STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
HORSESHOE BAY — The grand reopening of Ram Rock Golf Course drew a special visitor, who had the honor of hitting the first shot off the tee: 2018 Masters champion Patrick Reed.
Reed, who calls Horseshoe Bay his second home, said he was honored to hit the first shot. Horseshoe Bay Resort held the grand reopening of Ram Rock on May 22 to celebrate renovations to the course. But even Reed, who sits atop the golf world, asked the good Lord for help to get the ball near the green.
“This feels like a second home,” Reed said. “Anytime my family can come to the area, the Horseshoe Bay hospitality, it’s an amazing place. To be a part of this is special.”
Reed has enjoyed quite the year. He won The Masters, one of professional golf’s four major — and prestigious — championships, in April. On the PGA Tour, he tied for second at the Valspar Championship in Florida, tied for seventh at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida and at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, was eighth at the Wells Fargo Championship in North Carolina, and tied for ninth at the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin. He earned more than $3.8 million in tournament winnings.
At The Masters in Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, Reed made a short putt for par and the victory, showing his mental toughness. He said that, at other times, the pressure to make the putt cost him, but he was determined not to let it happen this time.
“You’ve made a million of these,” he told himself as he approached the ball for the final putt. “I’m not going to allow the moment to get in my head.”
The ball found the bottom of the 18th hole, and Reed pumped his fist in celebration.
The week following his biggest win, Reed said he purposely left the well-known green jacket, part of The Masters’ prize package, in a closest. He stayed close to his family and got back into his daily routine, including being a husband and a father.
Reed said he’s been able to experience things he’d never had before such as sitting courtside at both the Madison Square Garden to watch the NBA’s New York Knicks as well the Toyota Center for the Houston Rockets and seeing the defending World Series champion Houston Astros play while perched behind home plate at Minute Maid Park.
He took the green jacket out of the closet for several of those events.
“To be able to walk around and wear the green jacket has been great,” he said.
But when he wants to relax, he and his family head to Horseshoe Bay, where he can still get a few holes of golf in the morning and they can get on Lake LBJ after lunch. To him, the Highland Lakes is the spot to get away from his busy schedule and simply spend time with his family.
Back at Ram Rock on May 22, Horseshoe Bay Mayor Steve Jordan understood why Reed asked for divine help on that first drive.
“This is our most challenging course,” Jordan said. “We want to be in consideration for one of the top rankings in Texas. I feel certain it will be.”
Ram Rock was designed by golf course architect Robert Trent Jones Sr., who is celebrated around the world for his courses. Jones also designed the resort’s Apple Rock and Slick Rock courses.
Reed said he’s looking forward to competing in the U.S. Open, which is June 11-17 at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, New York.
“I’ll be in the right form,” he said. “My expectations are definitely high after the win,” Reed said. “To meet my expectations, I’d have to win every week. My hunger is to strive for perfection. I want to do more and want to do better.”