Last year, when Sergio Garcia finally broke his bogey and won his first major, the golfing world celebrated with him.
This year didn’t quite go as well, with Sergio tying the record for highest ever score on a single hole with his 13 at Augusta’s 15th hole. You can watch him hit five balls in a row into the water here, but we will leave that trainwreck alone for the time being.
Despite final round surges by Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, Patrick Reed managed to claim this year’s Green Jacket, but you’ll find significantly less celebration amongst those who love the game.
THE “TOP FIVE” COMMENT
Reed won his first tournament just days after his 23rd birthday and, seven months later, had three titles to his name. That got him reflecting on his standing in the golf world.
“I have three wins on the PGA Tour,” he said in 2014 after winning a WGC event. “I truly believe that I am a top-five player in the world.”
He continued. “I don’t see a lot of guys that have done that besides Tiger Woods and the legends of the game. I believe in myself, especially with how hard I’ve worked. I’m one of the top five players in the world. I feel like I’ve proven myself.”
…It was the kind of quote that followed him everywhere and was thrown back in his face after every missed cut or weekend blow-up.
That’s not really all that bad, but it drew heat because of what came before.
ARRESTS, CHEATING, THEFT, DISMISSALS AND TEAMMATE HATRED
Reed, heavily recruited out of his hometown of Augusta, played one year at SEC power Georgia but was dismissed from the team for reasons still unknown. In his book about the PGA Tour, Shane Ryan said there was a code of silence regarding Reed’s time at UGA, describing it as a type of “golf omerta.”
Ryan brought up whispers that Reed had cheated on the course during a qualifying round (trying to hit a better-positioned ball that wasn’t his), reported better scores than he’d actually shot and may have stolen from teammates ($400 and a Scotty Cameron putter, Ryan’s source said). Reed denied these claims and said he was ousted for multiple alcohol arrests. According to reports, those incidents were nothing more than the usual college-kid stupidity.
But a Georgia assistant coach released a statement saying that Ryan’s report was accurate and that UGA chose not to associate with “Patrick as a person.”
…He didn’t socialize [sic] with his teammates and was so disliked that, allegedly, before Augusta State faced off in match play against Georgia with the NCAA championship on the line, Reed’s teammates told star Georgia player Harris English that while they wanted to win the title, they hoped he’d beat Reed.
In November 2014 he was heard using a homphobic slur in an expletive-laden rant at himself. “Nice f***ing three-putt, you f***in’ faggot,” Reed was picked up by the microphone as saying at Shanghai’s WGC-HSBC Champions tournament…
When he was denied a free drop at the Arnold Palmer Invitational last month, Reed complained that he was getting shoddy treatment. “I guess my name needs to be Jordan Spieth, guys,” he said, half-serious.
Look, compared to footballers this is all Grade One stuff, but golf abides by a different code of conduct.
Then there’s the falling out with his own family, which has been in the media plenty this past week.
The Telegraph have the lowdown on that front:
It does, however, seem safe to say that the trigger for the rift centres on Reed’s wedding, to his caddie Justine Karain, in 2012. The Reeds were not invited after warning their son that, at the age of 22, he was too young to be tying the knot. They were not there, either, when Reed made his first appearance in the Masters a few months later, and in 2014 they were escorted off the course at the US Open after trying to watch their son’s round. Reed’s mother reportedly believes that the officials who removed them were acting on Justine’s [below with Patrick] wishes.
Now the story becomes messy. In a Facebook post following the publication of a book that details some of Reed’s early behaviour – such as allegedly introducing himself to people by saying “I will kick the s— out of you at golf any time you want” – Justine wrote that Reed was “verbally and physically abused” as a child, and was seen as a “meal ticket” by his parents. “The last thing I would ever want for my daughter is to grow up in an environment like my husband did,” she said. “They are sick people and need help. Time will tell all.”
Hannah, Reed’s younger sister, responded with a post of her own. “Patrick is not the same person he used to be,” she said. “He accused me of faking two kidney surgeries to get him back into my life, completely disowned me… this is not a brother any more, but a selfish, horrible stranger and it is heartbreaking. He had an AMAZING life. My parents gave up EVERYTHING for his dream of becoming a golfer… there was NEVER EVER any abuse mentally or physically… the fact that Patrick is allowing his new family to say that is insane.”
…Throughout all of this, Reed’s mother has continued to publicly send and endorse supportive messages about her son, without ever receiving a reply.
Looks like Mother is going to have to throw in the towel, because Patrick doesn’t seem too keen on repairing that relationship.
I know I’m going on a bit here, so let’s wrap up with a story from Jordan Spieth via Stuff:
Jordan Spieth has told the story of when he and Reed were playing together at the Ryder Cup, watched over by vice-captain Woods. Reed is bragging.
Woods looks at Reed and says, “Don’t worry, Patrick, you only need 74 more wins and 14 more majors.”
Spieth says, “It was a funny moment with Tiger because you don’t really hear Tiger talk about everything he’s dropped to go back on Patrick and he used it there, because he was just like, ‘Screw this guy. I’m using this right now. Who is this guy?'”
Well, he’s the Masters champion, so maybe he’s having the last laugh.
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