LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s Melissa Reid turned into a rebel with a cause after suffering a family bereavement in 2012 and only in the last few months has she been able to put her grief to one side and focus fully on golf again.
Reid lost her mother and chief motivator Joy in a road accident in Germany three years ago and for a long time she was lost in a fog of despair.
“I used to hate talking about it but I feel I’ve been on a massive journey and I‘m coming out of it now,” the 28-year-old told Reuters in an interview during the European Masters at the Buckinghamshire Golf Club on the outskirts of London.
”I‘m happy to talk about it now and I‘m quite proud about that. A year ago I wasn’t so proud of who I was and the way I was dealing with things.
“I think I was rebelling a bit. I was working really hard ... but I was just basically wasting my time because things weren’t clicking, they weren’t getting into my head,” added the Englishwoman.
“All of a sudden in December I felt a weight lifting off my shoulders and since then I’ve kind of got my head back into it. I’ve become such a different person, eventually all the struggle has made me much stronger.”
Reid, who played in Europe’s 2011 Solheim Cup triumph but missed out on the 2013 win in Colorado, marked her golfing rebirth by capturing the fifth tour victory of her career at the Turkish Open in May.
She occupies second place in the order of merit and seems certain to be back in the team when Europe aim to land an unprecedented third win in a row at the Solheim Cup, the women’s equivalent of the Ryder Cup, in Germany in September.
“I‘m saying I was a bit of a rebel but I wasn’t going out and doing drugs or anything like that...I just wasn’t interested in a lot of things,” said Reid, who was eight shots behind leader Caroline Masson of Germany after the third round at the Buckinghamshire on Saturday.
”It’s very hard being in the environment I‘m in, constantly putting on a face. I was having to go out and almost put on an acting face and I just got a bit tired of it, at the end of the day I was just feeling sad.
”Now I feel completely different,“ added Reid. ”I don’t want to not talk about it because I don’t want people to forget what sort of woman my mum was and also if I can help just one person by saying, ‘Look, this is really awful but time is a healer’.
“You never ever forget what happened, you never ever forget the pain but you must use it almost like energy. Giving up is the easy thing to do and if I can change just one person’s thinking, that’s more than I could have hoped for at the time.”
Reid is still rebelling to some degree, this time against the wishes of her backroom team.
Even though it does not fit in with the archetypal lifestyle of a professional golfer, Reid likes having fun playing minor league soccer and by cycling, snowboarding and skydiving.
”I now know what’s right and wrong for me although it might not be right for other players,“ she explained. ”Luckily my trainer, my caddie, my manager trust me with that and that’s why things are going a lot better.
”The way I switch off is to play competitive football with the Loughborough Foxes in the Northern Premier League. Of course it conflicts with my golf but I stopped playing for about a year and I played awful so I’ve started playing again this season.
“I also snowboard in the winter, I go out on the bike too and I once went on a skydive during a golf tournament in Australia,” said Reid.
“All my mates at home are sporty-type girls so everything that gets me into trouble I kind of get drawn into. I’ve grown up with all that stuff so it would be weird for me to read a book or something when I‘m not playing golf.”
Editing by Mark Meadows