The 2018 Ryder Cup kicks off in two weeks at Le Golf National in France. Many prognosticators think the Americans will dominate and win their second straight Cup, but U.S. team member Patrick Reed is not one of them.
The reigning Masters champion spoke to the media this week in a video conference for the Hong Kong Open. Naturally, questions about the upcoming Ryder Cup were fresh on reporters’ minds. Few, though, could have predicted the nature of Reed’s answers.
“We’re going to go in and feel like we’re the underdogs and try to play the best that we can,” Reed said of the American team’s Ryder Cup strategy.
Those words might seem strange coming from the brash and outspoken pro who starred at the 2016 event at Hazeltine and two years earlier at Gleneagles. But his comments do not represent a crisis of confidence. Instead, Reed argues that the Europeans should be favorites given their streak of wins on home turf.
“We can’t wait to get over there and try to end the drought of not winning overseas,” Reed said. “I feel that kind of takes a little bit of pressure off us and puts more pressure on the European team because they’re the ones that have had so much success overseas, that everyone thinks we’re going to come in and they’re going to win the Cup again.”
You have to go all the way back to 1993 at the Belfry to find the U.S. team’s last victory in a Ryder Cup away game. That’s a cool 25 years ago. But the Americans are fresh off their victory at Hazeltine, a performance Reed thinks will help inspire them to greatness once again.
“I think the biggest thing is we finally got a taste of victory,” he said. “Having us in control of the Cup right now means we have the confidence in ourselves. We’ve won, we feel great and the guys on the team are playing really well.”
The U.S. roster features nine major champions, and many observers have called it one of the best Ryder Cup teams in history.
One thing is for certain: if Reed plays as well as he did in 2016 (most notably in his epic win over Rory McIlroy), Europe will have a tough time reclaiming the Cup.