I really would have loved to throw in an expletive in the title, but, I really do try to keep Until The Next Tee G-rated. Or, at the most vulgar, PG-13. Is it just me, or do some stories just not die? Stories, that we in the golf world would be grateful if they ceased to be newsmakers. Yet, here we are.

The way that I look at things, you can flog a dead horse for only so long. Otherwise, you settle into this quagmire and all that you seem to do is spin your wheels. Even though I’m about to express an opinion on the topics in question I really wish that two stories would disappear. Just quietly slip below the proverbial horizon.

In what will be a two part story, we look at the golfer known as “Captain America”.

We all know the story and the history, alleged or not, behind Patrick Reed. The scandal at the University of Georgia, issues with teammates at both Georgia and Augusta State. Heck, fellow PGA TOUR player Kevin Kisner was quoted as saying that “they all hate him”. Reed transferred to Augusta State from Georgia and only Reed himself the real story of why it happened. Was it the alleged theft?

But, his troubles don’t just end there. He complained about free Boston Red Sox tickets and there was the infamous “top-5 player” statement. There of course was also “ShovelGate” or “BunkerGate” at the 2019 Hero World Challenge at Albany. And then there was this past week at Torrey Pines during the recent TOUR stop. I’m not here to indict Patrick Reed and I’m also not here to defend him either.

Here’s my take on the situation at the 2021 Farmers Insurance Open. An event that Reed ended up winning by five strokes.

I think that overall he went about it the right way. He hit the shot and ultimately asked his playing partners and the volunteer stationed nearby if his golf ball had bounced. All said no, of course they do not have the luxury of instant replay. So, he located and identified his golf ball. Which is okay, especially in every day club play. A rules official was called over but then before said rules official arrived on the scene, Reed picked up his golf ball and moved it. That’s where, if anything, bad form was displayed. I know that he was sure that he was doing the right thing and I appreciate him not holding things up out there. But, in an event where he ultimately waited for the rules official to come over, the optics of his actions appeared to be loaded with intent. Further tarnishing an image already pockmarked with dents, dings, and blemishes.

At times, I’m half-tempted to hypothesize that the decisions are an impulse. Much like a kleptomaniac that feels that gratification of shoplifting. Or even a murderer who has to kill. Now, I’m not suggesting that Patrick are a sociopath, kleptomaniac, or a murderer, but, perhaps there’s something in his wiring that makes him decide the choices that he makes.

Sometimes, things that we do in our past, come back to haunt us. There is no doubt that his history and ongoing image have continued to draw the ire of golf fans and peers alike. Thinking back to when he won The Masters, has there ever been a more loathed or maligned champion? Which was an article that I wrote back then (https://untilthenexttee.blog/tag/the-masters/page/3/). Hate is such a strong and ugly word. The reality is, because of his track record, there’s no doubt that Patrick Reed will continue to be seen as a lightning rod of controversy. No matter what, whenever something suspect might happen, the golf world will be abuzz. It’s just the way that it is. In a sense, Patrick Reed has become the “bastard-child of golf” and a villain in what otherwise is a sport that is lacking questionable characters, “goons” or “heels” if thinking in professional wrestling terms.

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 31: Patrick Reed celebrates with the trophy after winning the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines South on January 31, 2021 in San Diego, California. Reed won by five strokes over the field shooting a 68 in the final round. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

Is Reed good for golf? I don’t have the answer but just remember one this. The only bad press is no press. Like I said, I’m indifferent. What he or anyone else does on the golf course doesn’t cause me to lose any sleep at night. Furthermore, I don’t love or loathe Reed, I’m quite simply… Switzerland. Neutral.

For the record, I just happen to like villains in movies. I loved Dennis Hopper in “Speed”, I love Darth Vader, even though he ended up being good in the end. I always cheer for the villains. There’s an allure there for me. I love crows and ravens too! In a way, I suppose that my soul is dark I suppose.

Stay tuned to Part II tomorrow.

Until The Next Tee!!