By Mark Lamport-Stokes
SCOTTSDALE, Arizona (Reuters) - Already established as one of the best players in the game, American Patrick Reed has set his sights on making a bigger splash at the majors this year while also improving his consistency week-by-week.
The 24-year-old Texan has climbed to 15th in the world rankings after winning four PGA Tour titles during the past 18 months, a meteoric rise for someone who had not competed in a major until last season.
"That's the one missing piece for me right now, being able to contend and trying to win a major," Reed told Reuters at this week's Waste Management Phoenix Open. "I know that will come with experience and hopefully this year will be that time.
"I only played my first majors last year but I was able to see what they were like. I made just two cuts, but on the Sunday I wasn't even a factor.
"I just want to keep improving, and have a chance coming down the stretch on a Sunday to at least make some noise at a major."
Reed clinched his fourth PGA Tour title at the winners-only Hyundai Tournament of Champions at Kapalua in Hawaii earlier this month, beating fellow American Jimmy Walker in a playoff.
With that success, he joined Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia as the only players over the past 20 years to have won four times on the U.S. circuit under the age of 25 but readily admits he does not share that trio's consistency.
"I have only been out here on Tour for a couple of years while Rory has been out here a long time so that experience is definitely going to pay off," said Reed.
"You know how to handle some different situations so I think that's partly to do with it. I definitely want to make my percentage of top-10s better ... just to get that consistency better."
This season has already been proof positive of that inconsistency with Reed having posted just one top-10 in four PGA Tour starts.
At last week's Humana Challenge, he fluctuated between the exceptional and mediocre as he recorded scores of 65, 70, 67 and 71.
"I kind of played well one day and didn't play very well the next," he said. "That was the reason why I wasn't able to be closer to the lead going into the final round and have a chance to win the event.
"That's something that I need to work on and improve on."
Reed's biggest victory so far came at the elite WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral last March, where he brashly claimed he was "one of the top five players in the world," though his form since has been erratic.
"Everyone is trying to be the best in the world, but that's going to take a long time," he smiled. "It's nothing that happens overnight, that's for sure.
"But winning at Kapalua just kind of backs up that I'm moving in the right direction, I'm on the right path."
(Editing by Frank Pingue)