Patrick Reed had to know his incendiary post-Ryder Cup comments would lead to plenty of questions each time he faced the media throughout this new PGA Tour season. If the aftermath of the U.S. blowout loss is any indication, it will likely be a topic that lingers until the two sides meet again at Whistling Straits in 2020.
But the mini-break between the biennial event and Reed's first start of the 2018-'19 tour season at the WGC-HSBC Champions at least offered him some time to go into hiding. And a first-round eight-under 64 that saw him take the lead at Sheshan International ensured that the post-round questions would revolve more around his play than what happened less than a month ago in France. But following a second-round 72 that his him three back of Tony Finau, one reporter broached the subject, and Reed quickly shifted the conversation to, of all things, the European Tour's Race to Dubai.
"Ryder Cup was three, almost four weeks ago. Right now I'm just trying to play great golf and finish off the year right," said the reigning Masters champion. "Because even though the PGA Tour season has now started, for the European Tour, it's still going on. I'm a little bit behind Francesco [Molinari] in that and I'm hoping to close that gap and have a chance to hopefully win the Race to Dubai."
He does have a point, as there are still three remaining tournaments on the European Tour schedule after this week's WGC in Shanghai, and a good finish would go a long way for Reed, who sits at third in the standings, one of the few Americans who holds membership status on the Euro Tour. The two players he's trailing? Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari, otherwise known as Moliwood. Go figure.
After a few questions regarding his round, a reporter went back to the Ryder Cup, asking Reed who would be the "perfect partner" for team competition, including the Presidents Cup. Captain America wouldn't budge.
"I don't know. I don't even know where I stand on the whole points list [for the Presidents Cup] or anything like that. Right now I'm just kind of focusing on this week and trying to get through the season," he said, adding, "so you know, I have this week, Dubai, Hong Kong and Tiger's event left for the season. You know, for how long of a year it's been, I'm just wanting to finish the year off right and finish the year off strong so I can have a fun little off-season."
It's certainly been a long year full of ups and downs for Reed, a common theme that seems likely to continue for the foreseeable future.