Patrick Reed isn’t winning himself any friends on the PGA Tour.
Reed — who became known as Captain America during the 2016 Ryder Cup when he put on a show that included a dramatic singles match against Rory McIlroy — was a non-factor last week at the 2018 Ryder Cup. Reed was used to being paired with Jordan Spieth, but instead found himself teamed with Tiger Woods for Friday four-ball, sitting out Friday foursomes, with Woods again during Saturday four-ball, and sitting again during Saturday foursomes.
Reed was unable to get any momentum going next to Tiger, who has always struggled to find a suitable partner in the Ryder Cup. Reed finished this year’s event with a 1-2-0 record thanks to a Sunday singles win over Tyrrell Hatton.
Of course, everyone was wondering why the dynamic duo that appeared to fuel the 2016 U.S. team to victory was broken up, and now we may have an answer.
In an interview with the New York Times, Reed made the following statement regarding the break-up:
"“The issue’s obviously with Jordan not wanting to play with me,” Reed said, adding, “I don’t have any issue with Jordan. When it comes right down to it, I don’t care if I like the person I’m paired with or if the person likes me as long as it works, and it sets up the team for success. He and I know how to make each other better. We know how to get the job done.”"
Reed, whose ego appears to be larger than anyone else’s on the PGA Tour, then claimed, “For somebody as successful in the Ryder Cup as I am, I don’t think it’s smart to sit me twice.”
Reed is correct that he’s been successful at the Ryder Cup. But if he was truly that good, being paired with Tiger Woods should not have had any effect on the way he played. And honestly, he played horribly.
In the press conference after Europe won, both Spieth and Reed — who were sitting at opposite ends of the table in front of media — were asked about being split up. The two looked at each other quickly and then Spieth answered, “We were totally involved in every decision that was made,” Spieth said, “Jim allowed it to be a player-friendly environment.”
Apparently, it’s a good thing Spieth jumped on the question first because Reed told the Times he was ready to light up the room like Phil Mickelson did in 2014 regarding Tom Watson’s captaincy.
"“I was looking at him like I was about to light the room up like Phil in ’14,” Reed said."
However Reed feels about the split, Spieth obviously stands on the other end of the spectrum as he had a very successful week, minus his Sunday singles loss to Thorbjørn Olesen. Spieth went 3-2-0 and didn’t sit out any matches. He was paired with his buddy Justin Thomas, and the two had no issues and were successful. They combined for three of the U.S.’s six points heading into the singles matches on Sunday.
Looking at the team, it is both easy to see why the duo was broken up and why they should have remained together. Taking two guys who have proven successful in team events and pairing them with Tiger (who has struggled with partners) and a Ryder Cup rookie (Thomas) shouldn’t surprise anyone. It did, however, make a few other pairings change like the successful Presidents Cup pairing of Rickie Fowler and Thomas became Fowler and Dustin Johnson. That, in turn, changed the Dustin Johnson-Brooks Koepka pairing into Koepka and Ryder Cup rookie Tony Finau.
Would the outcome of this year’s Ryder Cup have been different if familiar teams had played together? Maybe, but we will never know and can only speculate that having JT and Rickie as well as DJ and Brooks paired together would have resulted in more matches won.
However, if Reed’s final statement in the Times interview is to be believed, he should be able to understand what Captain Jim Furyk may have been trying to achieve in agreeing to split the duo:
"“Every day, I saw ‘Leave your egos at the door,’” Reed said. Referring to the Europeans, he added, “They do that better than us.”"
It’s obvious that more was at work behind the scenes and if Spieth didn’t want to play alongside Reed anymore. I honestly don’t think anyone could blame him. There has been plenty written about Reed’s character, especially after his win at the Masters earlier this year. So I won’t go into any of that and will leave you to draw your own conclusions.
Making matters worse, a Twitter account that looks to belong to Reed’s wife Justine, made a few controversial statements on Sunday. The account ripped the Reed/Spieth split and also took shots at a Golf Channel editor. When asked about the tweets she gave strange comments to Golf.com writer Dylan Dethier:
"Asked to confirm that the account is hers, she said, “I can’t really say. I don’t know.” When pressed for details, Justine declined to comment further."
How do you not know if you made statements on Twitter? Either you did, or you didn’t and saying, “I can’t really say,” makes it obvious you probably did and didn’t think anyone would notice.
Here are the statements made on Twitter by the account:
Sometimes it’s best to just check your ego at the door. But maybe that’s asking too much of players who are used to supporting only themselves and no one else. That said, we often see Jordan Spieth sticking around to congratulate other players who win PGA Tour events. I can’t remember seeing Reed do that after any.