Patrick Reed prepares for raucous reception at famed 17th

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Patrick Reed of the United States gives the thumbs up after winning the WGC-Mexico Championship golf tournament, at the Chapultepec Golf Club in Mexico City, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Patrick Reed has a plan for the famed par-3 17th at TPC Sawgrass.

“Just hit it in the middle of the green and take your medicine,” he said following his final practice round Wednesday before The Players Championship.

Reed was referring to his scorecard. He might as well have been talking about his spectators.

Reed is sure to hear some cheers and more jeers at one of golf’s most notorious holes, the one where casual fans spend countless hours drinking and raucously rooting for balls to find the murky water. The island green has taken center stage at the Stadium Course for decades and become a hot spot for hecklers.

And with Reed having become public enemy No. 1 on the PGA Tour, his first trek at No. 17 could be comical or cringe-worthy.

Reed insists nothing said would bother him.

“When I'm out there and I get inside the ropes, I'm full-on focusing about golf,” he said, adding that he spends a considerable amount of time discussing shots with his caddie and brother-in-law, Kessler Karain. “That's all the preparation we do during the week is to figure out, ‘OK, what greens are faster than others? What putts are faster than others and vice versa?’

“And, for us, we get so in tuned in golf that everything that goes on around us, it doesn't matter. We’re out there to grind and to go out and play good golf.”