The unequivocal backing of American Patrick Reed and Justin Rose’s impending relocation to London added up to a welcome day of good news for the European Tour on the eve of its flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
The presence of Rose and other leading English stars such as Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Matt Fitzpatrick and defending champion Danny Willett was perhaps to be expected, given the event is on home soil and it’s the biggest men’s tournament in Europe this year.
But it’s the fact that former Masters champion Reed has made his way across the Atlantic in these difficult times, when it would have been so easy to stay in America and play for millions over there, that has impressed his peers on the practice ground.
World No 9 Patrick Reed deserves plenty of kudos for his support of the European game
‘There are easy excuses not to get on a plane at the moment and we’re all using them at times, so all credit to Patrick for showing up,’ said Rose. ‘You could tell in the past that he really enjoyed it here and got the whole vibe, and he’s certainly demonstrated that this week.’
World No 9 Reed is hardly to everyone’s liking, but he deserves plenty of kudos for his support of the European game.
‘I left it late to commit to this event because I had to weigh up whether I would be putting anyone at risk when I got back home,’ said the Texan. ‘But at the end of the day it wouldn’t have felt right to me if I hadn’t been here. I was very thankful to the tour for giving me honorary membership after winning the Masters. So when you’ve got an event as big as this one that means so much to so many people in Britain, there was no question.
‘The guys seem happy to see me and I’m thrilled to be here.’
Justin Rose (above) is set to relocate to London after living in Orlando and the Bahamas
How refreshing for such a high-ranked American to see the bigger picture.
The eloquent Reed, who isn’t being paid appearance money this week, added: ‘The easy thing would have been to stay home, with the purses we play for and the world ranking points, and commit full-time to the PGA Tour.
‘But that’s not who I am. I always wanted to be a player who travels a lot, and is known as a worldwide competitor.’
Thanks to his sterling play in the majors and WGCs this year that count on both tours, Reed is the current leader of the Race to Dubai and underlined his determination to remain top of the pile.
But third placed Fleetwood and Lee Westwood, in fourth, could reel him in this week, while second-ranked Collin Morikawa, the USPGA Champion, has confirmed he will be at the season-ending finale in the Middle East in December.
As for Rose, after 10 years living in Orlando followed by a decade in the Bahamas, he looks like he’s on his way home.
‘Mrs Rose will have the final decision but we’re definitely leaning that way,’ the 40-year-old said yesterday.
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