trying to stay healthy and sharp while finding time for life off the course, too. It’s no wonder that pros crave a break from the carousel.
As it turns out, LIV’s money can solve that problem, too. Reed acknowledged that the reason he’s happy playing fewer events is because of guaranteed contracts and higher purses. That’s easy to understand; most employees are seeking higher pay for less work. And Reed said he played so much on the PGA Tour in part because he felt like he’d fall behind in the FedEx Cup standings if he took significant time off.
“You do that every single year and no wonder why guys are injured in their 30s and why guys are mentally tired and you just see the grind on them because they’re having to grind every single week,” he said.
Reed declined to answer any of the media’s thornier questions about the league’s Saudi funding, deferring to Koepka and Perez. Instead he stayed on message — that this was the best future for his family. What remains up in the air is whether Reed’s LIV commitment will affect his participation in the two events for which he’s best-known: The Masters and the Ryder Cup.
“But when it comes to the majors, we don’t really know where they all stand, obviously,” Reed said. “And being a past champion at Augusta and having a green jacket, I would think I’d be able to play there for the rest of my life. But I mean, at the end of the day, that’s going to be up to them.”
As for the Ryder Cup?
“You know, of course, I’ve thought about it. Who wouldn’t?” he said.
But the possibility of a ban wasn’t enough to dissuade him from participating.
“At the end of the day I felt like when my family and I we sat down and we just weighed all of our options, we felt like joining LIV Golf, especially with talking to some of the guys that played in London, that this was definitely the right decision.”