Patrick Reed has offered a dramatic insight into his recent hospitalisation with bilateral pneumonia, with the Masters champion admitting he feared he would never see his family again. “I was battling for my life,” Reed said.
Reed, who spent six days in a Houston hospital after being admitted on 19 August, has returned to the golf course at the Tour Championship as he bids to earn a wildcard pick for the Ryder Cup. After an opening round of 72 in Atlanta, Reed opened up on his health issues.
“It hit me just like a brick,” Reed said. “I mean, just all of a sudden I went from feeling OK to literally feeling like I couldn’t breathe and was almost drowning in air. It hit me so fast and it was so brutal.”
The 31-year-old does not believe his issue was Covid related. Reed was tested for coronavirus only upon exiting hospital. “First couple days they were sitting there telling me: ‘Make sure you text your family quite a bit, talk to your family, because you just don’t know.’ I mean, this is not good. We’re not in a good spot right now.
“With how the hospitals are these days because of Covid and everything that’s going on, they won’t allow people in there, so it’s only you in there. I’m sitting there and those first two days the only thing that was going through my mind is, ‘I’m not going to be able to tell my kids goodbye. I’m not going to be able to tell them I love them. I’m not going to be able to tell my wife that I love her and give her a hug.’
“I had bilateral pneumonia in both lungs, and that’s what they were treating me for in the hospital. It was scary because it was in my lower lobes, which is what a lot of people pass away from.”
Against this backdrop, it seems extraordinary that Reed could recover to the point of forming part of the US team at Whistling Straits from 24 September. He drove from his home in Texas to Atlanta on medical advice but doctors have given him the go-ahead to fly from Monday.
Reed admitted he would be nowhere near East Lake were the Ryder Cup wildcard picks not just days away.
“It’s like my third day back swinging a golf club,” Reed said. “So there’s going to be rough there, there’s going to be things that you want to obviously not do on the golf course. But the great thing is I felt like I can play now, I feel like I can do what I’m supposed to do. I feel now it’s just get some reps in and just get the energy level and strength back which just takes a little bit of time, a little reps, a little practice.”