Patrick Reed feared for his life during hospital stay, pneumonia battle before Tour Championship

It wasn’t the performance he wanted on Thursday at East Lake, but Patrick Reed isn’t disappointed.

After all, the opening round at the Tour Championship marked the first for Reed in about a month — and his first after a hospital stay for double pneumonia in Texas.

Reed feared for his life in hospital

Reed, who posted a 2-over 72 on Thursday, said he was afraid he was going to die in the hospital.

"First couple days they were sitting there telling me that 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,'' Reed said, via ESPN.

"With how the hospitals are these days because of COVID-19 and everything that's going on, it doesn't matter what's going on. They won't allow people in there, so it's only you in there. So 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."

Reed said that he wasn’t tested for the coronavirus in the hospital, but said that he is vaccinated.

The 31-year-old — who picked up his ninth career PGA Tour win earlier this season and is currently ranked No. 19 in the Official World Golf Rankings — last played at the World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational in August. He withdrew from The Northern Trust at the last minute with an ankle injury, but was hospitalized that Thursday.

"I was in there for ... it felt like I was in there forever," he said, via ESPN. "I think I was in there for five or six days. I don't know exactly how long, I don't remember the exact timeframe I was actually in the hospital, but it felt like an eternity.

"It hit me just like a brick. 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 and it was, it hit me so fast and it was so brutal."

Reed still eyeing Ryder Cup spot

Reed, despite missing the first two FedExCup Playoffs events, made it into the Tour Championship this week with the last spot in the 30-man field.

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After Thursday’s round, he’s now 2-over and only ahead of Hideki Matsuyama on the leaderboard. Patrick Cantlay leads the field at 13-under after 18 holes, though Jon Rahm remains the betting favorite on BetMGM at +175 despite sitting two back.

Though his goal isn’t to walk out of Atlanta with the Tour Championship trophy, Reed is just trying to get back to normal ahead of the Ryder Cup later this month — though he knows that U.S. team captain Steve Stricker will have to use one of his picks in order to still make the team.

"The biggest thing for me this week is just to see kind of where I'm at," Reed said, via ESPN. "And I know by Ryder Cup my game's going to be where it needs to be as long as I feel like my health is where it needs to be and as long as I feel like I can sustain through rounds of golf.

"It's like my third day back swinging a golf club. 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.”

Patrick Reed at the 2021 Tour Championship
Patrick Reed returned to the PGA Tour on Thursday after his battle with pneumonia. (AP/Brynn Anderson)