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.

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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!!

 

The President’s Cup

It’s been a little while since I wrote an editorial so I thought that it would be time to write one now. The time is perfect as a matter of fact because the topic is one that I feel very strongly about. The President’s Cup.

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Every two years we see this collection of the best player’s from the United States of America (wait… that’s The Ryder Cup right?) pitted against top player’s from everywhere else that isn’t Europe. Where the Ryder Cup has a rich history (1927) The President’s Cup has a history that I feel is considerably less endowed in terms of history (1994). As a Canadian I admit that it’s tough getting up for the Ryder Cup because of course Canadian golfer’s are exempt (understandably so) from the two teams. But because of the history of the event and as a fan of golf I can get into it. When asked who I’m cheering for often my response is simply… “golf”. I simply hope for good golf. Now for us not living in or on continental Europe or the United States it’s the President’s Cup that we get up for. Or do we? For us in Canada we get to watch fellow “Canuck” Adam Hadwin compete this year which is nice. But ultimately I just can’t get up for this event…ever.  This year, it was for a good reason too.

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Captain Canada Adam Hadwin. (Photo Credit: tsn.ca)

I mean the scene is great being in the Metropolitan New York City area as Liberty National is just across the way in Jersey City, New Jersey. Perfect for getting the masses through the ticket gates. There was a sighting of the prior three president’s and Phil Mickelson got a great picture with them (President’s Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton) which was cool. All three past president’s have been honorary chairmen of the event. But beyond that it’s been pretty ho-hum.

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Photo Credit: golfweek.com

Leading up to the event it didn’t take a degree in “Rocket Science” to see that the American side was the stronger team. Sure the Internationals have Matsuyama, Day, Scott, Hadwin, Schwartzel, Oosthuizen and in my opinion the most underrated golfer on the PGA Tour Marc Leishman. But look at that American team! The squad is composed of a who’s who of those who are ranked very highly in the Official World Golf Rankings. Not to mention who were in big-time contention of winning the FedEx Cup Playoffs. Did I happen to mention that the champion himself Justin Thomas is there too? The rosters speak for themselves and it shows on the scoreboard too. The state of American golf is strong. This President’s Cup isn’t even a contest.

My hats off to the U.S. team for dominating but all this did was strengthen my beliefs that this event is a “filler” with no true meaning. There is no money to be won and the proceeds go to charities voted on by the Captain’s, Captains’ Assistants and the player’s themselves which is terrific. Sure the European’s are all from different countries like the International’s but at least that event has a history to it… a storied history. But there’s also a rivalry to it… at times heated which always makes for compelling television. The President’s Cup is merely an exhibition dressed in “competition drag” and that’s all. A near afterthought! While the American squad has a flag and country to play for the International side has bragging rights in a “Miss. Congeniality” kind of way. Honestly, I don’t put a ton of stock into the idea of team events when it comes to golf. Golf is a solitary sport at the root of what it truly is. Golf as a team event is a romantic and noble gesture that in my opinion doesn’t really do much to grow the game.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images

At some point I’ll likely turn on the television and watch some of the telecast tomorrow. After all it is golf and I love the game. But I might be more likely to go and play some golf or hit the driving range instead. This event is already over but maybe there can be some excitement like the match between Tiger Woods and Mike Weir in 2007 when the event was held in Canada at Royal Montreal. That match was a classic with the native son Weir winning the match. Overall, that event was a laugher/snoozefest too! I guess at this point all that I can do is simply cheer for golf. Go golf!

Until The Next Tee!!