SAN FRANCISCO – Mel Reid declined to say what was said but revealed she texted Brooks Koepka on Tuesday and finished FaceTiming with him for an hour. Reid called Koepka’s advice “invaluable” and said it gave her a different approach heading into the 76th US Women’s Open at the Olympics.
“I’m just trying to be a little more like Brooks, honestly,” said Reid after an open 4 under 67 to take the lead early on.
Koepka and Reid played a lot of gambling at the Floridian National Golf Club when she lived in South Florida. Occasionally she would take his money. Reid has since moved to Jacksonville, Florida after his partner Carly Grenfell got a job with the PGA Tour.
Reid likes the harshness of Olympic. She even wants to win this week, or somewhere near there.
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“It’s an amazing golf course,” she said. “As soon as I switched over here I thought this was the kind of golf course we wanted to play.”
Angel Yin, backed by an eagle and a birdie on the last two holes, got a 68 to sit inside one of Reid’s. For a while it looked like Jessica Korda might have been the one who opened up a massive lead, but four bogeys over five holes brought her down to 1 over. Over the relentless course of the lake, no lead is secure, she said.
“You can never breathe,” Korda said. “Even when you’re on the green and you’ve had a good shot.”
Reid, 33, may actually have a distant connection to the historic Olympics. She’s not sure actually, but Wilfrid Reid, a protégé of Harry Vardon who designed the original Lakeside Golf Club course in 1917, could be linked. (The property was then converted into two courses, the lake and the ocean.)
“Apparently he’s my great-uncle,” Reid said. “I was thinking about it, and his middle name is Arthur. My father’s name is Arthur, after his grandfather, and he’s from Nottingham, which is just down the street. It actually makes a lot of sense. “
Reid said she was trying to examine the possible relationship but had not confirmed anything. In another interesting twist, Wilfrid Reid was a golf professional at Seaview Golf Club in Galloway, New Jersey, the site of Mel Reid’s first LPGA win last October at the ShopRite LPGA Classic. Wilfrid Reid’s best US Open result was a share of fourth in 1916.
Reid arrived this week feeling fairly comfortable with her game. She is in a good place in life, happily engaged, and has moved to a new home that she and Grenfell recently bought.
“I’m just trying to keep the mind very, very calm,” she said last week.
Reid thinks his strength is an advantage at the Olympics, given how tough it is. She works hard in the gym and has always been a complete athlete, playing elite level football for years while competing in the Ladies European Tour.
“I wanted to be a professional snowboarder,” said Reid, “so I always say I’m a snowboarder who plays golf.”
She recently started surfing, too.
Reid’s flat-billed hat certainly stands out on the LPGA because there aren’t many of them on tour. For the month of June, its cover also features the pride logo of its sponsor Pega throughout LGBT pride month.
In December 2018, Reid publicly disclosed her sexuality and became a professional Athlete Ally Ambassador. The goal, she said, is to fight for inclusion, to be a voice for those who can fight. Say, “I support you. “
When asked recently if going publicly has lightened a load, Reid said it actually had the opposite effect. She was open to closer scrutiny, of course, but she also felt an overwhelming responsibility.
“Now I feel very comfortable,” she said, “and I’m proud to do what I do, but it’s a responsibility that I want in a way… it’s a privilege to have that kind of responsibility. If you have a platform and you’re trying to change things.