Patrick Reed was bestowed the honor of lifetime status on the European Tour and I cannot figure out why.
While Reed has played in quite a few European Tour events in his career – two this season – and made a run at the Race to Dubai last season, he was handed the honor that only three other American golfers have been handed.
Those three Americans are Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Tom Watson. All three of those guys are legends in the game of golf. They have won multiple major championships and were not only respected by their peers but also loved by fans of the game.
The same can’t be said about Patrick Reed, but European Tour Chief Executive Keith Pelley decided that Reed has done enough in his career on the PGA Tour and European Tour to bestow the honor on him.
"“Patrick’s masterful performance at Augusta National last April was full of character and determination, which is everything we’ve come to expect from him,” said Pelley. “Winning the Green Jacket meant he took his place among some of the game’s great players and we are delighted to give him further recognition with Honorary Life Membership of the European Tour, becoming just the fourth American after Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson to receive this prestigious award. “Patrick is a global player who has fully embraced the European Tour and he has been extremely popular with our fans wherever he has played because of that.”"
Reed, who won the 2018 Masters and is currently ranked 15th in the world, is an outlier. He isn’t well-liked by many of his peers and fans in America either love him for his brash ways or hate him for one of many reasons.
"“Words can’t really describe how proud I am right now,” said Reed. “It’s always been a dream of mine to be a worldwide player and play on both Tours. Now, to be able to fulfill that on the European Tour, and to travel the world and grow the game means so much to me. “For the European Tour to have faith in me and give me this opportunity means everything. I hope to show everyone and show the Tour how proud I am and represent the Tour really well in the game of golf. “It’s such an honor to be named alongside Jack, Arnold and Tom. They are legends of the game of golf, not just because of what they’ve done on the golf course, but because what they’ve done off the golf course. They have helped grow the game and grow their communities. That’s something I’m trying to do, to follow in their footsteps and grow the game of golf. I want to do it worldwide like those guys. To be part of such a small group is unbelievable and it’s hard to even talk about.”"
It’s very confusing to me that the European Tour would choose to hand this award to a guy who has won twice on the European Tour in his career while Tiger Woods, who is third all-time on the European Tour win list with 40 victories and three Open Championship wins, has not been bestowed this honor. Reed was gifted this honor before Phil Mickelson, who has 10 European Tour wins and has won the Open Championship. The list goes on, but the point has been made.
The question, however, is why?
You can see the full list of honorary European Tour members by clicking here.