NORTHERN TRUST OPEN MEDIA DAY
August 7, 2017
ALEX URBAN: You've got a roomful of media members and sponsors and tournament staff here at the Northern Trust excited to welcome you to come defend your title here in a couple weeks. Thank you again for calling in, Patrick. First question here, just take us through your win last year. You had a battle with Rickie. You had to fight a couple guys off down the stretch. Recall that victory.
PATRICK REED: Well, you know, the biggest thing was the whole year I felt like we were playing really well, just couldn't quite get over that hump to get a W. We had a ton of top 10s last year, and coming into the week, my coach and I just decided to have a really aggressive game plan to go out and just kind of go for it. Hit a lot of aggressive golf shots and allow my short game to do work when needed and just rely on my good ball-striking to go and hit some close and make some putts. Just kind of go out there early, had Phil in the group, so it was Phil and Kevin Na and myself, and to go out and finally start playing some good golf with Phil there and kind of getting that Ryder Cup mentality, going out and trying to shoot as low as possible, and just kind of set me up for a weekend where I felt like I was in complete control and felt like I had a lot of confidence going into. Any time you have confidence, you have a lead going into Saturday and Sunday or you're close to that lead or only one or two shots back, you can really go out there and feel comfortable with your game and feel comfortable with yourself to go out and put together a good Sunday.
Anytime you're going up against a guy like Rickie, you know you're going to have to go up and you're going to have to play some good golf. It was good to see -- to go out there on Sunday and play just a real steady, solid round of golf and finally close it out with a W that I felt like should have come a lot earlier in the year.
Q. You're coming back to defend. You've won a few PGA TOUR events yourself. Is there a different mindset coming in to defend a title? It's a different golf course, obviously, but does that give you extra confidence?
PATRICK REED: A little. You know, I think the biggest difference is because it's not the same golf course, you go into it just treating it as if it's another event, go out there and try to shoot the lowest number possible. You know, on a couple other golf courses I've won on, like at Wyndham where it's played at Sedgefield every year, every time you go back to that play of course you're going to feel more comfortable and confident because you're already won the golf tournament. But any time you go into an event and you're defending, you just have that extra little chip on your shoulder that if I go out and play the best golf that I can play like I did the year before, then I have a really good chance of winning the golf tournament again. It just kind of gets you in that little bit more of a comfort zone and a little bit more of attack mentality that, you know, I won this event last year, so why can't I go ahead and do it again.
Q. New golf course, we've actually got the superintendent Craig Currier sitting here about to do a panel, but what's your game plan going into a place you've -- have you ever played? I'm not sure.
PATRICK REED: Well, I haven't, but I've heard a lot of great things about it. I think the biggest thing is just go in there with a positive and fresh attitude because, you know, any time you go into places, if you've played there before and you haven't played very well, you're probably not going to have the best attitude going into it, and if you played great there, you're going to have a great attitude. With places you haven't seen, you have to go into it fresh. You can't have any assumptions. Some people say they love this hole or some people say they hate this hole. You just have to block that stuff out because at the end of the day, you've never seen it before, and you just have to go in and have your kind of own thought process and mental game going into the golf course that really this is how I'm going to end up playing this golf course and this is how I'm going to play this hole, and just kind of stick to your game plan.
Q. We're just a few miles down the road from Bethpage this year; what are your recollections of playing on Long Island and from the fans here?
PATRICK REED: Oh, the fans are unbelievable. You know, they're so passionate just about -- just the area of the golf in general, and they love to get loud. It just kind of plays into my kind of golf. I love to have that -- the crowd behind you, love having the crowd give you shots back and forth, whether positive or negative. It makes golf a lot of fun because golf is such a proper game where it's just claps for good shots and nothing for a bad shot. Just to have that kind of extra power and extra punch that you get from playing up in Long Island, it's amazing. You know, every time there's an event up there, I get so excited to come and play because it's just a different animal and it's so much fun.
Q. And lastly, this is a real sprint to the finish here for the PGA TOUR season. Northern Trust will be the first FedExCup Playoffs event. You won it last year and saw the benefits of that. How important is it to get off to a good start in the Playoffs?
PATRICK REED: Well, it's huge. You know, the two most important events I feel of the Playoffs are the first one and the last one. If you can get off to a really good start, and whether you win the event, finish top 5, have a really good finish in your first event, it gives you that confidence and boost going into the Playoffs and also gives you that jump that you need to get higher up in the standings. You know, from that point, it just kind of allows -- it's a domino effect. It allows you to play more and more solid as the weeks go on, and then at the end, it just comes down to putting yourself in a position to win the FedExCup. The only way you're going to do that is by getting off to a quick start. The guys that go and either miss the cut or barely make the cut and finish at the bottom of the board, the chances of them making it to East Lake aren't very good, but also the chances of them having a chance to win the FedExCup is very slim because a lot of the time one of the guys either in the top 5 or maybe even all the way down to the top seven or eight really have a realistic shot of winning the FedExCup at the end.
ALEX URBAN: I think come from the voice of our defending champion, it certainly is a week that will be important to all of our guys, get off to a good start here at the Playoffs. Definitely want to thank him for calling us during the Monday of the PGA Championship when he's preparing for that.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports