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Wednesday, 08 August 2018
Patrick Reed  (Getty Images)
Patrick Reed (Getty Images)

Patrick Reed is eyeing a unique achievement when he tees off his US PGA Championship campaign at the Bellerive Country Club on Thursday.

The European Tour member secured his maiden Major Championship at Augusta National in April and the American will become the first player to complete a Masters Tournament - US PGA Championship double in the same calendar year since Jack Nicklaus in 1975, if he prevails.

And Reed believes he has the right mentality to have a tilt at a Major title after finishing fourth at the US Open Championship and tied for 28th at the Open Championship, in addition to his Augusta National victory.

"When you win a Major, especially with the Masters being the first one of the year, mentally and physically, the year becomes tougher. There's a lot more obligations, a lot more things that go on with winning a Major that people don't see behind the scenes," Reed said.

"PGA being the last one and being a long way down the road, physically and mentally, do you still have enough in the tank to play? I feel like I've handled that very well. 

 

"I feel like I've gotten myself where, mentally and physically, I'm ready to go on and play, and the biggest thing is you just have to go into it thinking it's just another golf tournament.

"Go out there and try to play golf and try to take Major and PGA Championship out of it, and just think of it as another golf tournament, another golf course. At the end of the day, whoever plays the best 72 holes wins the golf tournament."

The World Number 12, who currently sits in second place in the Race to Dubai rankings behind the Open Championship winner Francesco Molinari, also feels the layout of the Missouri course could increase his chances of victory.

"I feel like it suits my game really well. It's hard to remember a golf course that I've played that have so many dogleg-lefts. Being a drawer of the golf ball, it fits my eye really well. 

"A lot of those tee shots I'm comfortable setting up, aiming down the right side and being able to turn back to the fairway, since that's my normal shot. That being said, it's a golf course that I feel like is going to be a lot of fun, and it's going to just kind of depend how aggressive I want to be out there."

I'm excited to be back, but I need to try to get myself in contention. That's the most important part when it comes to trying to defend a title - Justin Thomas

Defending champion Justin Thomas will arrive in St Louis in peak condition after sealing a four-stroke triumph at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio last weekend.

The World Number Two will have extra incentive to follow in the footsteps of fellow American Brooks Koepka, who retained his US Open Championship in June, as the Missouri golf club hosts the 100th edition of the US PGA Championship.

"I'm excited to be back, but I need to try to get myself in contention. That's the most important part when it comes to trying to defend a title," Thomas said.

"Any time you can win, it's a big deal, but winning the 50th, 75th, 100th, whatever it may be, you may be etched in history a little bit more, I guess you could say. It definitely will be a big deal for whoever's holding the trophy at the end of the week, being known as the 100th US PGA champion."

US Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk is hoping muscle memory will aid his bid to win his first major in 15 years in Missouri.

It's hard to remember a golf course that I've played that have so many dogleg-lefts. Being a drawer of the golf ball, it fits my eye really well - Patrick Reed

Furyk finished tied for third when he last played at the Bellerive Country Club course, and although the 48 year old has dismissed his chances of adding to his 2003 US Open Championship triumph, a similar performance could put him in contention.

"I'm excited to be here. Last time I was here ten years ago in 2008 for the BMW (Championship), I had a good, solid tournament. (My) game's in a little different place right now than it was ten years ago. But I feel better about my game and I feel like it's improving."

Furyk touched on the Ryder Cup, which starts in 51 days' time in Paris, and he believes many of Team Europe hopefuls could be in with a chance of taking the final Major Championship of the year.

"You look at the top 20 players, they're dominated by Europeans and Americans. Rory McIlroy, Paul Casey, Molinari, who just won the Open Championship, Justin Rose," he added.

"And you look at the guys that we're calling rookies even on both sides, you look at (Tyrrell) Hatton, (Tommy) Fleetwood, (Jon) Rahm, (Alex) Noren, and those are four of their hottest players."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1KOEPKA, BrooksUSA18-16
2WOODS, TigerUSA18-14
3SCOTT, AdamAUS18-13
T4CINK, StewartUSA18-11
T4RAHM, JonESP18-11
T6PIETERS, ThomasBEL18-10

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