Thursday 19 July 2018

Woods outdrove me by 60 yards - Reed

Tiger Woods talks to Patrick Reed on the fourth hole during Monday's practice round. Photo: Kyle Terada USA Today Sports
Tiger Woods talks to Patrick Reed on the fourth hole during Monday's practice round. Photo: Kyle Terada USA Today Sports

James Corrigan

Any chance of a lid being kept on the hype surrounding Tiger Woods's competitive comeback this week has been well and truly quashed by Patrick Reed's breathless praise following the pair's practice round yesterday.

Woods and Reed played nine holes at the Albany course ahead of the Hero World Challenge, starting on Thursday, and Reed was clearly impressed with the 14-time Major winner. Woods (41) has not played in 10 months because a fourth back operation.

"Tiger is hitting it a long way and hitting it effortlessly," Reed said. "He looks healthy and that's all I care about. He hasn't lost the needle. He was giving it to me, especially on the last when he outdrove me by 60 yards."

Since being given the green light to resume full practice six weeks ago, Woods has tried to measure his advancement by playing with Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas, as well as world No 1 Dustin Johnson. And Reed's progress report tallies with that of Brad Faxon who played with Woods last Friday, alongside President Trump and Johnson. Faxon claimed Woods outdrove Johnson "half the time".

If that was an eye-opening quote, then the fact Reed labelled Woods's short-game as "very sharp" seems just as important, particularly in light of his own comments after his first trip around the lay-out in the Bahamas.

Woods insists he is "pain-free", but added a note of caution about his chances in a tough 18-man field. "I haven't really competed in two years," he said. "I'm looking forward to competing and finding the rhythm of tournament golf." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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