Ryder Cup: In defence of Patrick Reed

Patrick Reed

In taking aim at Jordan Spieth in the aftermath of the USA’s heaviest Ryder Cup defeat since 2006, Patrick Reed has been heavily criticised.

Speaking to the New York Times, Reed said Spieth didn’t want to be paired with him, which caused captain Jim Furyk to shuffle his pairings.

Cue outrage and accusations of Reed “washing his dirty laundry in public”.

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But does the Masters champ have a point?

You better believe he does.

If what he says is true, Reed headed into the match at Le Golf National thinking he’d get paired with Spieth. To be honest, why would he think anything different? In just two Ryder Cups (2014 and 2016), the duo teamed-up to become the most successful US Ryder Cup pairing of all-time. Between the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup, their record as a pairing in team golf is a formidable 7-1-2.

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With a record like that, the decision to split them up couldn’t have been for golfing reasons. Not possible. So, the implication appears to be one of two things: Spieth has an issue with Reed that he can’t park in the interests of his team; or he just wanted to play with his buddy Justin Thomas.

Whichever is the case, neither paints Spieth in a great light.

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You might even go so far as to say he undermined the entire efforts of the American team by putting personal preference above the best interests of the team.

It also raises questions about what implications Spieth’s “requirements” had on other planned US pairings. Just how much did Furyk have to alter his strategy to accommodate what Spieth wanted?

Undoubtedly, there are now questions for Jordan to answer – and Reed is entirely within his rights to ask them.

Patrick Reed 3

That, though, appears to be the problem: it’s Reed asking the questions of Spieth. One wonders how different the reaction might have been had the roles been reversed. What if Jordan had been the one asking questions and making observations about Reed? Would people have been more sympathetic?

You have to think so.

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Spieth, after all, is affectionately regarded as the ‘Golden Child’, while Reed is treated more like the ‘Difficult Teenager’.

Much of that, Reed has brought on himself. But in this instance, the criticism of him is a little unfair. People shouldn’t let their dislike of him or his past misdemeanours influence how they judge a relevant and compelling observation.

It’s now over to Spieth to respond.

Patrick Reed - Your thoughts?

What did you make of Patrick Reed's comments about Jordan Spieth? Do you think he was right to question the decision to split up their partnership? Or do you think he was out of line?

Leave your thoughts in our Comments section below.

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