Mike Francesa, the voluble sports-talk radio host for New York City’s WFAN, usually gives his take on the New York teams during his afternoon show, but on Tuesday Francesa devoted 30 minutes to Patrick Reed’s decision to hit five-iron on the par-4 18th hole at Doral on Sunday. Reed bogeyed the hole and won the tournament by one stroke, but he didn’t win over Francesa, who took issue with the lay-up and Reed’s later claim to being one of the top five players in the world.
It all started so innocently, with a caller asking Francesa about Reed and his post-match boast.
“He threw it down against his fellow golfers,” Francesa said. “How about him wearing the red and black like Tiger?”
Then Francesa said that other Tour pros would be making fun of Reed for his tee shot on 18, which traveled 218 yards and didn’t reach the fairway. In Francesa’s eyes, it was unworthy of a player of Reed’s stated ability.
“If you’re one of the five best players in the world, why can’t you hit it properly on that hole?” said Francesa. “You think Tiger Woods would hit a five-iron there? I didn’t say it was dumb, but guys made fun of him.”
Callers chimed in to defend Reed for making the smart play, but Francesa would have none of it, especially from the caller who said Phil Mickelson should have made the same play at the U.S. Open at Winged Foot.
“Phil wouldn’t do it,” Francesa said. “Why do you think people love him? BECAUSE HE DOESN’T LAY UP ON PAR 4s.”
Francesa said that he understood why Reed’s lay-up might have been the smart decision but that it didn’t jibe with Reed’s claim to being one of the world’s best players.
“You showed you had no guts,” Francesa said. “You had no ability to hit the ball straight with your wood.”
And Francesa will need a lot more convincing that the 23-year-old Reed should be counted among the game’s elite players.
“I don’t care if he stands on the moon,” Francesa said, “he hasn’t proved he’s one of the top five players in the world.”
Let’s hope Francesa adds more golf to his show — it sure beats talking about the 2014 Mets.
You can listen to the entire exchange above.
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