Reed displayed talent, antics at Ryder Cup
By Stephanie Wei under Ryder Cup

Love him or hate him, Patrick Reed is certainly entertaining to watch, especially in the match play format. Reed missed a two-foot putt on the 16th in Saturday afternoon foursomes, which resulted in a spectator taunting him on the first tee during his Sunday singles match against Henrik Stenson.

Reed, who isn’t known for his popularity on the PGA Tour (though that may have changed a little with this week), wasn’t bothered by it and even had a chuckle himself.

On No. 1, it was a lot of fun,” said Reed. “Of course they’re going to heckle me, and, yeah, I missed a putt I probably could make on one foot left-handed the day before, and so they gave me a hard time about that. The putt was this far (indicating inches).”

Reed trailed early in the second match of the day, 1-down, before he reeled off three consecutive birdies. After he drained a 10-footer on no. 7, he immediately held up his finger to his mouth and shushed the crowd, which was probably the best American play of the week.

“The guys this week have been saying it just wasn’t as loud as it normally is at Ryder Cups,” said Reed after beating Stenson 1-up. “The European guys were saying that. The U.S. guys were saying that. And me being a rookie, I thought it was pretty loud.

“Since I made that putt, I can give them the hush sign — that’ll definitely get them going. It got them going. It got everyone going, not only the Europeans, but the U.S. side going, which is good to see. You know, it was just a lot of fun. It was all in fun.”

His wife Justine, who caddied for him before having the couple’s first child earlier this year, thought it was funny, but was also slightly discomforted by her husband’s antics.

“I would’ve been like, ‘Tone it down a little, please, honey, we’re in their country,’ said Justine, laughing, when asked for her reaction had she been on the bag. “But it was a great moment, I’ll never forget it. It was a great putt, too. I think he was just trying to have fun with the crowds. I just started laughing, I thought it was funny. But that’s just him in a nutshell, you don’t know what to expect sometimes.”

However, he played to the crowds all day.

“It was awesome,” said Reed of the fans. “In the beginning they were cheering loud for both sides, which is awesome. To go in and have Henrick make a long putt for birdie (on no. 7), the crowd absolutely went nuts, which I would expect. Then I made one on top of him and I gave them the hush sign, which I was doing it all in fun to get the guys going and get everyone going.

“It was awesome after that. It got the European side really fired up and really roaring and it go the US side really fired and really roaring. It was one of most fun rounds of golf I’ve ever played.”

Reed’s competitiveness and dynamic reactions didn’t stop at no. 7.

When I saw the match was all square, I decided to catch up with the pair at the turn. On no. 11, Reed went 1-up for the first time after he drained a 15-footer for birdie. He turned to the crowd and raised one knee up and pumped his fists multiple times while hollering, “Yeaaaahhh!!!”

Reed strutted to the 12th tee with confidence and flushed a drive down the middle. He drained another putt for birdie to go 2-up and celebrated in style again.

A bogey on the 13th dropped him to just 1-up. Then, on 15, the Ryder Cup rookie pulled his drive left into the hay. Although there were about 20 people looking for the ball, no one could find it and Reed was forced to go back to the tee to play another. He ended up with a double-bogey, bringing the match back to all square.

It looked like the momentum would swing to Stenson, but Reed was too tough and didn’t let the mistake get to him.

“I think he just realized real quick we’re square, it’s back to even,” said Justine. “We’ve got to do something the next few holes. And then he hit a good shot right after that, which is great, and they were all square going into 18.

“I told him (before he left this morning) that if you go into 18, you’re winning it. He goes, ‘I know.’”

That’s exactly what he did. Reed hit a nice drive down the middle, then knocked a solid second shot onto the green before he two-putted for birdie. Meanwhile, Stenson had a four-footer for the halve, but missed the putt.

Reed put the first point of the day on the board for the Americans. Turned out he also won 3.5 points total in four matches, which made him America’s top scorer. Not too shabby for a rookie.

He got the job done, but it just wasn’t enough for the U.S. team, which lost its eighth Ryder Cup in 10 attempts.

“My one role, when I came in here, I thought that I could really fire up the team and get them going just because I’m a fiery kind of guy,” said Reed. “At the end of the day, you know, just wasn’t enough and we didn’t get the job done.”

By the looks of it, Reed will certainly have many more chances at bringing the Cup back home. He’s proved he’s a force to be reckoned with, not to mention a great villain (I mean that in the best way possible). Let’s be real, the Americans could use a few more Patrick Reeds — well, at least more players who are just as feisty, entertaining and polarizing.

“This is the best event I’ve ever played in my life,” said Reed. “Just to get to know these guys and to be out here means a lot to me. I definitely want to be back and I’ll definitely be trying even harder just to come back.”

While Reed followed the other matches still going on, he happily posed for pictures with American and European fans alike, and interacted with fans as they made the “shhhhhh” sign when he walked past with a big smile on his face (the other Americans looked like someone had just run over their puppies). It was unclear at times whether Reed was aware that his team had lost.