by Julian Spivey
On Friday after he stormed to a multiple stroke lead at The Masters I went to social media to gripe that “Patrick Reed was going to ruin The Masters for me.” Now to be honest I likely would’ve said the same had any golfer taken a commanding lead. I hate to see dominance from anyone in a golf major because I want to see a half dozen or more guys have a shot on Sunday. But, there was a little more vitriol with Reed in the lead. He’s my least favorite golfer on the PGA Tour. I thought I was alone in that sentiment.
On Sunday, when Reed sank his Green Jacket clinching par on the 18th hole of Augusta the crowd reaction was weaker than it would’ve been if John Doe had won the Puerto Rico Open. It was basically a “meh.” Making the reaction even more surprising is the fact that Reed lived for a while in Augusta, Ga. and even led Augusta State University to two consecutive NCAA Division I championships in the early part of this decade. That didn’t matter to the gallery.
I wasn’t alone in my dislike of Reed. In fact, it appears he’s “the most hated man in golf.” After The Masters on Sunday evening I saw a bunch of articles pop up ranging from “Why you shouldn’t dislike Patrick Reed” to “Why do golf fans hate Patrick Reed?” to “Would golf fans like Patrick Reed if they knew him?” The most interesting piece I read was Alan Shipnuck’s piece for Golf.com about how Patrick Reed’s estranged parents watched their son win The Masters from their home just three miles away with mixed emotions.
Reed hasn’t spoken to his parents or younger sister since 2012 and his parents have never even met their granddaughter. They once attended the U.S. Open to follow his group in hopes of rebuilding their relationship and were escorted off the premises at the behest of Reed’s wife, Justine.
Of course, this is only one side of the story, but the piece just made me dislike Reed even more. Before I had disliked him for his use of a homophobic slur at a tournament in 2014, which I thought the PGA Tour should’ve suspended him for even though it was aimed at himself. I also grew to dislike Reed quite a bit during the 2014 Ryder Cup when his celebrating because he was playing well during the Europeans ass-stomping of the United States made him come off as an ass. I don’t believe in celebrating when you’re losing, especially losing badly.
There are evidently numerous reasons for others to dislike him from getting kicked off the University of Georgia golf team for multiple arrests, cheating allegations (which golf fans take very seriously) and abrasive cockiness (he once claimed he was a top 5 player in the world when he was far from it). Reed has also never done anything to seemingly make fans want to change their opinion of him. He seems to enjoy being disliked. He also seems to have zero report with his fellow professionals, almost always keeping to himself.
When reporters asked him after his Masters win on Sunday if it was “bittersweet not to be able to share the most triumphant moment of his life with his parents” Reed simply responded, “I’m just out here to play golf and try to win golf tournaments.”
He literally doesn’t seem to care about much else. That leaves the impression of a cold-hearted individual. One that even people who tend to like or find villains in sports interesting have trouble finding something redeeming in. That explains the “meh” response to him winning the biggest tournament in American golf. A career defining moment that would’ve had most golf crowds applauding with joy simply didn’t matter much to them. They say sports need villains. But, golf fans responded with emphatic quietness that they don’t need Patrick Reed.