Patrick Reed capped off one of the worst weeks of his professional career with a WGC victory. He explains how he doesn't let negativity affect him
If you think the Golfing Gods exist then try Patrick Reed’s week in Mexico. Most players would already be on some sort of sabbatical from the blows rained down from his day out on the beach building sand castles down in the Bahamas. Most players would then have ‘stepped aside’ for some time after the Presidents Cup and all that went with that.
Most players would have been on the first plane out of Chapultepec this week after Brooks Koepka and, more notably, Peter Kostis had finished with him. If there was any doubt as to whether the Bahamas might have been an aberration then the former CBS man put that one to bed.
“I’ve seen Patrick Reed improve his lie, up close and personal, four times now,” explained Kostis. “He put four or five clubs behind the ball, kind of faking whether he’s going to hit this shot or that shot. By the time he was done, he hit a frickin’ 3-wood out of there. When I saw it, it was a sand wedge lay-up originally.”
Kostis is now done with CBS and can say what he likes, the over-riding conclusion being that Reed is the wrong ‘un that most had suspected.
You can question someone’s pace of play or their shambolic efforts to pay a caddie but this goes well beyond any of that. The watching world is calling you a cheat.
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“They (his team-mates) all hate him – any guys that were on the team with him [at Georgia] hate him and that’s the same way at Augusta [State]. I don’t know that they’d piss on him if he was on fire, to tell you the truth.”
No further questions, thank you Presidents Cup team-mate Kevin Kisner.
What sort of team-mate would sidle off after a Ryder Cup trouncing, a hammering where you’ve been miles off the pace, and give a private interview on what he thought had just gone wrong while the European corks were still popping?
The day after the Bahamas Reed made a last-round charge with a 66. Reed might not follow what’s written about him, Team Reed take care of that, but even in the rarefied air of the Bahamas everyone was on to him.
We didn’t need much of a reminder but we got one loud and clear; Patrick Reed couldn’t care less what anyone thinks of him. When he’s done with golf he should move into life coaching specialising in ‘How to overcome setbacks’ or ’10 easy steps to be your own person’. Maybe some motivational speaking?
He’ll hit balls on his own, play practice rounds on his own, won’t be part of any Spring Break cliques or Open Championship frat houses. His peers won’t be queuing up to partner him in team competitions or chairlift him off the 18th green when he does win.
Bryson DeChambeau, interestingly, was there to shake his hand in Mexico after he was pipped by Reed.
“There’s been a lot of stuff said with him – and even with me – and I feel like unfortunately sometimes we get quite a bad rap,” DeChambeau explained. “And yeah, there’s things that we’ve done that hasn’t been right but we’re still trying to provide great entertainment. We understand each other’s pain sometimes.”
Reed is now back up to 8th in the world – only three spots off his 2014 claim when he won his first WGC that he’s a top-5 player – and, in among all the gym bunnies and technicians and scientists and future Hall of Famers, nobody looks more comfortable with a club in their hands or coming down the stretch.
Maybe it’s the putting stroke – he had 45 one-putts in Mexico – or the manner in which he hits it both ways with the twirled finish for a fade or the sensational short game but he’s some talent.
The final word goes to Reed and how he blocks out the bad noise. For anyone else this was the week from hell, PReed though just carries on regardless.
“I’ve been able to do that really well throughout my career, and growing up when I get inside the ropes around the course, I just focus on what I need to do. I’m used to it. If I feel like I’m improving each day on and off the course and setting a good example for the next generation coming up, the children, as well as my own children, then that’s all I can do, and I feel like I’ve been doing a good job of that.”