The fallout continues from the 2018 Ryder Cup and the latest American overseas loss, extending a winless streak in Europe since the United States won in 1993.
Patrick Reed didn’t like breaking up with Jordan Spieth
It all began when Patrick Reed spoke to Karen Crouse of the New York Times, an hour after the American team spoke in front of assembled press. Reed seemed compelled to speak to Crouse after Spieth took the lead on answering a news-conference question concerning their breakup as a duo. Ultimately, captain Jim Furyk said it was his choice to split the team, a decision which clearly upset Reed.
“We were totally involved in every decision that was made,” Spieth said. He added, “Jim allowed it to be a player-friendly environment.”
Speaking to Crouse, Reed took exception to Spieth’s comments and Furyk’s decision to allow Spieth to team with Justin Thomas, with that duo going 3-1 in a rare bright spot for the American side. Reed believed he should continue to play with Spieth despite a lack of personal affection between the two.
“The issue’s obviously with Jordan not wanting to play with me,” Reed said. “I don’t have any issue with Jordan. When it comes right down to it, I don’t care if I like the person I’m paired with or if the person likes me as long as it works and it sets up the team for success. He and I know how to make each other better. We know how to get the job done.”
Reed said he’d asked Furyk to keep him with Spieth, and he expected to be put back with Spieth when the American side floundered on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, including Reed shooting a round that would have scored in the 80s alongside Tiger Woods in the Saturday fourball session. Instead of getting back together with Spieth, Reed was benched, which Reed also didn’t like.
“For somebody as successful in the Ryder Cup as I am, I don’t think it’s smart to sit me twice,” Reed said.
Reed said Woods, who was the backup to Spieth for Reed, apologized to him after their Friday morning fourballs loss, which seems unlikely. The Masters champion ironically returned to the slogan on a poster in the US team room, calling on the players to leave their egos at the door.
Naturally, there was brush back for Reed’s comments. An anonymous source, who was in the US team room through the week but didn’t play in the competition (so, an assistant captain or someone of that ilk), told the New York Post Reed was “begging” to play with Woods, not Spieth.
The anonymous source railed on Reed’s performance in the Saturday fourball match, then suggested Reed didn’t understand how to work as a unit — a comment that seems far-fetched given Reed’s prior team record.
“He would have shot 83 on his own ball Saturday,’’ the source told the Post. “He totally screwed Tiger. He has no clue how to play team golf. I saw firsthand how bad of a team player he was. Eleven players understood the concept of team golf and only one didn’t. Unfortunately, that one proved to be too costly for the team to overcome.”
DJ, Brooks had a fight
And there there was the matter of Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka nearly coming to blows, having to be separated on Sunday night after the American side was formally invited into the European team room.
James Corrigan of The Telegraph reported on the brouhaha, though the reason for the conflict is unclear. Paulina Gretzky was nearby when the confrontation happened, but proximity doesn’t imply much. Rumors have swirled about the status of Johnson and Gretzky’s relationship after Gretzky deleted any trace of Johnson from her Instagram account.
A French publication, L’Equipe, reported the pair had a dust-up on the team flight from Atlanta to Paris, suggesting the Sunday night issue was an extension of an on-going problem for two guys considered good friends.