Mel Reid hopes to keep the party going at Women's PGA
NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. (AP) - Mel Reid can be excused for feeling a little sluggish when she woke up to a practice session at Aronimink. The fatigue carried over to the point where she wanted to quit training later that day.
Winning a tournament - as Reid did at the ShopRite LPGA Classic on Sunday for her first LPGA Tour title - can take a lot away from a player.
Reid soaked up the championship party from stepping off the champagne-soaked course to converting her Waterford crystal trophy into a keg and chugging beer with caddy Ryan Desveaux.
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"We obviously partied pretty hard on Sunday," Reid said on Wednesday. “Des, more than me. I tried to be a little more sensible. "
For a good reason. Reid, a 33-year-old English woman, is one of the contestants to win the Women's PGA Championship in Aronimink.
But first some rest.
"Today was the first day I felt really tired," said Reid.
It has to be 100 percent to tackle the 6,577 meter long aronia mink, which was originally designed by Donald Ross and has hosted several prestigious championships. Here Gary Player won his first PGA Championship in 1962 with a shot over Bob Goalby. It was most recently the venue for the BMW Championship in the FedEx Cup Playoffs of the PGA Tour in 2018 when Keegan Bradley won.
Reid finished third in the tournament in Hazeltine, Minnesota last year and was ahead of her triumph in New Jersey last weekend in Portland, Oregon last month. Reid is a six-time Ladies European Tour winner, but she was more than overdue for an LPGA Tour title.
The relief was evident when she tapped a 2-foot birdie putt on Sunday's final hole, dropped her putter, and ran into Desveaux's arms.
"My life has changed for the better now, and yes, I will definitely be going back to Florida and partying with some friends and really wanting to enjoy it," Reid said.
She gets a bang in her second win from Thursday in a championship that has been postponed by three months due to the coronavirus pandemic. No fans were allowed on a nice, airy day of training with temperatures close to 80 degrees. Without fans, there is no need for bleachers, tents, and goods stores where spectators and corporate sponsors typically meet while they catch the best in women's golf.
The 132-player field competes for a purse of $ 4.3 million. The winner earns $ 645,000.
Reid, who won the LPGA Tour as the fourth player in her thirties this season, could use another big payday - she said the LPGA imposed an undisclosed sum on her because her celebration violated COVID-19 protocols .
"It wouldn't have been me if I hadn't gotten into trouble," said Reid. "I was just a little naughty."
The party runs in the family. The first call Reid made was to her father in England, and she knew where to find him - a pub called Black Swan.
Reid is trying to become the LPGA Tour's youngest big winner. This weekend, eight of the last nine great champions had never won one, including this year's champion Sophia Popov at the Women's British Open and Mirim Lee at ANA Inspiration. The exception was Jin Young Ko, who won two majors last year. Ko is number 1 in the world but stayed at home in South Korea during the pandemic.
Last year, Hannah Green took advantage of a steely feat at Hazeltine to make the women's PGA her first career win. She became the third wire-to-wire winner in the tournament's history.
"I didn't really think I'd be able to go from wire to wire at an event, let alone a big championship," said Green. “Although I fell a bit on the back nine, at the start of the back nine on the last lap I tried to make as many positive thoughts as possible and worked really well with my caddy to make sure I knew that I was still there. "
Green failed to defend her only other LPGA win at Portland in September, finishing three shots back. She hopes to be able to use the knowledge gained there to secure a second championship in a row.
"At least it gave me a little taste of what this week would be like," said Green. “Since I'm a major and I'm run by the PGA, of course I expected it to get bigger. So far I've felt this way. "
That could be bad news for the rest of the field.
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