July 25, 2021
BLAINE, Minnesota – When Patrick Reed walked to the TPC Twin Cities clubhouse from the 18th green on Sunday, Reed walked around the stands and went under a suite. A couple of fans were out to greet him and one shouted, “Let’s go, Patrick! USA!”
Right, in a few days, Reed’s next stop will be Tokyo and the Olympics. It was revealed on Saturday night that Bryson DeChambeau tested positive for Covid-19 in one of his final tests before going to Japan, so he was out and Reed was in.
Reed said a rules officer told him after his Saturday round at the 3M Open to speak to Andy Levinson, a senior VP of the PGA Tour, about the Olympics. Reed already knew he was the first substitute, so he knew what was happening.
“Of course you’d like to have that call, but at the same time you don’t want any of the boys,” said Reed on Sunday after signing for a straight par 71. “The boys were all excited,” go play. I feel sorry for Bryson, I know he was really looking forward to representing the country, going there and playing in Tokyo. It’s an unfortunate situation. The good thing is the team and everything, we are able to get where I could go, occupy the pitch and get there in time and play. “
But now it will be quick. According to guidelines, Reed must test negative for Covid-19 three times in a row at least 24 hours apart before heading to Japan. Reed said he was tested around 5 p.m. on Saturday and is traveling to Houston on Sunday evening. It will be tested shortly after landing and will be tested again on Monday evening. If he’s negative, he goes to San Francisco, then straight to Tokyo, and arrives on Wednesday afternoon. The tournament starts on Thursday.
This is going to be the strangest week of any professional golfer’s career. That’s fine for those here in Tokyo
Reed doesn’t think he’ll have time for a training round, but says that his trainer Kevin Kirk (who will become his caddy) and the rest of his team keep reminding him of how successful he was in Monday’s qualifiers years ago. Reed weathered a handful of Monday gloves early in his career and earned his PGA Tour card.
“‘Hey, when you hunted on Mondays you were 6 to 6 when you played blind on the golf courses and you are 0 to 2 on the practice rounds,” Reed said, telling what his team had told him. “Nowadays I expect to go in there and play well and be able to manage the golf course and take the golf shots.”
Reed is the only two-time Olympic athlete for the men’s competition; In 2016 he was T11 at the Rio Games. He will now suppress the USA together with Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele.
Dustin Johnson had already turned down his invitation to the Games, and Patrick Cantlay and Brooks Koepka were the next substitutes when the teams were formed. But with Reed’s acceptance, it means these two would have to refuse.
Reed was asked on Sunday why the effort was worth it.
“Every time I can represent my country and go play for my country, no matter what, no matter where it is, no matter what time zone or how I have to get there or something,” he said. “When they named me Captain America, the fans felt an obligation and obligation to play for our country whenever I can and whenever I get the call.”
DeChambeau wasn’t the only last minute scratch from the Olympics. US Open Champion Jon Rahm also tested positive for Covid-19 in one of his last tests before leaving and had to withdraw. The Spanish Olympic Committee said there would be no time to find a substitute for cream.
Josh Berhow is Senior Editor at GOLF.com. Born in Minnesota, he graduated from Minnesota State University in Mankato with a degree in journalism. You can reach him at email@example.com.