Masters champion Patrick Reed has played two ugly rounds to straddle his last two PGA Tour starts. He closed with a 6-over 78 on Sunday in the final round of The Players Championship, dropping from T-8 to T-45. Then he opened with a 6-over 77 in the first round of the Valspar Championship near Tampa on an Innisbrook Resort Copperhead Course he loves.
Reed's wife Justine sensed something was amiss, so she made a phone call to get a set of eyes on her husband on the range. However, it wasn't Reed's teacher Kevin Kirk. Instead, it was legendary golf instructor David Leadbetter.
After a 78 at Valspar in rd 1, defending Masters champ’s wife Justine Reed noticed Patrick’s golf swing was getting too long.
So she called David Leadbetter Thursday and set them up to meet this morning on the range.
They’d never met.
Story coming. pic.twitter.com/iaSlcp1BX8
— Garrett Johnston (@JohnstonGarrett) March 22, 2019
Leadbetter and Reed, who had never met before Friday, worked together on the range ahead of Reed's second round at Innisbrook. It doesn't seem like this is necessarily a firing, and it's not really the reaction of an overzealous loved one. Justine Reed is very astute and observant about her husband's game, equipment and overall comportment. If something's wrong, she will notice.
It's unclear what Leadbetter and Reed worked on, but it doesn't seem like something that can be fixed in a matter of hours on a range. With his Masters title defense looming, there may be a sense something is amiss and needs to be addressed quickly with someone who has a different perspective. While Reed hasn't won since the Masters last year, he also hasn't missed a cut worldwide since last August's PGA Championship. In that span, Reed has six top-15 finishes in 16 starts.