FARMINGDALE, N.Y. — It was earlier this week when Patrick Reed, that fist-pumping, Europe-shushing, putt-dropping ball of momentum who solidified himself as the darling of an otherwise bleak United States team effort at the Ryder Cup two years ago, was asked why that event means so much to him.
He narrowed his eyes, shook his head and paused for a few seconds, clearly taken aback by the sheer audacity of the question. It was as if he had been asked why water is wet or why the sun is hot. Then he stammered the only explanation he could muster: “It’s the Ryder Cup.”
While Reed did eventually elaborate as to why the biennial competition holds such importance, those four words should serve as the only necessary justification for why he so desperately wants to represent the red, white and blue once again this year.
If he keeps playing like this at The Barclays, his probability of a roster spot will become a certainty by the end of the weekend.
Reed entered this event as No. 8 on the U.S. points list, with the top eight players after this week having guaranteed automatic qualifying spots on the team. All of which placed him firmly on the bubble, not that he’s showing the effects of feeling any pressure.
“All you’ve got to do is light the fire a little with him,” said Jordan Spieth, his partner for three matches in the 2014 Ryder Cup. “If he plays golf with some, whether it be motivation or just feeling like he’s been a little off and he needs to just do that little bit extra, he always brings it.”
So far, Reed is bringing it this week.
Whether he admits it or not, that Ryder Cup roster spot is a tantalizing carrot dangling right in front of him. Reed desperately wants to be on that team and isn’t afraid to explain how important it is.
Just ask him. He’ll offer a slight scowl and a pause, then just four words.
It’s the Ryder Cup.