DETROIT – Team Reed is a closely related group. Wife Justine and brother-in-law Kessler Karain, Patrick’s friend since the beginning of 2014, are also there. The role of the swing teacher remains a case of musical chairs. And that changed again before the US Open earlier this month.
Kevin Kirk, the 2019 PGA Instructor of the Year, was Reed’s longtime coach and led his star student to victory in the 2018 Masters. In March 2019, Justine called well-known instructor David Leadbetter ahead of the Valspar Championship to look for a second pair of eyes to help her husband break out of a minor crisis. Before long, Leadbetter was part of the team.
“I saw him here and there, but it was often a solution to what happened that day,” Leadbetter wrote on his personal website. “There was never really a plan. I always thought he was an interesting player to work with. “
Leadbetter starred last summer while Kirk faded into the background.
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“It is noteworthy that given the success he has had, he has never been in the top 100 on fairways hits or greens in regulation. His great short game enabled him to compete at the highest level, ”wrote Leadbetter. “I always thought if we could get his long game anywhere near the quality of his short game, the sky would be the limit of what he can achieve. So it was definitely a challenge that excited me. “
Reed scored a win at the Farmers Insurance Open in February and finished in the top 20 in the last three majors, but Leadbetter sustained a right foot injury that limited Reed’s ability to work with him on the street.
After surgery to repair torn tendons in his foot, Leadbetter came back too early and eventually broke a metatarsal bone that required further surgery. His recovery is progressing through rehab, but it is still difficult for him to go any appreciable distance.
“He still can’t travel, his foot is still beaten up and in a boot. It’s difficult to do a lot of things over the phone, ”explained Reed, noting that Leadbetter has moved into an“ advisory role ”. “I really never left KK. But I was with him full-time just before the US Open. Lead, KK and I, we’re all attacking it together. “
And for those scoring at home, there are actually two other members of Team Reed: Dave Pelz serves as short-game mentor and Reed’s college coach, Josh Gregory, is listed as Reed’s performance coach. That’s a lot of chefs in the kitchen, but it works for Reed, who ranks 9th on the Official World Golf Rankings that week.
“I feel like the game is really strong,” said Reed. “I feel like I’m playing really solid and hitting the ball well, so I feel like we’re in good shape on the golf side to start the week.”