SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, FRANCE | Captain America wears a black hat.
Perhaps not literally – that’s not how the U.S. Ryder Cup team outfits are scripted – but Patrick Reed knows who he is and how he is when it comes to playing in the matches that begin Friday at Le Golf National.
It’s one thing to work the crowd at Hazeltine National as he did two years ago, burnishing the brash image Reed showed in his first Ryder Cup four years ago in Scotland. The masses in Minnesota two autumns ago were largely American, thirsting for Reed’s brand of bravado.
It will be different just a few miles from the Eiffel Tower as the Americans chase their first Ryder Cup victory overseas in 25 years.
Reed has a simple thought: Bring it on.
“Coming overseas, Captain America, I was supposed to be the villain, just like when Ian Poulter comes to the States, he’s the villain,” said Reed, who has a 6-1-2 career record in the Ryder Cup.
Reed relishes the idea of match play. Juice it with a heavy dose of red, white and blue and the band is playing his song.
As a member of two NCAA Championship-winning teams at Augusta State, Reed went 6-0 in match play, foreshadowing his Ryder Cup success.
“I already knew and felt like I was pretty good at match play, but at that point, I was like: Match play’s fun,” Reed said.
Four years ago, Reed and Jordan Spieth turned up as Ryder Cup rookies at Gleneagles and went 2-0-1 together before Reed beat Henrik Stenson in Sunday singles of what was an American loss.
Reed cemented his Poulter-like presence when he shushed the European crowd after topping a Stenson birdie with one of his own.
“I know it’s playfulness. They are not booing me – like in 2014, they didn’t boo me because of anything that was disrespectful or because they didn’t like me. Just because when Henrik, their guy, makes a putt, the crowd goes nuts, and then when I made the putt, I told them to shush, quiet down. The match is only six holes in and we’re only all square,” Reed said.
“I love it when we can interact with the fans and get going, because there’s no other event that you can do that at.”
Two years ago, Reed and Spieth went 2-1-1 together in the U.S. victory. Reed also took down Rory McIlroy in an extraordinarily emotional singles match.
So here’s a question:
Might captain Jim Furyk break up the Reed-Spieth partnership when he unveils his Friday morning pairings?
It has been suggested and it would not be a complete shock if it happens.
Like every other American player asked about potential pairings Tuesday, Reed was noncommittal about whether he might have a new partner this week.
“It’s going to come down to what captain (Furyk) thinks and what we all think is best for the team,” Reed said.
“It’s just going to really all depend on what we think are the best people we can put out and best teams we can put out since some guys are going to sit at some point, and who we feel can go out and get us the most points possible.”