Patrick Reed may have said he was “blindsided” by his Ryder Cup split with Jordan Spieth, but apparently Reed’s latest Ryder Cup partner, Tiger Woods, had wanted to play alongside Captain America for quite some time.
The 2018 U.S. Ryder Cup captain, Jim Furyk, said Woods mentioned he wanted to play with Reed as early as 2016.
“Tiger, as an assistant captain at the 2016 Ryder Cup and the 2017 Presidents Cup, had seen Patrick on a team,” Furyk told GOLF‘s Michael Bamberger at the PNC Father-Son Challenge. “He said, ‘This kid’s tough as nails. I’d roll with him anytime.'”
Woods and Reed were eventually paired at Le Golf National, but you know the story from there. They were winless in two fourball matches while Spieth, playing without Reed despite their prior success, flourished with Justin Thomas (3-1).
Reed spoke of his displeasure with the pairing and what he said was a lack of communication from the team’s leaders to The New York Times after the Americans’ 17.5-10.5 loss. Reed said he had no say in the pairings and Woods was his second choice behind Spieth.
Furyk reiterated what he said months ago, that Reed knew for weeks he would be playing with Woods in Paris.
“I’m asking all the players, who do you want to play with, who don’t you think you should play with,” Furyk said. “I knew how much Tiger likes Pat, how he admired his grit. My guys had a real good idea going to the Tour Championship who they would be playing with. They knew well in advance, weeks in advance, who they would be playing with. I thought Pat would embrace it, and he did.”
Reed’s most recent marks on the Ryder Cup came at the Hero World Challenge earlier this month. He again questioned the pairings and said there was a double standard: Phil Mickelson was widely praised for speaking out at Gleneagles in 2014, while Reed dealt with mostly negative criticism.
“[Mickelson] did it and got praised,” Reed told the New York Post. “I did it and got destroyed. It all depends on who the person is, obviously.”