Which appears something of a blind spot to him considering his behaviour for 3 of the last four Ryder Cups. And has probably significantly contributed to him being over looked for the next instalment of the Ryder Cup.
The first inkling we had of Reeds outspoken nature and blind spot was as a rookie at Gleneagles in 2014 where he was furious with Tom Watson for not being put out into the fray for an afternoon session with Jordan Spieth. Quite rightly too since apparently Watson had said to them, “If you keep on winning points you will keep on playing.” As rookies they had just beaten Ian Poulter and Stephen Gallacher five and four, so were understandably peeved at being asked to sit out the afternoon session.
He was more than ready, in his own words, ‘To light up the post match press conference.’ In criticising Watson’s flawed Captaincy and explaining why the USA were again on the wrong end of the points tally. This was before Michelson took seniority position for the team and made the now famous clarion call to the powers that be that a system of succession needs to be in place for the biennial matches.
Didn't hear much from Reed at Hazeltine, mainly because the USA won, but also he was the victor in the epic finger wagging match against Rory McIlroy. There seems to be a trend that when he is part of a losing team or loses a match he then becomes dissenting.
Fast forward to Paris where the ‘pod’ system had been reinstated by the USA, this being taken after the special forces practise of where the team of 12 are put in to three pods of four. The reason for doing this is so that the players know who they will be playing with when the matches start. There can only be three potential partners which makes practise and bonding much more efficient and fewer variable or surprises can occur. Adding that extra level of security for the team members.
In Paris, Furyk had put in to Reed’s pod; Tiger, Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Now something that does need to be mentioned is that Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth are great friends, have been since they were 13. So Furyk could be forgiven that putting Justin and Jordan together would be a well gelled pairing, leaving Reed to play with Tiger who could object to that? It appears Reed has to win for it to be a good decision. With Justin and Jordan winning three of their four pairing matches, the wise team player would say, “Inspired choice of pairings, well done Cap!” Not Patrick, he would just question why he had been split from the successful pairing of him and Jordan.
Then if you throw in the controversy which has occurred around Patrick for the last two years; with ball tampering, murmurings of cheating and ‘deliberately’ moving sand on his back swing during a bunker shot you could see why he would be overlooked for the sake of harmony and not being internally second guessed. Which Stricker has done. The USA captain claiming that Patrick has had a run of poor health, which left him vulnerable physically to be able to play all five matches if required.
Now you would say the more mature player, not wanting to create any unnecessary tension or headlines around the match would take the view, ‘I didn't do what I needed to do to get into the top six, so everything else was subject to interpretation by the Captain. I wish the team success at Whistling Straits.” End of.
But no, it turns out that Reed was actively and publicly liking any Tweet which was criticising Stricker for leaving him after the team. It now appears that Brooks Koepka is in doubt to play due to a niggling wrist injury, Stricker has to have a contingency plan and player.
Under the circumstances laid out to you above, as a Captain would you consider Patrick Reed? I know if I was to pick him, it would feel like I was rewarding bad behaviour.
But you have to quietly smile internally at the irony, the one person who has identified one of the reasons why the European team plays so well as a team, can't actually park his ego at the door.