On the surface, Patrick Reed’s journey from serial Monday qualifier on the PGA Tour to Masters champion sounds like it should be one of professional golf’s greatest stories, but his tumultuous past has followed him through college and onto the PGA Tour, leading to some broken relationships and burned bridges.
In a season-ending piece by Scott Michaux of GolfDigest.com, the former Augusta Chronicle writer dissected Reed’s rocky relationship with many of his peers in a piece entitled, “Patrick Reed against the world,” in which he detailed Reed’s 2018 season from his Masters victory to the post-Ryder Cup firestorm he ignited.
The headline-grabbing quote, however, came in reference to Reed’s storied, yet controversial college career. Transitioning from Reed’s “tarnished relationships” with many of his Ryder Cup teammates, Michaux followed the breadcrumbs back to Reed’s time at the University of Georgia and Augusta State University — where he helped his team win back-to-back national championships.
Kevin Kisner, a former Georgia Bulldog whose time in Athens, Ga. predated Reed’s, confirmed in no uncertain terms what many teammates of Reed would only admit to off the record: they really, really don’t like Reed.
“They all hate him—any guys that were on the team with him (at Georgia) hate him and that’s the same way at Augusta,” Kisner said. “I don’t know that they’d piss on him if he was on fire, to tell you the truth.”
Michaux’s point in drumming up Reed’s past was that there is a pattern of behavior the currently-ranked No. 15 player in the world seems to follow. Those that get closest to Reed seem to come away with a bad taste in their mouths with few exceptions.
View this post on Instagram
Both Rory McIlroy and Reed’s college coach, Josh Gregory, categorized Reed as “misunderstood” in the piece, but the question Michaux set out to answer was how Reed’s behavior and relationships would affect future international competitions.
“I hope not,” 2018 U.S. Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk said when asked if Reed would be a liability going forward. “Whether it’s the Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup … I want those teams to be successful. He’s going to be part of that recipe, an ingredient, and I hope that’s not the case. The interesting thing about the timing is we’re all together for the buildup and once the Ryder Cup ends we kind of go our separate ways. Eventually, we’ll all be back together, and I hope there isn’t (a problem). I hope that chemistry is there. It’s somewhat up to Patrick as well. How he views those future teams. I know how much he loves playing them and what the Ryder Cup and playing for his country means to him. He talks about it a lot.”
At 28 years old, fresh off a season in which he won his first major championship, Reed doesn’t appear to be falling off the map anytime soon. How his bristly relationship with his peers and future teammates solidified remains to be seen, but it will undoubtedly be a storyline heading into every international competition for the foreseeable future.