Mel Reid believes British female golf has never been closer to ending its 23-year major void on US soil after winning her first LPGA Tour title on Sunday night.
Reid on Monday arrived at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in Philadelphia, having been in tears on the final 18th green at the Shoprite Classic when finally fulfilling her American dream.
With Georgia Hall prevailing in Portland two weeks before, this is the first time England has ever toasted winners in back-to-back LPGA tournaments. “There are so many of us playing so well and we should be confident going to Aronimink for the KPMG,” Reid said. “It is a great time for UK female golf.”
While Hall and the likes of Charley Hull and Bronte Law broke into the game’s elite in their early 20s with successes on the all-important US circuit, it has taken Reid far longer. The 33-year-old was tipped for big things as a 19-year-old when finishing in the top 20 of the 2007 Women’s Open and, although she has won six titles on the Ladies European Tour, she was unable to succeed on the biggest stage of all.
“People have been talking about my talent for a long time and I did never really get anywhere close to where I thought I would be,” she said. “A lot of emphasis goes to the younger players, which I’m 100 per cent with and the older you get in this game you do create a few scars. But I’ve worked my a— off to get here.
“I made a huge sacrifice moving to America, leaving my comfort zone, my friends and my family, and it’s paid off. I always wanted to be a world-class athlete, and to get the job done is a huge relief.”
Reid has risen to 35th in the world rankings, her highest position since 2011. It was the year after when her mother, Joy, was killed in a car crash. Reid somehow overcame her grief to win the next year, but it understandably held her back. She won her US card two years ago and relocated from Derbyshire.
As well as the social media who predicted on Saturday night “she’ll choke as always” – “That was the best thing I could have read,” Reid said – she credited her new mind coach Howard Falco with the “shift in mindset that has changed everything”.
“We’ve only been together for seven weeks and it’s been incredible,” she said, explaining how they have focused on her lack of self-worth. “That has been a big issue for me – whether I deserve stuff. It has added up over the years and it’s just created this wall that I have against myself that he’s trying to break down.”
Having finished third in the PGA last year, Reid knows she has what it takes. “Carlota [Ciganda, the Spanish pro] has told me that Aronimink is tough and I love that, because I do seem to like a bit of adversity,” Reid said. “Obviously my confidence is very high right now.”