In the wake of his country’s 17½-10½ loss Sunday in France, Reed blamed Jordan Spieth, with whom he has been paired in the past to great effect, for not wanting to play with him this year. He also criticized U.S. captain Jim Furyk for leaving him out of two team sessions.
Spieth was among the few Americans who acquitted himself well at Le Golf National near Paris, going 3-1 in foursomes and four-ball play with partner Justin Thomas before losing his singles match. The latter is a longtime friend of Spieth’s who notched the best record on his team, as he won in singles, but Reed was angered by not being paired with Spieth, with whom he had posted an 8-1-3 record over previous Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup events.
“The issue’s obviously with Jordan not wanting to play with me,” Reed said recently to the New York Times, adding that he was “blindsided” by Furyk’s choices. “I don’t have any issue with Jordan. When it comes right down to it, I don’t care if I like the person I’m paired with or if the person likes me, as long as it works and sets up the team for success. He and I know how to make each other better. We know how to get the job done.”
Reed was paired with Tiger Woods for two four-ball sessions, and they lost both times to Europe’s powerhouse duo of Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood. Woods played more poorly than Reed during the first loss, but the opposite was very much the case in the second matchup as Reed hit a number of shots into the water, the rough and out of bounds.
Reed, who won his first major this year at the Masters, bounced back to take his singles match Sunday, albeit in a showdown with Tyrrell Hatton that was decided after Europe had already earned enough points to claim the Cup. Of Furyk’s decision to use other players for the foursome sessions Friday and Saturday, Reed said, “For somebody as successful in the Ryder Cup as I am, I don’t think it’s smart to sit me twice.”
The New York Post reported Monday that a person described as a non-playing member of the U.S. squad who was “in the team room all week and had intimate knowledge of the goings-on was enraged” at Reed’s complaints.
“He is so full of [crap],” the person told the newspaper. “Blindsided, my a--. He begged to play with Tiger.”
“Eleven players understood the concept of team golf and only one didn’t,” the person added. “Unfortunately, that one proved to be too costly for the team to overcome.”
The unveiling of the pairings, with Spieth and Reed conspicuously assigned different partners, had prompted speculation that the former may have asked to play with Thomas. Some also made note of a snide remark by Reed at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March, when he joked with an official that a ruling against him would have gone in his favor if he “were Jordan Spieth.”
Asked at a post-Ryder Cup news conference about splitting up Reed and Spieth, Furyk said his aim was to get “two great pairings out of it.” Acknowledging that “Jordan and Patrick have been great in the past,” Furyk asserted, “Whether that’s a point of contention or not … it was totally my decision and my call, and ... I think someone used the word ‘gutsy’ — they might have said something else, but a gutsy call or a gutsy play — but it was the one I thought it was the right thing to do.”
“We were totally involved with every decision that was made,” Spieth said at the news conference. “We had two potentially fantastic teams, and we went out confidently and tried to play our best.”
Reed told the Times that as Spieth was making those comments, “I was looking at [Jordan] like I was about to light the room up like Phil in ’14.” That was a reference to Phil Mickelson’s criticism at a news conference of the leadership of then-team captain Tom Watson in 2014, after the United States lost to Europe in Scotland.