May
20
2015
The mysterious case of Patrick Reed’s late withdrawal from Wentworth (*Update)
By Stephanie Wei under European PGA Tour

The ever-unpredictable Patrick Reed was scheduled to play at the European Tour’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, along with next week’s Irish Open at Royal County Down, which world no. 1 Rory McIlroy is hosting for the first time. However, he unexpectedly withdrew from both events on Monday. The strange part is that instead he’s entered in the PGA Tour’s Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas.

His management company IMG cited “family reasons,” according to the Telegraph.

What’s interesting is that Reed didn’t let tournament organizers know of his late no-show until Monday, yet PGA Tour rules state that players must commit to an event before 5pm EST the Friday prior to the week of the event. So, he let three days pass before officially pulling out of Wentworth? Weird.

“I am really looking forward to playing on the European Tour this year which makes me even more disappointed to withdraw from Wentworth and the Irish Open,” said Reed in a statement. “We will not be able to travel overseas at this time. My sincere apologies go to the organizers of both events, and to the fans. Thank you all for your support.”

Rumors swirled around the event regarding the actual reason for his late withdrawal (which, if true, sounds legitimate enough).

Reed, who is currently the world no. 15, gained notoriety and fame for his spectacular performance and amusing antics — which, of course, included him raising his finger to his lips and “shushing” the crowd after he holed a putt — at last fall’s Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in Scotland. He apparently enjoyed the experience so much that he returned across the pond to compete in the World Matchplay Championship at the London Club.

In January he earned more fanfare in Europe when he announced that he had decided to take up membership with the European Tour. He tweeted a photo of his badge:

Reed’s move to become a more global player breaks from the normal mode for a top American golfer — usually, PGA Tour pros are only lured to other parts of the world with the promise of generous appearance fees.

Reed expressed his excitement to compete on the European Tour as recently as the final round of the Players Championship, according to the Daily Mail.

“I know it’s not something Americans have been doing in recent years but I don’t know why, it’s certainly something I’ve always wanted to do,’ said Reed. “This is me, fulfilling my dream to play both tours.”

He even told the Mail that he welcomed the less-than-ideal conditions, which players don’t have to deal with regularly on the PGA Tour.

“I hear it might be cold and windy … but, hey, I don’t care,’ he said. “That’s what it’s about for me, to play different courses in different conditions and see how my game stacks up. Is that going to make you a better player in the long run? For sure.”

Reed also voiced aspirations to play on both Tours for more than just a season.

“I know a lot of players struggle to make it work playing both tours, so there is a sense of let’s see how it plays out this year and whether I can make it work,” he said. “But to be honest, if I’ve got the option to play both, I’ll most likely fulfill it. Right now, I’m qualified this year and next, and I’ll definitely be taking up that option.”

As Reed said in his statement earlier this week, he still plans to carry out his commitment to the European Tour, but for now, it’s unclear when his first start will take place. Perhaps the Scottish Open, which is held the week prior to the Open Championship?

Had Reed not withdrawn, he would have been the first American player of his class to make a start at the BMW PGA Championship in over a decade.

*Update: My bad. I’m behind in the news. Reed withdrew because of the death of his wife’s cousin, Greg Harness, according to Golf Digest.

Reed committed to Colonial on Friday within 30 minutes of the deadline. He wanted to back himself up and sleep on his decision to pull out of the two Euro events. Golf Digest was told Reed called the European Tour on Saturday morning. The news didn’t come out until Monday.