NORTH PLAINS, Ore. — Patrick Reed bets on LIV Golf. He has signed a multi-million dollar contract to play in all LIV events. He wears the logo on his hat, shirt collar, and left sleeve. And he’s throwing serious shadows on his old grounds as a parting gift.
It’s no surprise that Reed and the PGA Tour weren’t exactly a perfect marriage. As Golf Digest detailed, PGA Tour officials felt they were constantly dealing with complaints from Reed and his associates and that sometimes dealing with “Team Reed” felt like a no-win situation. Turns out the disdain went both ways. Speaking at his first LIV Golf press conference, Reed was asked what the PGA Tour could have done differently to prevent this current schism in the professional game. “Listen to the players for once,” he said. When asked to explain, he gladly complied.
“We have a shorter schedule,” said Reed, a nine-time PGA Tour winner. “We actually have an off-season where we can not only be healthy, work on our bodies, but basically allow ourselves year-round, you know, try to peak at the right times when you’re playing instead of feeling like you have to play every week and also the quality of life for us as players now, you know, having fewer events, being able to spend more time at home with family, if you have kids, being able to spend time with your kids, and not sit there and have to play three, four weeks in a row, then have a week off, and during that week off you’re preparing yourself trying to be ready for the next week.
“Now you can set a schedule, go out there and put everything you have into each event.” You will never have to conserve energy… if you took a rest period because you needed it for your body, now you are behind. Everyone is going to pass you at FedEx. He was forcing you to have to play, and that’s not doing anything to you mentally and physically. That’s wearing you down, and you do it every year and it’s no wonder why guys get injured in their 30s and why guys are mentally tired and you just see the grind because they have to work every week.” .
Reed also said that he believed LIV’s shotgun start format is a better way to identify a champion because everyone is on the field at the same time, thus removing the luck of the draw from the starting time of the equation.
It wasn’t the only LIVer to cast a shadow in the direction of the PGA Tour. Pat Perez, who called signing with LIV at age 46 like “winning the lottery,” had some criticism for PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan.
“He doesn’t listen to the players,” Perez said of Monahan. “Somehow the (PGA Tour) keeps talking, oh yeah we work for you we work for the gamers we work for the gamers. It’s the opposite. It seems that we work for them. We have no say in anything.”
Perez also used a question about whether he had given up his PGA Tour membership — he hasn’t, because he feels he’s done nothing wrong — as an invitation to air some grievances.
“We should be able to do whatever we want. We’re independent contractors. The (PGA Tour) has been trying to impose us all year and it’s coming up with bans, suspensions and all that, and how did it work? Look how many guys are here. That didn’t work at all. So the top threats and all that kind of stuff. And how many major winners do they have here compared to (the John Deere Classic)? It’s not even close. The (PGA Tour) wants to keep talking about the strength of the field and everything. that kind of thing, the force of the field is here. So whether everybody wants to talk about it or not, that’s what it is. Facts are facts.”