Patrick Reed reaches for a club from caddie Kessler Karain, a San Antonio resident and graduate of UTSA, while winning the WGC at Doral.
Perhaps there are two facts worth noting — and one development on his schedule — from Patrick Reed’s most recent win, which came in the WGC Championship at Doral in Miami. Now with three wins in his PGA career (his first came 14 starts ago in a playoff victory over Jordan Spieth at the Wyndham Championship), Reed has won all of them after being the leader through three rounds of play. He can close the deal. Second, Reed is fourth in the current standings to make the US Ryder Cup team. Jimmy Walker, a resident of Boerne, continues to lead the standings with his three wins on the current PGA Tour season.
Reed was born in San Antonio 23 years ago. But he would not be the youngest to play in the Ryder Cup (Sergio Garcia was 19 while playing for Europe in 1999). he would not be the youngest American, either (Horton Smith was a 21-year-old in 1929).
The change in his schedule, for San Antonio golf fans, is unfortunate. As of now, he does not plan on plahying in the Valero Texas Open in a little more than two weeks.
“You never know; it’s possible he could play,” said his caddie, Kessler Karain of San Antonio. “But after winning last weekend, he’s thinks he wants to take two weeks off in front of the Masters.”
Reed lived in San Antonio until about age eight before his family moved. He graduated from high school in Baton Rouge, La., and won two state championships before moving on to college at Georgia, then Augusta (Ga.) State.
One would think his play at Augusta State would afford him plenty of rounds at Augusta National. Not so.
“He’s played the course three times,” Karain said, “and those came in the times of year when Augusta is not in its peak condition. Still, the way he’s played this year, he definitely confident walking in there. That’ll mean a lot.”
As for the reason Reed’s not playing in the Texas Open? Karain was asked if Reed doesn’t like the TPC San Antonio course, which has rubbed some players the wrong way before it was altered in a few places before last year’s event. Karain did not confirm that, harking more on the two-week break Reed can get by taking off the VTO and Shell Houston Open. Reed has played here twice, on a sponsor’s exemption in 2012 (tied for 35th after making the cut by four strokes) and last year when he missed the cut by three.
There are a few other names thrown into the VTO hat this week. They include Chesson Hadley (winner last week at the PGA Tour stop at Puerto Rico), Stuart Appleby, Woody Austin, Fred Funk, Charley Hoffman, J.B. Holmes, Charles Howell III, Ryan Palmer and Scott Verplank.
This year’s Texas Open is March 27-30. Earlier announcements of players who have committed are Walker, Jim Furyk, Sergio Garcia, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar and defending champion Martin Laird. No word yet on Rory McIlroy, who finished second behind Laird last year, though McIlroy has announced he’s playing in Houston the week after the VTO.