It didn’t take long for the American recriminations to begin. As the European team began their Ryder Cup celebrations on Sunday evening, Patrick Reed was saying his piece to the New York Times, and it won’t have made pretty reading for Jordan Spieth or Jim Furyk.
Reed laid the blame squarely on Spieth’s shoulders for the break-up of their partnership that had yielded five points out of seven at Gleneagles in 2014 and Hazeltine last time. As for the American captain, the man known as Captain America for his exploits at previous Ryder Cups blasted Furyk for restricting him to only three matches.
‘For somebody as successful in the Ryder Cup as I am, I don’t think it’s smart to sit me twice,’ said the Masters champion, who was benched on Friday and Saturday afternoon after losing morning matches with Tiger Woods, before defeating Tyrrell Hatton in the singles on Sunday.
Patrick Reed has laid into USA team-mate Jordan Spieth for his attitude during Ryder Cup
The perplexing question of why the tried and trusted partnership of Spieth and Reed wasn’t used in Paris was raised at the losing team’s press conference. Spieth clearly didn’t want to answer the question, replying: ‘We were totally involved in every decision made. Jim (Furyk) allowed it to be a player-friendly environment.’
Reed didn’t get a chance to answer. He just looked across at Spieth and smouldered. ‘I was about to light up the room like Phil in 2014,’ he said, referring to Phil Mickelson’s blistering criticism of captain Tom Watson, sitting just a few feet away, at the same forum four years ago.
In fact, Reed wasn’t involved in the decision to break up the pair. ‘The issue is obviously with Jordan not wanting to play with me,’ said the plain-speaking Texan.
‘I don’t have any issue with Jordan. When it comes 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 it sets up the team for success. Jordan and I know how to make each other better. We know how to get the job done.’
Reed said he expected Furyk to revert to some familiar partnerships when they suffered their first ever foursomes whitewash on Friday. He blamed a ‘buddy system’ decision-making process for the fact it didn’t happen — another dig at Spieth, who partnered one of his best pals, Justin Thomas.
After their defeat at Gleneagles, the Americans set up their infamous task force, designed to avoid car crashes like the one in France, where they suffered an even worse drubbing than they did in Scotland.
Reed accused Spieth (centre) of not wanting to play with him at Le Golf National in France
PATRICK REED’S RYDER CUP SCORECARD
While the wisdom of Reed venting his spleen in public rather than behind closed doors was debatable, his frustration was understandable. For all the brilliance of the Europeans, a US team with so many gifted individuals shouldn’t be losing by seven points.
Spieth should have been told he was playing with Reed, and that was the end of it. Not playing a pair with one defeat in seven Ryder Cup matches was ridiculous, and almost as bad as Furyk’s decision to pick Mickelson. Thomas would have been more help to Woods, with whom he plays a lot of practice rounds.
The next US captain is Steve Stricker, who is known as one of the nicest men in the sport. But he’s clearly going to need to display an iron fist to check the American egos as well as a velvet glove.
‘Every day in the team room I saw a sign saying leave your egos at the door,’ said Reed. ‘But the Europeans do that a lot better than us.’
At least Stricker will be on home soil, with the match in 2020 taking place in his native state of Wisconsin at Whistling Straits. Only one Ryder Cup from the last seven has been won by the away side.
Another thing helping him will be the fact the toxic combination of Tiger and Phil will almost certainly not be on view to drag them down. That’s eight Ryder Cups now in which they have been on the same team — and the only one America won was way back in 1999.
Reed also tore into captain Jim Furyk (above) for leaving him out of both foursomes matches