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Sports Authority

Mulvena: Reed damaged his image at Ryder Cup

| Friday, October 5, 2018

I wrote a Sports Authority around the time of the 2018 Masters in which I claimed that Patrick Reed’s victory was bad for golf. I actually received quite a few emails after that column was published telling me that I was perhaps a bit too harsh on the Masters Champion who was supposedly trying to revamp his image.

Well, another Ryder Cup is in the books after this passed weekend, and the U.S did not look great, to say the least. After a U.S victory in 2016, the Europeans are celebrating in the Ryder Cup aftermath this year, winning the cup by a score of 17.5-10.5. But after this year’s Ryder Cup, one thing remains the same — Patrick Reed is still the absolute worst.

One thing that really taints the United States team’s image in the history of the Ryder Cup is the way it handles defeat. When the Europeans lose, as they did in 2016, they tip their cap, look inward as a team and accept the defeat with some semblance of grace. When the U.S loses, the post-tournament Sunday press conference becomes an episode of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.” Blame is thrown, awkward silence ensues covering obvious internal tension and drama surrounds every media narrative for the week.

And who was the main culprit of this elementary school locker room attitude this year? Who else, but Patrick Reed. If you don’t know much about Patrick Reed, I encourage you to read my column on his Masters victory. But really, how he handled the Ryder Cup drama is about all you need to know to understand how Reed is perceived on tour.

First, Reed was upset that he didn’t get paired with Jordan Spieth considering how well the two have fared in Ryder Cups of the past. Reed implied that Spieth asked to be paired with Justin Thomas, Spieth’s longtime friend, instead.

Reed went on to say: The issue’s obviously with Jordan not wanting to play with me. 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.”

Yeah, I wonder why Jordan didn’t want to play with you, Patrick.

Plus, it’s patently ridiculous to blame this for the United States’ loss considering the fact that Justin Thomas was literally the only bright light in a dreary performance by the Americans.

Reed kept quiet in the team press conference for the most part, and when a question was directed to he and Spieth about the pair not being together, Reed let Spieth take over and offer some awkward response that clearly hid animosity between the two. It was clear something was up. When the two were asked if they were surprised they had not been paired together, they exchanged looks before Spieth took over, and the transcript of the press conference even displays the tension. It reads, “PATRICK REED: (Looking at Jordan; Jordan looking back at Patrick, both smiling).” But Reed said nothing. Of course, his wife would take to Twitter to respond to claims made about Reed’s immaturity, as she claimed the problem was actually with Spieth, as if any self-respecting golf fan would side with Reed on this one.

Reed made all of his complaints after the team press conference, when he made himself available for interviews over the phone. Karen Krouse of The New York Times managed to put all of his gripes together in an article really worth reading. But the fact that he didn’t even have the gusto to be genuine at the team press conference just makes this all the more petty.

Patrick Reed is a fantastic golfer, and one of the best American Ryder Cup players of all time, but one wonders how all of this drama will really affect his legacy when it’s all said and done.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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