There have been rumors about Patrick Reed for years -- well before he turned pro in 2011, dating back to his college years. Those rumors have come back to the surface, verified by anonymous sources in a forthcoming book about the PGA Tour.
Author Shane Ryan spent a year covering the PGA Tour for his upcoming "Slaying the Tiger: A Year Inside the Ropes on the New PGA Tour" and spent time with Reed, as well looking into his background, for part of the book. Last week, Ryan released an excerpt centering on Reed, and it paints the pro in an unflattering light.
When he turned pro, Reed was mostly known as the kid who led unlikely Augusta State University to a consecutive NCAA men's golf championships, and not much else. There's largely been a biographical void, with Reed not talking too much about his past. However, Ryan dug into Reed's background, including how he took up golf and how his win-at-all-costs attitude stunted his social development. Reed's struggles with his anger and cockiness are depicted as a potential side effect of his strained relationship with his parents.
Reed quickly found himself as an outcast after enrolling at University of Georgia at 17, particularly among players on the golf teams, many put off by his style of chastising them for poor play and telling them to their face he would beat them on the course. Anonymous sources indicated Reed cheated during a tournament qualifying round and accused Reed of stealing from teammates. After UGA coach Chris Haack learned Reed had been trying to keep secret the second or two alcohol-related arrests, he dismissed Reed from the team.
Reed then landed at Augusta State and head coach Josh Gregory, who knew he was taking a flier on a tainted player. Reed was again accused of cheating during a qualifying tournament, at which point Gregory laid down the law, apparently getting through.
While Reed's teammates were eager to win, they rallied around the idea of anyone -- including their opponents -- humbling Reed with a loss. That loss never materialized in the NCAA tournaments, where Reed went 6-0. The result? Back-to-back championships.
Reed went on to earn his PGA Tour card in 2012 after impressively earning starts through a series of Monday qualifying tournaments. A win at the 2013 Wyndham Championship in a playoff over Jordan Spieth cemented his status as marked the start of his rise to prominence. Nevertheless, Reed doesn't have many friends on the PGA Tour, something Reed even admits.
The world No. 16 responded to Ryan's piece in a statement to Golf Channel on Monday. Through his representation at IMG, Reed said, "The accusations that were made against me are serious and were intended to damage my reputation and character. They will not be taken lightly. My team and my representatives are looking into all aspects of this matter, and we look forward to setting the record straight.
“For now, I’m staying focused on my life in the present and being the best husband, father and golfer I can be.”
Reed, who finished T-40 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, is not entered in this week's Farmers Insurance Open.