After the United States was massacred at the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in 2014, Phil Mickelson openly blasted then captain Tom Watson for mismanaging the team, including an ugly team meeting that saw Watson take no responsibility for the team’s shortcomings.
Fast forward four years and the United States once again was dusted on European soil, falling 17.5-10.5 at Le Golf National in Paris. While Mickelson didn’t make any headlines after the loss — probably because he failed to record a point for the U.S. — another member of the team let loose.
Patrick Reed, who was dubbed “Captain America” after his impressive performance in the 2014 and 2016 Ryder Cups, came into the 2018 Ryder Cup with a brilliant 4-1-2 record alongside partner Jordan Spieth. But Reed and Spieth shockingly were not paired together in Paris, as captain Jim Furyk elected to pair Spieth with friend Justin Thomas and matched Reed with Tiger Woods. Many expected Thomas to be paired with Rickie Fowler, as the two were successful during last year’s Presidents Cup, but Fowler instead was matched with Dustin Johnson and the two failed to get it going, tallying a 1-2 record.
Reed told The New York Times that Spieth was his first choice for a partner despite not being good friends, as their chemistry has led to past success in match play. The 2018 Masters champion felt the team was run by a “buddy system” that didn’t take into account the opinions of all players, calling out Spieth for the decision to not be paired together.
“The issue’s obviously with Jordan not wanting to play with me,” Reed told Karen Crouse of The New York Times, “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.”
Thomas and Spieth went 3-1 and were the U.S.’s most successful pairing, while Reed and Woods went 0-2 with Furyk sitting Reed during both afternoon sessions.
That didn’t sit well.
“For somebody as successful in the Ryder Cup as I am, I don’t think it’s smart to sit me twice,” Reed said.
The United States hasn’t won a Ryder Cup in Europe since 1993, and despite their attempts to become a cohesive unit, the Americans have failed largely because they don’t appear to play for each other as the Europeans do.
“Every day, I saw ‘Leave your egos at the door,'” Reed said. “They do that better than us.”
The Ryder Cup will return to the United States in 2020 when Whistling Straits Golf Course hosts the prestigious event.
Thumbnail photo via Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports Images