Patrick Reed explains ‘villain’ role, European fan reactions at BMW
Patrick Reed has a famously complex relationship with fans, both foreign and domestic. But Captain America insists he’s no villain at this week’s BMW PGA Championship at the Wentworth Club in England.
Speaking on Tuesday at a pre-tournament press conference, Reed explained that despite his reputation, he typically enjoys his interactions with European fans.
“I can’t wait. I’m pretty sure I’ll get some shushes,” Reed said, referencing the gesture he made famous at the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles. “I’m pretty sure we’ll have some friendly banter going back and forth. The fans here are unbelievable. Ever since I came over in 2014 Ryder Cup, ever since that point, the fans have just been unbelievable.”
Reed had a turbulent 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National, going 0-2 alongside partner Tiger Woods in team play and taking a torch to captain Jim Furyk’s decision-making after the U.S. team lost. Still, he insists he relishes the moments with European fans, even when they turn hostile every Ryder Cup.
“It’s always awesome coming over and playing because they get it. They understand golf,” he said. “They want to see great golf, and being the guy that they root against, it seems likes once every other year, now we’re able to get the fans on our side and cheer for us.”
One reporter asked Reed about having embraced his role as “pantomime villain,” but he insisted there’s no negative carryover from Ryder Cup events.
“That’s an amazing thing coming over. If it’s not a Ryder Cup year, they seem to get behind me and they seem to have a lot of fun,” he said. “They try to pick you up if you’re not playing well and if you’re playing well, they are trying to keep you going.”
The event will be Reed’s third consecutive European Tour event after a T36 at the Porsche European Open and a T15 at the KLM Open. He has emphasized spending time in Europe in recent years. “I’ve always wanted to be a worldwide player. I want to grow the game worldwide, not just in our home country in the U.S.” he said. “It would be easy to kind of stay home and play on the PGA Tour, but getting the opportunity to play on both tours has been a goal of mine. It’s always been a dream of mine.” Reed was bestowed with Honorary Lifetime Membership status by the European Tour last year.
The upcoming stretch will also help determine Reed’s status as a captain’s pick for the Presidents Cup in December. Although Reed didn’t make the team on points, he finished 12th in the U.S. team’s standings and has come on strong in recent months. Reed hasn’t missed a cut since the PGA Championship and ran off a string of solid showings capped by a win at The Northern Trust in August.
“It’s always on the back of your mind, but really trying to keep it as far in the back of my mind as possible, because really, if you go out and play good golf, and you play well, win golf tournaments, it all takes care of itself,” Reed said.