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Masters 2024: Why Sunday is big for Patrick Reed's hopes of playing in future majors

April 13, 2024
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Patrick Reed lines up a putt on the 10th green during the third round of the 2024 Masters.

Andrew Redington

AUGUSTA, Ga. — What will the golf world do without Patrick Reed to kick around in a major championship? We might soon find out, depending on the outcome of Sunday’s final round in the Masters.

Reed, the 2018 Masters champion, hasn’t missed a major since his debut at Augusta National Golf Club in 2014, a run of 40 straight appearances. But at 112th in the Official World Golf Ranking, the player that plenty of people love to root against is in danger of missing out on next month’s PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky.

The LIV Golf League member needs a strong finish here after bogeying the home hole to shoot a third-round one-over 73. Reed sits T-16 at one-over 217 and trails leader Scottie Scheffler by eight shots, but a high finish—say, top-five—could push his world ranking into the top 100. Among its qualifying criteria, the PGA of America reserves the right to award special exemptions, which likely would include players in the top 100 in the world on May 6.

“What did Rory shoot? Rory shoot 63 here on Sunday?” Reed asked, thinking of McIlroy’s final-round 64 to finish second in 2022. “Sixty-four on Sunday? You shoot eight under around here and post a number, you never know what can happen.”

Reed, 33, was none too pleased after driving behind a tree right of the fairway—and not just any tree but the exact same tree—for the second time in three days on the 18th hole.

“I'm in that tree twice, so I've made a double and a bogey there because of that stupid tree,” Reed said with a tight smile. “Walking up that 18th hole and seeing my ball in that big-leafed tree on the right again, where I could barely advance the golf ball, and my caddie staring at me in the face and saying, ‘Your driving has cost us a lot this week.’ Just what I need to hear.”

Good thing he’s family. Reed’s caddie is his brother-in-law, Kessler Karain.

“Yeah, exactly. Or I'd probably be dragging him up that last hole, I swear,” Reed replied.

A nine-time winner on the PGA Tour, Reed has yet to win on the LIV tour, but has a pair of runner-up finishes. He came into the year’s first major without a top-10 finish in five events, but he did end up fourth in Macau, an International Series event on the Asian Tour.

The Asian Tour might offer the Texan an additional path to the PGA with two events, the Saudi Open in Riyadh and the GS Caltex Maekyung Open in Korea, before the May 6 cutoff date.

Reed said he hadn’t thought beyond Sunday’s final round at Augusta, where he has finished in the top 10 four times, including T-4 last year after a closing 68. His career low round in the Masters is 66 in the second round of ’18. Since missing the cut in the 2014 Masters, Reed has posted at least one top-10 in each of the four majors. He exuded an attitude of near apathy when asked about qualifying for the PGA and keeping his streak intact.

The guy is tough to read.

“We have to wait and see,” Reed, dressed, perhaps appropriately, in black, said when asked about a trip to Asia. “Really, the biggest thing is to go out and focus on playing some good golf tomorrow and kind of see where it all takes care of.

“I definitely believe some of the guys that aren't in [the PGA Championship] that have been a part of LIV, that have just kind of free-falled down the world ranking system, isn't because it's an accurate reflection of where they are in the world’ it's just we don't have the opportunity to get the World Ranking points.

“Hopefully the PGA and the U.S. Open and the Open Championship take a look at things like that and take consideration on who they're deciding to give exemptions to,” he added. “Like I said, that's out of my hands. All I can focus on is playing good golf.”

Good golf Sunday would feature missing a certain tree on 18. And silence from his caddie.

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