WGC-Dell Technologies Match PlayMarch 25, 2019

David Leadbetter confirms that he has joined the Patrick Reed team

Valspar Championship - Round Two
Cliff HawkinsPALM HARBOR, FLORIDA - MARCH 22: Patrick Reed watches his tee shot on the seventh hole during the second round of the Valspar Championship on the Copperhead course at Innisbrook Golf Resort on March 22, 2019 in Palm Harbor, Florida. (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)

Patrick Reed has officially hired swing coach David Leadbetter, who said Monday during an interview on Brad Faxon’s radio show on SiriusXM that Reed asked him to join the team and that he has accepted.

The reigning Masters champ and 66-year-old instructor first worked together following Reed’s opening round at last week’s Valspar Championship, where Reed’s wife Justine sent a text to Leadbetter on Thursday afternoon asking if he could do a lesson with her husband before the second round.

Reed followed his opening-round 77 with a 75 to miss the cut by nine shots but returned to Innisbrook on Saturday for a second session with Leadbetter. The new hire isn’t expected to affect Reed’s relationship with longtime swing coach Kevin Kirk, however, with Reed telling GolfChannel.com on Friday, “KK and I are really close. That has nothing to do with it. Just trying to improve and get better every day.”

Though Reed has five top-25 finishes in nine worldwide starts this season, he hasn’t won since his Masters victory nearly a year ago and hasn’t cracked the top 10 on the PGA Tour since a T-7 at the WGC-HSBC Champions last October. Before the missed cut at the Valspar, he shot 78 in the final round of the Players Championship, where he finished T-47.

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Reed has struggled with his driving as well as his ball-striking this year, ranking T-126 in strokes gained—off-the-tee and 149th in strokes gained—approach-the-green. He also ranks 160th in greens in regulation and barely is inside the top 200 in proximity to the hole at T-196.

Reed, who will head to Augusta National to defend his Masters title in two weeks, is in the field at this week’s WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin, Texas, where he's grouped with Sergio Garcia, Shane Lowry and Michael Putnam for the first three rounds of pool play.