Reed ready to take up Olympic place

2016-07-10 20:31
Patrick Reed (AFP Photo)

Inverness - Patrick Reed erased doubts over his Olympic participation by confirming Sunday he was prepared to "take a risk" in being a member of the United States team when golf returns to the Games in Rio next month.

Reed became eligible for the American four-man team when reigning US Open champion Dustin Johnson withdrew on Friday citing concerns over Zika, a mosquito-borne virus which has been linked to defects in newborn babies and Guillain-Barre, a rare neurological syndrome which causes temporary paralysis in adults.

Several of the world's leading players, including world number one Jason Day and four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy have pulled out citing concerns over Zika.

The Texas-born Reed was taken by complete surprise by Johnson's withdrawal, given he had arrived in Scotland earlier in the week for the Scottish Open believing, as first reserve, he not would qualify.

And on Saturday he cast doubt on his own Games participation by saying he had concerns over "security, Zika, everything".

But after the 25-year old father of a two-year old daughter spoke to his wife Justine and others, Reed confirmed he will now join American team-mates Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Bubba Watson in the US side.

"We're playing," said Reed after signing for a final-round 67 for a nine-under par total on the Castle Stuart course near Inverness, northern Scotland.

"I look forward to going over and representing my country. Any time I can wear red, white and blue, it's going to be a great opportunity.

"I don't think there's doubts as just kind of clarifications. I wasn't in any of the meetings because I was always on the outside.

"Now that we're on the inside, I was able to talk to the right people and figure out everything that's going on and what the plans are for our team.

"So we feel comfortable, so we're going to go over and have a good time."

Reed, who was unbeaten in the USA's losing 2014 Ryder Cup team, said he was engaged in hour-long conversations with his wife and others before reaching his decision to tee-up in Brazil.

"I had to call a bunch of different people. I had to call Team USA, had to call my wife, had to call a bunch of people so it was a lot longer of a process while I was over here because I had to call everywhere," he said.

"At home, you know, Justine is right there. So she's there listening to all the conversations, so I'm not having to say different things to other people, that kind of stuff, and have to relay messages.

"It was longer than normal but that was just because of the time change and where I'm at."

And it was in those conversations Reed fears over the Zika virus and Games security were allayed.

"The clarification just basically was how everyone is, how is Zika virus doing and security," said Reed.

"Besides that, those were my only concerns. Yes, it's a risk, but I feel like it's a risk that we are all willing to take.

"But just thinking about having a gold medal means a lot. I think the biggest thing is I get to represent my country again -- get to wear red, white and blue. Any time I get to wear those colours, it's a huge day.

"We're really excited. We can't wait and it's going to be a lot of fun."

Read more on:    olympics 2016  |  patrick reed  |  golf

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