AVONDALE, La. – Maybe it wasn’t the exact same shirt. Maybe Patrick Reed owns several of the same pink Nike polo.
The Masters champion didn’t bring his green jacket to the media center Wednesday at TPC Louisiana, but he was wearing what appeared to be the same pink Nike shirt he wore a couple of Sundays ago at Augusta National.
He fielded a lot of questions about life as a Masters champion. Someone on the PGA Tour communications staff probably should have realized his partner for the week, Patrick Cantlay, didn’t really need to be there. But Cantlay smiled and listened politely as Reed shared memories of that trip to New York City, where he appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” and got a taste of what being really famous is like.
“It was definitely an eye-opening experience,” Reed said. “I don’t like heights, (but) I went to almost the top of the Empire State Building. That was interesting. First time ever sitting courtside at a basketball game, being at (Madison Square Garden) with Chris Rock and Aziz (Ansari) and 2 Chainz, (Michael) Strahan and all those guys kind of sitting next to you. You’re just sitting there like, ‘Wow.’ It was a pretty cool experience.”
Reed had a front row seat to watch LeBron James put up 29 points as the Cavaliers torched the Knicks, then was seen courtside again later in the week for a Houston Rockets playoff game.
Now that the dust has settled a little bit, Reed said he reached out to a few people for advice on how to handle everything that comes with winning your first major title.
“Of course it is different with just everything that comes with it,” Reed said. “You know, the obligations and time management. Just a lot of extra stuff that you didn’t have in the past which, I mean, it’s all great. It’s awesome. But to be able to manage the time and get back to playing golf and get into our normal routine has been nice, because it’s something you can’t stay out of for (long).”
Reed and Cantlay tee off at 1:41 p.m. Eastern for Thursday’s first round of best ball, with the format switching to alternate shot on Friday. The Zurich Classic doesn’t exactly carry the same clout as a Ryder Cup appearance, but Reed said he’s glad to be out here again and back to golf after his whirlwind post-Masters tour.
“First things first,” Reed said. “You got to go out and grind and play some good golf and focus on golf, because the time you stay and not focus on golf will be the time you go backwards. That’s nothing any of us want. We all want to improve and get better. Golf comes first. We got to go out and play some good golf and focus on that.”
The Reeds also needed to put a planned vacation on hold. They were set to go to Albany in the Bahamas the week after the Masters, and now Reed knows that winning that thing means you have some immediate obligations.
“We will make it down there sometime soon,” Reed said.