Patrick Reed takes advantage of European Tour rules, leads in Dubai

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Patrick Reed takes advantage of European Tour rules, leads in Dubai

Euro Tour

Patrick Reed takes advantage of European Tour rules, leads in Dubai

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Patrick Reed’s inclusion in the $8 million DP World Tour Championship in Dubai makes you wonder if the European Tour is making up the rules as it goes along.

Even Reed was surprised he was eligible for the tour’s season finale. He’s taken full advantage of questionable eligibility rules, though, to jump to the top of the leaderboard.

The Ryder Cup player fashioned a bogey-free, 7-under 65 around the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates. He went out in 34 strokes, and then recorded five birdies on the back nine to come home in 31. He’s one shot ahead of Australia’s Scott Hend.

Reed has only played three “regular” European Tour events this year outside the majors and World Golf Championships. He thought he needed two more to meet the minimum of five events required for European Tour membership. He forgot that the Presidents Cup, surprisingly, counts as one of his five.

“I only needed one more event to keep my card on the European Tour,” Reed said. “I thought I needed two since I didn’t know Presidents Cup counted as one event. I was nice to find out Presidents Cup counted.”

Look hard at the 2016-17 European Tour schedule and you won’t find a listing for the match featuring the U.S. against the Internationals. It counts as a sop to non-Europeans because the Ryder Cup counts for any Euro lucky enough to play in the match.

Lucky for Reed but not so for Benjamin Hebert, who would have made the field if Reed hadn’t been eligible.

No wonder Reed went out and played with a lot of flair and freedom.

“I feel like I had control over the ball today,” Reed said. “I only hit one tee shot I felt like I didn’t hit in the right spot.”

Reed is still searching for his first win of 2017, although he’s trying not to focus on that.

“It’s important, but really the biggest thing for me is just improving my golf swing, improve around the greens and improve in all areas,” he said.

He can certainly improve on his current European ranking of 31st, something he didn’t think he was going to get the chance to do.

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