Barbs bounce off US team golfer Reed

Controversial US team golfer Patrick Reed says he welcomes banter from local golf fans during this week's President Cup at Royal Melbourne.

10-Dec-2019 By Melissa Woods, Australian Associated Press
  • Gol_Cup_16-9_17725805_1984073_201912101012128cc6d6cc-74f5-4abb-8d95-43164367a327.jpg_sd_1280x720.jpg

He may not carry a shield but expect barbs from raucous Presidents Cup golf crowds in Melbourne to bounce right off 'Captain America' Patrick Reed.

The world No.12 earned the comic book moniker for his success playing for Team USA in the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup and he may need to draw on some special powers at Royal Melbourne this week.

Reed got an early taste of what to expect when official play gets underway on Thursday when a cheeky fan introduced him on the first hole of his practice round as "The Excavator".

That was in reference to Reed's two-shot penalty for illegally improving his lie in a waste bunker during the World Challenge in the Bahamas last week.

Even his US teammate Justin Thomas trolled him, mimicking the shot during the round together.

The Texan took it in his stride.

"It was great - any time coming to an event like this, especially coming overseas, you expect to have the crowds against you, not on your side, so that's the name of the game," Reed said.

"To get the banter back and forth is awesome.

"I hope the fans aren't cheering for the US side - as an away team, you would expect the fans to be on the other side."

The International team have made him a target with South African Louis Oosthuizen saying it was a "stupid thing" and young Australian Cameron Smith described Reed's actions as "cheating".

The 2018 Masters champion denied he intentionally broke the rules and said his teammates accepted that.

US team captain Tiger Woods refused to be drawn on how much he will play Reed as the visitors look to extend their stranglehold on the event.

Players are required to play a minimum of two matches, which get underway with fourball contests on Thursday.

Woods on Tuesday downplayed the incident, saying they had spoken briefly and they had moved on.

"I think Pat will be fine," Woods said.

"Pat is a great kid.

"He's handled a tough upbringing well and I just think that he's one of our best team players, and that's one of the reasons why all the guys wanted him on the team."

Reed is likely to be paired with debutant Patrick Cantlay, with the duo previously playing together three times before in a team event in New Orleans.

World No.7 Cantlay, who said the incident had been "overblown", expected Reed to thrive under the extra pressure.

"He has a reputation for doing really well in match play and doing really well in those high-pressure situations, especially when there's some scrutiny on him, and that dates back all the way to college," Cantlay said.

Cantlay accepted that he would also likely be in the firing line if he was alongside Reed but didn't think it would prove a distraction.

"But yeah, it's part of the fun of team golf. We don't get it all the time. When you do get it, I feel like it's better to embrace it," he said.

"Once gun goes off on Thursday, I think it will just be golf."


Add a comment

Title Notify Website Updates

Subscribe to receive updates and new posts via email