The sad story of Lucas Glover's domestic dispute last week prompted John Feinstein, best-selling author and Golf Digest contributing editor, to write this poignant column about the complicated personal lives of professional athletes.
The underlying premise? Even with outsized talents, athletes face many of the same personal struggles as everyone else.
To further the point on this week's Golf Digest Podcast, Feinstein relayed the story of a brief exchange he had with Patrick Reed in the aftermath of Reed's Masters win.
Feinstein had recently published his latest golf book, The First Major, in which he went behind the scenes of the 2016 Ryder Cup, and where he spoke to Reed at length about the matches at Hazeltine National, his career on tour, and a little bit about the complicated road Reed took to professional golf. That road, as has been reported here and elsewhere, included bumpy stints in college and a dramatic falling-out with his family. When Reed broke through to win the green jacket, his parents and sister were down the road at their Augusta home, unable to celebrate the golfer's crowning achievement with him.
The next day, Feinstein said he wrote Reed a short note of congratulations.
"I didn't expect to hear from him anytime, but within an hour he wrote back saying, 'Thanks a lot.' " Feinstein said. "But then wrote, 'Thanks so much for taking the time to get to know me.'
"I wrote back and I said, 'I should be thanking you because you were willing to give me the time to open yourself up the way you did,' " Feinstein said. "That shows he gets a lot of things that other people don't get."
It was a small exchange, but to Feinstein, it illustrated that Reed does care about perception of his complicated story, even if he's reluctant to discuss it publicly.
Feinstein's experience writing The First Major was just one highlight of this week's podcast. He also elaborated on expected changes to the PGA Tour schedule, what went wrong at the annual tour stop outside D.C., and the biggest differences professional golfers and other athletes he covers.
Have a listen: