All signs are pointing to a split of one of Team U.S.A.’s most successful duos over the past four years, according to reports from Le Golf National, site of this week’s Ryder Cup matches.
Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed have gone 8-1-3 in the last two Ryder Cups, but if the practice round pairings in the build-up to this 2018 matches are any indication, the U.S. team makeup could be a contributing factor to the end of an era when it comes to the Reed-Spieth duo.
Reading the tea leaves, there have been a few constants in the first two days of practice around Paris: Reed playing with Tiger Woods and Spieth playing with Justin Thomas. The new-age pairings are understandable for the compatibility between Reed/Woods and Spieth/Thomas, but captain Jim Furyk was mum on breaking up what has been the American’s most successful pairing of late.
“(Tuesday was) really about trying to learn the golf course and hit some solid golf shots,” Furyk said. “There may be some pairings out there and there’s some groups there isn’t. Just want them concentrating on their own game right now. They are very aware of who they will be playing with this week and they are very aware of some of the options they have.”
“It’s going to come down to what Captain thinks and what we all think is best for the team,” Reed said. “You know, it’s just going to really all depend on what we think are the best people we can put out and best teams we can put out since some guys are going to sit at some point, and who we feel can go out and get us the most points possible.”
An interesting theory came from Golf Channel’s Frank Nobilo who said a riff may have come between the two young American stars, pointing to two instances in particular. The first came at Bay Hill earlier this year when Reed invoked Spieth’s name when he was denied a favorable ruling.
— Tyler Soughers (@tsoughers) March 20, 2018
The second came the very next week at the Dell Technologies Match Play when Reed took a shot at Spieth in a joking manner. When asked what makes Spieth such a good match play player before the two were to square off in pool play, Reed responded, “I don’t know, my back still hurts from the last Ryder Cup.”
Reed is the friend everyone has who cracks awkward jokes that he thinks are funny but are just a little too real and biting to not come off as mean. https://t.co/jbYjkVOt0e
— Kevin Van Valkenburg (@KVanValkenburg) March 22, 2018
Nobilo clarified that riffs can develop quickly, and coupled with some obvious alternate pairings, it’s likely that the two wouldn’t continue together.
The official answer, at least for the first session of four-ball, will be announced on Thursday evening in Paris.