by Jeff Skinner
As a young golfer, Patrick Reed was inspired by Tiger Woods as most golfers of his generation were. When he broke through with his first win at The Wyndham Championship last August he was dressed in a traditional Sunday Tiger-like outfit of red shirt and black pants. Instantly, that became his Sunday outfit. If it was good enough for Woods it was good enough for Reed.
At the Humana Challenge in January Reed was in his Sunday Red when he won again so seeing him in his red shirt and black pants today as he won his third PGA Tour event at The WGC Cadillac Championship wasn’t surprising.
What was surprising were his words afterwards. Before he was off the eighteenth green Reed declared himself one of the top five golfers in the world. “I’m one of the top five players in the world. To come out in a field like this and go wire to wire, I feel like I’ve proven myself,” said Reed. So much for humility.
So he may dress like Tiger Woods but he certainly doesn’t act like Tiger when it comes to the media. Woods is one of the most guarded of all the PGA players. Reed obviously isn’t.
We all kill Woods for not being open and honest. Well, I’m going to kill Reed for being a bit too open and honest. We could forgive him if he was just caught up in the moment of his most significant career victory but NBC had aired a piece on Reed earlier in the telecast and he said exactly the same thing.
Now, Reed may be one of the five hottest players in the world with three wins in seven months. And he may be one of the best players under twenty five and yes, maybe he will eventually climb into the top five of the Official World Gold Rankings but right now he’s not.
The top ranked golfers, in order are Woods, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Jason Day and Phil Mickelson. Reed came into this week as the 44th and is likely to move into the top twenty, top five is still a bit away.
I understand the need for these players that are out there by themselves to be confident. They are playing a tough game under stressful conditions with much on the line but as my parents said to me, “self praise is no praise.” His words were arrogant and borderline obnoxious.
Reed may very well be a top five golfer, heck he may even be the best golfer in the world but he should display a tad more modesty. If it plays out and he becomes the number one golfer in the world, all the power to him. But I for one prefer the strong, silent type over the self promoting and egotistical.
I’ll toss Reed’s arrogance to immaturity. After all he is only 23 and growing up in the fishbowl that is the PGA Tour. He was the darling of the tour last year as he Monday qualified six times on the tour and then won The Wyndham. With his tiny wife serving as his caddie he crafted a wonderful story. But this cast him in a new, less appealing light.
I wonder how his fellow PGA Tour players will react behind closed doors and away from the cameras. Ryder Cup Captain Tom Watson will probably have Reed on his team but I can’t imagine the dignified and “team first” Watson being pleased if this is another oversized ego he has to deal with.
Winners are allowed to enjoy their victories and Reed is no different but next time let the clubs do the talking.