Patrick Reed quietly confident ahead of Masters defence

Patrick Reed - President's Cup incident

Patrick Reed knows he hasn’t put it together for four straight rounds this year, but is still feeling optimistic about his Masters defence.

The 28-year-old American feels there is no reason to panic, despite coming off a T-47th at The Players Championship and a T-50th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Those are hardly the kind of results that suggest a successful Masters defence is right around the corner, but as is often the case with the pros, Reed feels there is a lot to be positive about regarding the state of his game, even if it hasn’t yet reflected in his recent performances.

“I’ve put myself in position and have put some solid rounds together, I just haven’t quite put four out there yet at the same time,” Reed told a pre-Masters conference call on Monday.

“I feel like I’m really close. I feel like I’ve got the bag where I feel really comfortable and confident with it, and now it’s just get some more reps (golf) underneath me and just kind of get ready for Augusta.”

Reed hasn’t won since that stunning Masters triumph a year ago, when a second-round 66 saw him rocket into a two-shot lead before he held off charges from Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler on the final day.

While a win leading up to the Masters would be ideal, Reed doesn’t believe it’s in any way necessary.

“It definitely would help but, honestly, I feel like my mindset and state of mind that I’m in right now is better than it was last year at this point,” said Reed.

“I’ve hit golf shots and have done things on the golf course that I feel a little bit more comfortable this year doing than I did last year at this point, but I just need to go out and continue playing to put four rounds together.”

Reed has only two tournaments remaining before his Masters defence – the Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor, Florida, starting on Thursday, and next week’s World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play event in Austin, Texas.

“The preparations have been going really well. I feel like I am in as good form, if not a better place, than I was last year at this time,” said Reed.

“The big thing is just to continue to build and grow on the things that we’ve been working on — my coach and I and my team and I — throughout the year, and just get ready and kind of get in playing shape for the tournaments coming up.”