Patrick Reed hits out at Jordan Spieth for pairings split: "The issue’s obviously with Jordan not wanting to play with me"
Patrick Reed spoke to the New York Times after the U.S.A’s loss on Sunday, criticising the ‘buddy system’ of the visitors camp as he said that it was Spieth’s influence which split up the most successful American Ryder Cup pairing in history.
It certainly was a surprise to many when Jim Furyk decided to split up the natural pairing of Reed and Spieth, who had previously gone 4-1-2 in the biannual competition, and Reed himself said thought he was going to be paired with Spieth. But they weren’t the only obvious pairing to be benched: Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler and DJ and Brooks Koepka were two other successful President’s Cup partnerships that were separated (at least for the opening three sessions).
And while the other new pairings of DJ/Fowler, Koepka/Finau and Reed/Woods didn’t pan out, it was a switch that still worked out for Jordan Spieth. He and Thomas were the highest points scorers of the competition, winning three out of four sessions as a pairing. Captain America Reed wasn’t so successful, losing both matches alongside Tiger Woods and sitting out both foursomes sessions, something he took issue with.
“For somebody as successful in the Ryder Cup as I am, I don’t think it’s smart to sit me twice,” Reed had said to the New York times, adding that after the American’s were whitewashed in the foursomes for the first time in European history, he expected the usual pairings to return.
“I thought he might go back with the groups that have worked in the past,” he said.
Yet when it came to making the calls on pairings, Jordan Spieth answered the question about the breakaway from Reed diplomatically, suggesting it was a collective decision.
“We were totally involved in every decision that was made,” Spieth said during the press conference. “Jim allowed it to be a player-friendly environment.”
Reed had been silent but had given Spieth a look before he jumped in, and said: “I was looking at him like I was about to light the room up like Phil in ’14,” referencing when Mickelson famously ripped in to USA Captain Tom Watson during his press conference after their defeat at Gleneagles in 2014.
Furyk then went on to say it was his decision to pair Spieth with Thomas and Reed with Woods, insisting he felt those pairings were the right way to go.
“Jordan and Patrick have been great in the past,” he said. “I felt like, you know, whether that's a point of contention or not, I felt like we had two great pairings out of it. So it was totally my decision and my call, and I think I had a few of you tell me that -- I think someone used the word, it was a gutsy -- they might have said something else, but a gutsy call or a gutsy play, but the one I thought it was the right thing to do. It was my call."
Reed wasn't convinced, suggesting that the USA camp has “a buddy system” that ignores the input of most and listens to a few select players.
“The issue’s obviously with Jordan not wanting to play with me,” Reed had said. “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 it sets up the team for success. He and I know how to make each other better. We know how to get the job done.”
Earlier in the week, Reed’s wife Justine had also taken aim at Spieth, telling one person on twitter to ‘ask Jordan’ about why he hadn’t wanted to play with Patrick.
“I can assure you- you’re wrong. Patrick never said that he didn’t want to play with Jordan. Maybe you should ask Jordan why he didn’t want to play with Patrick. You don’t have to love the people you work with- but when you have chemistry and success, you go with it for the TEAM.”
Reed added his thoughts about all of the inspirational sayings he had read in the team room. “Every day, I saw ‘Leave your egos at the door,’” Reed said. Referring to the Europeans, he added, “They do that better than us.”