Dealing with the Patrick Reed Ryder Cup drama was always going to be a key part of new U.S. captain Steve Stricker’s job. It was so important, in fact, that Stricker started to manage the fallout before he was even officially announced as captain.
Stricker rang up the divisive star of the U.S. Ryder Cup team two days before his captain’s press conference last week to talk through what had transpired at Le Golf National in 2018, according to the Associated Press.
“That was on my to-do list,” Stricker told the AP, “to talk to him and see his side of things.”
For a little background, the Patrick Reed Ryder Cup controversy started after the conclusion of the American team’s loss in France last September.
Reed, a native of Augusta who is 28 years old, publicly aired his grievances with his fellow Ryder Cup teammates. Specifically, Reed repeatedly complained about 2018 U.S. captain Jim Furyk’s decision to not pair him with Jordan Spieth. The Patrick Reed-Jordan Spieth tandem was highly successful during the U.S. team’s victory in 2016.
For Stricker’s part, he knew that Patrick Reed Ryder Cup drama questions would be pouring in from media members during his captain announcement week, which is another reason he called Reed early.
“I figured I was going to get some questions about Patrick and all the stuff that transpired,” Stricker said in the AP interview. “All I’ve seen is what was on social media, some of the golf outlets, things like that. I just wanted to hear from him, the truth from him.”
So how did the call go? Pretty well, according to Stricker. “He explained himself, and how he thought he messed up at the Ryder Cup, and he wants to move forward. And that he’s got everybody’s back.”
Some of Reed’s Ryder Cup teammates recently echoed a similar sentiment. Brooks Koepka revealed that Reed had apologized to the whole team via a group text. Jordan Spieth, who was also at the center of the controversy, gave Reed a hug on the 1st tee at the Farmers Insurance Open, a move that elicited laughter from both players.
But Stricker’s turn at captain is still over a year away, and it’s yet to be seen whether Reed or Spieth even qualify for the U.S. team in 2020.