Reed making the most of Monday PGA qualifiers

Associated Press Modified: May 3, 2012 at 7:47 pm •  Published: May 3, 2012
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Patrick Reed has developed quite a knack for Monday PGA Tour qualifiers.

For the second straight week, the 21-year-old Reed beat the long odds, successfully Monday qualifying for a PGA Tour event. He also got into the Texas Open three weeks ago when he was offered a sponsor exemption while playing in the Monday qualifier.

The exhausting stretch has left him and his caddie, fiancee Justine Karain, running on fumes.

Now the extensive travel and sleepless nights might be about to pay off.

For the first time in his six starts on tour, Reed is in position to make some noise after a 6-under 66 that left him a stroke off the first-round lead in the Wells Fargo Championship. That put him ahead of some of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson.

The big question now is when — or if — Reed runs out of gas.

"We're basically running on adrenaline," Reed said. "We're pretty tired. Actually, I'm not really getting to practice a lot after and before rounds here, trying to conserve energy because we've been running with our heads cut off for the past month."

The run began three weeks ago.

Reed, who helped Augusta State to national championships in 2010 and 2011, caught a break when he was pulled off the third green during a qualifier for the Texas Open and was offered a sponsor exemption after Peter Lonard withdrew from the field. Reed made the cut and tied for 35th to earn $29,915.

"That's basically what jump started this whole entire run," Reed said.

He and Karain didn't have time to celebrate, jumping in a car and driving 10 hours to New Orleans for the qualifier the next morning at the Zurich Classic.

She drove. He slept.

Or at least he tried to.

"It was a little bumpy," he said.

The couple pulled into the Big Easy at 2:45 a.m. and, on four hours sleep, Reed went out and shot a 4-under 66, making a birdie on a second playoff hole to earn his way in.

Again he cashed in, tying for 24th and pocketing $51,840, his largest paycheck ever.

A few hours later it was back on the road.

The couple had to fly through Chicago to get to Greenville, S.C., Sunday night. After another 90-minute drive to Charlotte Monday morning, the tireless Reed jumped out of the car and buried a 15-foot birdie putt on the last hole to finish 5 under, avoiding an 11-man playoff for two spots in the Wells Fargo Championship.

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