My Take On Patrick Reed

Transgression. 

trans·gres·sion
transˈɡreSHən,tranzˈɡreSHən/
noun
  1. an act that goes against a law, rule, or code of conduct; an offense.

This past weekend we crowned a new Masters Champion. Patrick Reed. The man who I said was a “much-maligned Masters Champion” in my tournament re-cap editorial. By most accounts his victory was very unpopular. Why? Was it because of him outlasting Rory McIlroy? No and let’s face it Rory faded. In a way that makes Augusta National look like his “Kryptonite? Is it because Jordan Spieth really brought it on Masters Sunday just to fall a poor tee shot short of historical proportions? No… that isn’t it either. Maybe, it was because Reed never bogeyed the 72nd hole to fall into a playoff with Rickie Fowler who played his heart out. No it wasn’t that either.

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Photo Credit: express.,co.uk

When we look at Patrick Reed what do we (who aren’t in his inner circle) see? If we go by skeletons in one’s closet here’s what we see in a nutshell.

  1. A kid that was said to have a “checkered past” and questions about his character while attending the University of Georgia came into question. Talk of cheating and theft from teammates. This would turn into a transfer where Reed departed Athens and ended up in Augusta. He joined the Augusta State Jaguars Men’s Golf Team and led them to a National Championship.
  2. We see a young man that’s considered to be brash, cocky and confident. We hate that because he tells everyone how good he is. Remember the “I’m a Top 5 player in the world” comment? Controversial. We dislike controversial people right?
  3. There was the homophobic slur in China that was inadvertently picked up on camera during the WGC – HSBC Champions event.
  4. Many golf fans think that his wearing of red and black is taboo because that’s what Tiger wears. People seem to think that it’s disrespectful (I guess) that he’s wearing “Tiger’s Colors”. Note taken… I better not do the same. Then again, red is my Friday thing in support of those who’ve sacrificed or still do sacrifice (our military).
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Photo Credit: jagwire.augusta.edu

Transgressions. Have you gambled? Maybe you stole a pack of gum or a cassette tape because it had a song on it that your hopeful girlfriend liked (I did the latter here name was Adele). Maybe you’ve had a taste of the “Devil’s Lettuce” and liked the high that the marijuana gave you. Perhaps, you were once a drinker that consumed more than a couple of drinks every day. Maybe, you’re a chronic speeder and had a speeding ticket. Or maybe you had nasty stinky vices like smoking cigarettes. Maybe while you were hanging out with the guys smoking a cigarette or in your changeroom at the gym or arena you jokingly referred to someone as an (insert derogatory name here). Perhaps, in your younger days you were a bully at school that picked on the smaller, weaker kids. Or maybe you were affluent and made fun of kids who couldn’t afford nicer clothes or they had a bag lunch instead of buying lunch everyday. Driving under the influence… maybe one or two of you did that once or twice and hopefully nobody got hurt because of your judgement. The point is that as human beings at one point in time or another we’ve made a transgression or two along the way.

I think what my point is this. If we’re going to judge Patrick Reed for his past… transgressions we better look at ourselves very closely in the mirror. What have we done that makes us so different and better than him? Patrick ultimately made some bad decisions in his life… and he is no different from us. If you’re going to hold that against him then you most certainly have to hold Tiger’s actions against Tiger. I said it here… that I don’t condone whatever it was that Tiger did. He made a horrible decision and we’ll never know the real truth or how many times he did that without getting caught. People hate Patrick’s swagger and overzealousness. The same people who criticize him (American fans) I have no doubt were loving him and his antics at the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles (Shhhhh….). So it’s alright to love him then? Isn’t that the very definition of a double-standard? Oh yeah… his family life? Don’t even discuss that or hold that against him. This is not about family and if anything is taboo bringing family into any situation is the lowest of low. That’s private and personal. Much like Tiger and his break-up with Elin. That should have always been left behind closed doors because you don’t know what he or they were going through.

shhh
Photo Credit: golfweek.com

Patrick Reed like it or not won The Masters. You don’t need to like him and quite frankly he doesn’t care. But before you hold his past against him look at your past and think if you’re truly any better. I’m not!

Until The Next Tee!!

 

Much-Maligned Masters Champion

As always, the brainchild of Bobby Jones is always full of thrills and jam-packed story lines. The 2018 Masters Tournament was no different. So instead of writing a bunch of rhetoric let’s jump right into it.

I think a suitable place to begin is with the story of Doug Whim who finished as the Low Amateur at the 2018 Masters Tournament. Ghim found his way to Augusta by finishing as the runner-up at the 2017 U.S. Amateur Championship. The product of the University of Texas (Senior) has developed quite the playing resume and his finish this weekend was just another feather in the proverbial cap. His play on Thursday alone was impressive as he had Eagle’s on 13 and 18 respectively en route to an even Par 72. Ghim would be the only Amateur to make the cut (+4) and would finish at +8 for the weekend. A weekend which he ended with an exclamation mark as he holed-out for birdie on his 72nd hole. All of this with his dad carrying his golf bag. Well done young man!

ghim
Photo Credit: augusta.com

 

As Sunday mid-day turned to early afternoon leaders of the tournament were set to tee off. All of them were chasing 54-hole leader Patrick Reed. Names like Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm, Bubba Watson, Henrik Stenson and Rory McIlroy to name a few. The latter engaging in some “fun” gamesmanship between himself and Reed. The pairing was hyped after their wild Ryder Cup match and the golf world was waiting for some fireworks. Rarely however, does such hype happen in the final pairing during Stroke Play or in particular on a Major Championship Sunday. even those fireworks failed to light there was plenty of fireworks elsewhere around Augusta National.

It just seems like the tournament isn’t really played until the 64th hole. This is the point in time where the roars of Augusta are most often heard. Jordan Spieth had some of the loudest roars on the golf course. Entering the final round he started 9 shots back of Reed. In a comfortable pairing with Justin Thomas Sunday would see Spieth go low. Spieth fired a 64 that electrified the patrons on the grounds and television viewers alike. His second shot on Azalea (Par 5) was astounding. Watching the coverage it was interesting hearing the conversation between him and caddie Michael Greller. Spieth was sitting in the pine straw and initially pulled an iron. Calmly, Greller talked him out of the shot and put a hybrid into his hands. The shot was caught a little heavy from 234 yards out but as it just cleared Rae’s Creek it settled onto the green for a great look at Eagle but he’d settle for Birdie which catapulted a string of 5 consecutive Birdie’s,  Spieth was right there until an errant tee shot on 18. As he approached his golf ball he simply exclaimed “Oh my God”. He was on pace to be the first in history to fire a 63 in the final round of The Masters.

spieth
Photo Credit: golfchannel.com

Also of much intrigue in the final round of the 2018 Masters was the play of Paul Casey who carded a -7  and Rickie Fowler who hung around and made things interesting right to the end. Fowler carded a 67 and had the patrons buzzing that were taking in the action as it unfolded. After hitting a scintillating drive down 18 his approach shot was even better as a Birdie found the bottom of the cup that got him to -14. Fowler started the final round 5 strokes back which is a testament to how he played the final round.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images

In the end  the day belonged to Patrick Reed. Forever his name will be etched in golf lore and Masters history. Reed won his first Major on this 8th day of April 2018 and that can never be taken away. He posted a total of -15 and his final round 71 was just enough to get the victory. For a while it looked as though he would make more Masters history by being the first in history to post 4 sub-70 rounds in The Masters. As good as Reed played that record remains standing. Reed was very steady and leading up to this Masters Tournament I predicted that he’d win.

So my pick to win The Masters out of the above picks. My pick to win the 2018 Masters Tournament is none other than Patrick Reed. His name is just jumping out at me and his game is trending in the right direction. Patrick, just don’t win the Par 3 Contest.

Reed  may not be the most popular winner to ever have donned a Green Jacket Masters Sunday. As a matter of fact there were far more detractors than supporters all over social media. I imagine there might be a number of reasons why golf fans haven’t warmed up to Reed. People going as far to suggest that he should wear red on Sunday’s (because of Tiger). do golf fans simply not like his swagger or ominpresent confidence? Reed made waves a few years ago when he brashly said he was a Top 5 player without having the resume to back it up. I suppose with his Green Jacket that changes things a little bit. Whether the stories are true or not I have no idea. While attending and playing for the University of Georgia he was dismissed from the golf team after allegations of him stealing and cheating arose. He would later transfer to Augusta State (his hometown) and win a National Championship with the Jaguars. Then there were also the gay slurs and then there was the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational where he was heard and recorded saying “I guess my name needs to be Jordan Spieth, guys” after not being granted free relief. It might have been in jest. At the end of the day only a few things matter. As long as his wife, friends and family loves him that’s all that matters. for the rest of us… what does he care really?

reed
Photo Credit; The Telegraph

 

Like it or not folks Patrick Reed is your 2018 Master Champion and he will be defending in 2019. Until then see you next year Augusta National (hopefully in the literal sense).

Until The Next Tee!!

 

 

The 2018 Masters Tournament

Well… here we are. Masters Week is here and players in the field have started playing practice rounds with several having been through the course in previous weeks. With the ever entertaining Par 3 Contest coming up Wednesday I thought that it might be fun to prognosticate the tournament. Before continuing, I just wanted to take a few seconds to talk about the annual Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals.

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Photo Credit: thestar.com

 

The Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals are held at Augusta National and features boys and Girls in 4 different age categories. These junior golfers ranging in ages 7-15 are good and can make golfers many years their elder look silly in these three major aspects of the golf game. I just wanted to wave my flag (Canadian) real fast and congratulate the winner of the Girls 10-11 age group. The winner was Vanessa Borovilos of Toronto, Ontario Canada. Congratulations Vanessa!!!

So The Masters. I’m still waiting to walk these hallowed grounds. It’s something that I really feel that I’ll be able to experience one day… preferably while I’m relatively young still and able-bodied. I just want to see if it smells like I’ve always imagined it to. I remember when I first had that thought. It was 2002, and I was in the hospital recovering from a serious illness where doctor’s thought I had Spinal Meningitis. But, as I recovered in the hospital I was watching The Masters (won by Tiger Woods) I was taken aback by the sheer beauty of the course. Those fully bloomed dogwood and azaleas. The pine straw nestled amongst the base of the towering pines. I thought that I could smell the golf course. At this point, I wasn’t even interested in golf but the rest is history.

masters

So the other day my dear friend in Ireland (Teresa) was asking for tips about The Masters. Someone asked what kind of tips she was looking for and she said that she wanted to place a few bets. So I made a suggestion as did several others. Which brings me to this piece. i thought it would be fun breaking down the field based on the Vegas odds. I’ll take my picks from the following categories and out of them… pick a winner and a darkhorse. Below are the odds breakdowns.

  • 10/1 to 20/1
  • 21/1 to 50/1
  • 51/1 to 99/1
  • 100/1 to 150/1
  • 175/1 to 250/1
  • 300/1 to 500/1
  • 600/1 to 1000/1

10/1 to 20/1 – The favorites! For any fans or gamblers placing wagers these are the “sure bets”. In a group that consists of the “new” Tiger, Spieth, Thomas and Dustin Johnson I like Bubba Watson. He already owns two titles at Augusta National but I’ve said all over social media that he’s a confident Bubba and not to mention that he’s putting real well, he’s long and more importantly has a wild imagination. I pick Bubba here but I see Justin Rose and Matt Kuchar hanging around.

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21/1 to 50/1 – In a group that features Jason Day, Rickie Fowler and defending champion Sergio Garcia there’s a name at 50/1 that is real intriguing. Also, for those betting it may be worthwhile to place a buck or two here. That guy… Patrick Reed. It’s a matter of time before the unflappable Reed breaks through for a Major title. It could happen this week.

51/1 to 99/1 – Well it would be “en vogue” to pick Ian Poulter out of this group. But I think he’s played his heart out to get to Magnolia Lane. Does he run out of gas after this miraculous run that he’s been on. He’ll make the cut but won’t be there at the end.  There are plenty of intriguing names here and I really would like to see a Bryson DeChambeau jacket presentation come Sunday. His approach to the game is as interesting as his 66/1 odds. At 70/1 I pick Australian Marc Leishman. The Aussie is grossly underrated.

100/1 to 150/1 – Kevin Kisner leads this group of golfers and sits at 100/1. but when I look up and down this category the man from Thailand grabs my attention. Kiradech Aphibarnrat at 125/1. He doesn’t play much in North America but has garnered more attention after his play during the WGC Dell Match Play.  wonder what his “Champions Dinner” would be like.

fenix2

175/1 to 250/1 – Now we’re really starting to get into the longshots although many would contend that any one after 50/1 is a longshot. Shubhankar Sharma is another one of those international players that introduced himself to North America earlier this year. He did so after playing extremely well at the WGC Mexico event which consequently got him his Masters invite. The emerging European Tour star has played some tremendous golf this year so on a whim I’ll take Sharma at 175/1 over Patton Kizzire and Si Woo Kim.

300/1 to 500/1 – Not exactly a ton of names in the last two groups to choose from. But these are names that would be fun for placing a $20 bet. Oh the golf clubs I could but or the upgrades to my website. Sure there are the household bills that could be paid… but what fun is that? Fred Couples always excites at The Masters but at 400/1 I’ll pick Wesley Bryan.

600/1 to 1000/1 – The longest of longshots. Here we see a few guys that are amateurs or a bit “long in the tooth”. Steely eyed, grizzled veteran Bernhard Langer is bold. He plays pretty good golf however I’ll pick another Champions Tour player here. Vijay Singh has won this season on the “senior circuit” and I can see the native of Fiji playing golf this weekend.

vijay

So my pick to win The Masters out of the above picks. My pick to win the 2018 Masters Tournament is none other than Patrick Reed. His name is just jumping out at me and his game is trending in the right direction. Patrick, just don’t win the Par 3 Contest.

reed

Until The Next Tee!!