Where do I begin with Patrick Reed? Let’s start with yesterday and go from there. After watching yesterday‘s coverage of the Farmers Insurance Open, the golf world couldn’t help but notice that Patrick Reed had another run-in with the rules. After watching this take place and thinking about it, I posted a witty Facebook and Twitter post poking fun at Reed for it. Reed is on Twitter, so I tagged him in the post. Shortly before going to bed last night, I found out that he blocked me for it!
At first, I was very excited, as it means that he saw my post and felt so strongly about it that he found the need to block me. After that, all I could do was chuckle, because I knew that this was going to give me some great ammo to go after Reed with. And now, I’ve come to the realization that I kind of feel bad for Patrick Reed. This post is going to examine my relationship with Patrick Reed, as well as the chaos that surrounds him both on and off the course, and what I actually think of him.
I first met Reed several years ago at the 2015 WGC Bridgestone Invitational. It was during a practice round, so the atmosphere was very relaxed. Reed had just finished up his practice round and was signing autographs and taking pictures with the fans.
That’s when I first noticed something about him. He seems a little bit shy when it comes to the public. He was being pulled in all of these different direction with some people wanting autographs, some wanting pictures, and some just wanting to talk with him. In that moment, I noticed that to me, he looked lost trying to accommodate them all. He initially walked up to me and was going to take a picture with me when he got dragged in the other direction after I asked him if he would take a picture with me. When he started going the other way, I said, “Or not” loud enough so that he could hear it. He then turned around and said he would be right back, which I thought was nice considering I was sort of being an asshole to him. And he did come back and he autographed my golf magazine that had his picture on it and I got a picture with him. So my overall first impression of him was, this is a pretty nice guy. I really like him. And I did start pulling for him in different tournaments after that.
As we fast forward through the years, there have been all sorts of different rules infractions and other controversies in different tournaments involving Reed, most notably where Reed improved his lie in a waste area bunker at the Hero World Challenge in 2019 and for throwing 2018 Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk under the bus following the loss.
There have been allegations of Reed cheating in different events for years, with the most notable accusation coming from former CBS analyst Peter Kostis, saying he has seen Reed cheat on multiple occasions.
Reed also has an interesting family dynamic off of the course, as Alan Shipnuck discussed in depth in this well written article from golf.com in 2018.
With all of the chaos that surrounds Reed, I’d love to get inside his head and just look around for a little bit and see what in the world makes this guy tick. It seems like every time he finally goes back under the radar following a controversy, he gets involved in another rules controversy or has an issue with someone or something and goes right back into the headlines. I don’t think this man enjoys being in the spotlight in this way, yet he’s always in the spotlight for something questionable.
Is Patrick Reed a cheater? Yes. You’ve seen the incidents for yourself and you’ve seen the experts weigh in. All of the evidence is right there. Whether or not he intentionally violates the rules is up for debate, but it seems to be he has more trouble following the rules than others would. It seems like Reed tries to take the rules into his own hands and then tries to justify his actions afterwards if he’s wrong. In some ways, he’s like an average Joe weekend player when they are involved with a rules issue.
Some average Joe golfers don’t always know the proper protocol for different rules infractions, whether it’s relief from ground under repair, a lost ball, a ball in the water hazard or one of a myriad of other rules. In a way, some people look up to Reed for his actions, as they believe that if they were professionals, they would like to handle the rules the same way that Reed does. However, the majority of people frown on Reed‘s actions, as he doesn’t always follow the rules and it is not in the true spirit of the game.
I don’t know what it is about Reed that draws me to him. I like this guy because he has clearly embraced the villain role for the sport. Every sport has a villain: NASCAR has Kyle Busch, baseball has the Houston Astros, football has the Dallas Cowboys, and golf has Patrick Reed. So in many ways, I like the fact that he has embraced that villain role, but at the same time, I roll my eyes because clearly Patrick Reed does not have the best interest of the game in mind.
This won’t be the last issue involving Patrick Reed either. He’s one of the best players in the world right now and he will be for many more years to come. Even when his game starts to deteriorate, we’re bound to see him at least once a year, as he has the lifetime exemption into the Masters. Reed isn’t going away anytime soon.
I don’t know what to tell you to do about Patrick Reed moving forward. Some of you will continue to like him, some of you will continue to hate him, but I think most of all, I will just feel pity for this man. This man couldn’t handle my Twitter account, which only has 21 followers at the moment, poking fun at him, so he blocked me. I clearly knew what buttons to push to get him to tick.
Blocking someone because they don’t agree with you is wrong. Reed clearly can’t handle the blowback from his actions and this is how he copes. If he was a true villain, he would let the haters hate him and ignore their criticisms. Yet he takes the time to block them. Reed may come across as an arrogant prick or as someone who doesn’t care what you think of them on the outside, but this is a man who deep down inside, cares what other people think of him. I for one will continue to pity him, but I will also root for him, as I for one love a good redemption story.