Melissa Reid: I was a golfing robot before my mother's death

Melissa Reid at the British Open
Melissa Reid says one of her goals for 2015 is to make the Solheim Cup team

British golfer Melissa Reid admits she was a golfing "robot" who rebelled in the wake of her mother's untimely death two years ago.

Now she is celebrating her most important victory having returned to the winner's circle at the Turkish Airlines Open on the Ladies European Tour (LET).

Reid's tale of triumph and tragedy is impossible to ignore. This was a result that tells us she has righted a career that was in danger of toppling out of control.

It is interesting to recall her early life when Reid, 27, was threatening to turn a singular sport into a team pursuit. She had a support staff of 11 people when she turned professional eight years ago.

It has long since been a more streamlined approach for the Derby professional and now she is reaping the rewards that come from becoming a much more rounded individual.

Reid was programmed to be a top golfer. She was part of Sir Clive Woodward's British Olympic Association project when he assembled an expert team of support staff to assist the youngster.

Sir Clive Woodward
Melissa Reid benefited from Sir Clive Woodward's British Olympic Association development programme

Rugby kicking guru Dave Alred helped with the mental side as Woodward catered for every detail. There was a nutritionist, fitness advisor and Reid was even given an 'eye coach' to help with her vision skills.

And it seemed to work as she smoothly transitioned into the professional game. Reid was LET Rookie of the Year in 2008 and the following season she enjoyed eight top-10 finishes.

In 2010 Reid recorded her first win and was third in the money list. Two more victories followed a year later when she made her Solheim Cup debut.

Then as she prepared for the 2012 German Masters her mother Joy was killed when her parents' car was involved in a head-on collision. Mum and Dad were on their way back to their Munich hotel after watching their daughter practising.

Astonishingly Reid won in Prague just four weeks later but thereafter golf understandably became less of a priority.

Life well and truly caught up with someone who had otherwise been provided for in every aspect of an all-consuming career.

"I was certainly rebelling at a lot of things," Reid told BBC Sport. "You know, I'm a human being and I thought that was the best way to deal with things.

Melissa Reid at the Dubai Ladies Masters, 2014
Reid admits last year's tournament in Dubai was a turning point in her outlook on the game

"It certainly makes things sweeter that I've come out of it and I'm very proud of the help I've had and what I've done and who I am now."

Reid credits her coach Kevin Craggs for the change in her fortunes and admits it was not just his insight on the range that made the difference.

"In Dubai at the end of last year, me and Kev had a 'boot camp' ahead of the Dubai Ladies Masters," she revealed.

"Things still weren't right and he was still trying to work me out. I remember sitting down with him at breakfast and basically I just spilled my heart out like I've never done before.

"I found it quite difficult to do, but as soon as I did that I felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders. Then we kind of figured out what the process was to move forward.

"I think for the first time in a long, long time I've wanted it again. I've not wanted it for anybody else or thought I should have it because everybody tells me I should have it.

"I've wanted it, stepped it up a little bit and I've got the rewards immediately, pretty much."

Melissa Reid and Laurent Blanc
Reid played in a football match against French World Cup winner Laurent Blanc in 2012

Reid admits that prior to her mother's death, she had been programmed to be a golfing robot rather than someone who could cope with the vagaries of life. "One hundred percent," she told me.

"I think I was very much protected. I had a lot of people do a lot of things for me and when something like that happens to you in your life, you have to step up.

"It makes you realise a lot about yourself and there were a lot of things I didn't particularly like about myself. I thought I was pretty much invincible and all I thought about was golf.

"So if there is any positive that's come out of it, and it may sound clichéd, I've certainly discovered myself.

"I'm certainly not a robot, I'm a human being and I want to be the best person I can be as well as the best golfer I can be.

"Before all I thought about was golf."

Reid believes she can now play at her best but with the perspective that there are more important things in life than her sport.

Melissa Reid at the Solheim Cup in 2011
Reid was in the Solheim Cup side that lifted the trophy at Killeen Castle in 2011

Once surrounded by an extensive team of advisors, her support set-up is lot more conventional these days.

And the main team element in future is more likely to be a return to the Solheim Cup side for Europe's defence of the trophy in September.

"That was one of my goals before the start of the year," said Reid, who satisfies her thirst for team sport by playing football in her spare time.

"Hopefully this win has made Carin (Koch - Europe's captain) notice me a little bit more and it's pretty good timing to have won in Solheim year.

"I'd be absolutely buzzing to get back in the team."

Reid was in the side that won at Killeen Castle in 2011. She would return with a hard-earned perspective on life.

The knowledge that "it is only a game" might just be a key asset to Europe's quest for a hat-trick of wins over the United States. It certainly helped Reid in Turkey last week.

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