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I'm playing the course, not Rory – Reed ready for Augusta tussle

Omnisport
NEWS
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51   //    08 Apr 2018, 06:23 IST
patrickreed - Cropped
Patrick Reed celebrates at Augusta

Masters leader Patrick Reed insists he will play the golf course and not Rory McIlroy when he bids to win a first major at Augusta on Sunday.

A dramatic 'moving day' saw Reed finish three strokes ahead of nearest challenger McIlroy on 14 under par for the tournament.

McIlroy had briefly pulled level with Reed thanks to an eagle at the eighth, but the American responded with a run of three birdies and eagled the 13th and 15th to at one stage hold a five-stroke lead.

But a bogey at 16 coupled with a McIlroy gain at the last changed the dynamic once more and set up what promises to be a blockbuster tussle for the green jacket.

Reed, though, insists his focus is on his own game and not the presence of McIlroy.

"I'm not out there to play Rory. I'm out there to play the golf course," he said. 

"At the end of the day, if I go out and I feel pleased with how I play then it should be an enjoyable Sunday night. 

"But really, I'm just going to go out there and enjoy the day, go out and play some golf and hopefully go out and shoot another round in the 60s. 

"It's going to be a lot of fun. Obviously, we're both playing really solid golf, and to be able to go into a final round on Sunday at the first major to go up against each other and go out and play some good golf, it's going to be a lot of fun to go out there. 

"I'm just going to do my thing and stick to my game plan and go out and enjoy my Sunday."

Reed and McIlroy famously faced off the 2016 Ryder Cup, with the former triumphing on that occasion at Hazeltine.

And Reed hopes to draw on the experiences of that victory on Sunday.

"It's probably one of the best matches we ever played. It was probably also one of the most exhausting matches we ever played," he added. 

"That first eight holes we played, there was so much emotion and so much good golf and kind of grind that I felt like at that point, it was just kind of like, let's go and try to play some normal golf and try to get going.

"But really, I mean, the biggest thing I can just pull from it is I was going up against, head to head with Rory and was able to put together a really good round and when he tried to make a counter I was able to always stay ahead and keep going." 

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