The Ryder Cup was made for television, notwithstanding its inception, in 1927, was before television had come along. But who would have thought casting Patrick Reed in the lead?
Yet Reed, 26, slightly overweight, unloved in college, somewhat abrasive as a professional, has emerged as a television star in the biennial matches, for his shushing the crowd in Scotland two years and now for his prowess and passion at Hazeltine National Golf Club.
“No one has been more electric than Patrick Reed,” NBC’s Gary Koch said after Reed's celebration following his holed third shot for eagle at the par-5 sixth hole, to the already exuberant crowd's delight.
Reed clearly embraces the match-play format, as he discussed in an interview with NBC. “I love going against one guy,” he said. “I love throwing two guys in the ring, dog fighting, the best man wins. It’s always kind of been my kind of thing. I know what I need to do at all times. I’m a competitor. I love it.”
Johnny Miller concurred. “He said it perfectly. He’s a true competitor. He’s a confrontation guy. He hasn’t always been the most loved person, as a young man and also in college. He’s tough. He’s the kind of guy you want on your team.”
“John, don’t you think that’s one of the attributes of a good match play player, that you welcome the confrontation?” Koch replied. “I think there are players that shy away from it and don’t thrive as much in it.”
Tiger Woods’ assessment, via NBC’s Mark Rolfing: “He is like your generation’s Lanny Wadkins.”
Rolfing: “I said, ‘can you imagine if Lanny had played in this kind of environment?’”