All joking aside, Patrick Reed and Danny Willett could make for dream pairing at Hong Kong Open
American team’s dominant star and the Masters champion had a much different experience at Ryder Cup
We all need to laugh. Helps keep us sane. Pete Willett, of Birmingham, England, agrees. Although his younger brother Danny is the reigning Masters champion, Pete wrote a scathing piece in a prominent British golf magazine on the eve of the Ryder Cup.
“For the Americans to stand a chance of winning, they need their baying mob of imbeciles to caress their egos every step of the way,” he claimed, before ending the piece by calling them, “those fat, stupid, greedy, classless b******s.”
Granted, it could well be a verbatim quote from one of the candidates running for president this year, but nonetheless Americans were not amused and Danny was left to clean up his brother’s mess. “It’s obviously not the thoughts of myself and of the teams,” he said, while personally apologising to US captain Davis Love.
Still, Danny and family, minus his brother back in the UK, were subjected to endless abuse throughout the competition at Hazeltine in Minnesota, which the Americans won convincingly.
Watch: Danny Willett’s press conference ahead of the Ryder Cup
This in turn prompted Danny to tweet: “Unfortunately some American fans showed that Pete Willett was in fact correct.”
It was most definitely an introspective and somewhat glum Willett at the post-tournament press conference. When asked to describe his debut Ryder Cup experience, he pulled no punches. “S**t,” he said. “Being honest. Sorry would you like me to elaborate? Really s**t.”
Very strange week here at the Ryder cup.. Tried my best but played poorly.. Unfortunately some american fans showed that @P_J_Willett was..
— Danny Willett (@Danny_Willett) October 3, 2016
It was also a perfect description of his performance on the course as Willett lost all three of his matches. At the very least, you have to admire his honesty.
The first Englishman in 20 years to win at Augusta in April, his engaging honesty and humour was a breath of fresh air in a game that can often take itself too seriously.
The best part was when it was announced that he would be joining fellow Englishman and Ryder Cup teammate Justin Rose in headlining the field at the Hong Kong Open in December.
No doubt the PR crew behind the European and Asian Tours will try to shape the narrative surrounding Willett into how his appearance marks the first time the reigning Masters champion has played in Hong Kong. And that’s all true.
However, those of us who are fans of satire may have a different line of questioning on our minds and I think most of you know what that will entail.
Pete Willett claims his piece was written in jest, it was purely satire. But, unfortunately, as a number of his backers pointed out, Americans don’t do irony.
Really? Have you been following this year’s presidential campaign? Americans most definitely have a sense of humour, just not necessarily when it comes to themselves.
However, in a delightfully ironic twist it now appears that one of America’s most dynamic golfers, and the new king of the Ryder Cup, Patrick Reed, is also on his way to the Hong Kong Golf Club.
The 25-year-old from Texas was an unstoppable force at Hazeltine and not only staged one of the most memorable match-play duels ever when he beat Rory McIlroy in singles on the final day, but his over-the-top theatrics help stoked the massive crowds into a state of patriotic delirium.
Heavy artillery: Olympic gold medallist Justin Rose and Masters champion Danny Willett set to light up Hong Kong Open
Last year at the Hong Kong Open, Reed told us that it was time for the US to man up and reverse the Europeans two-decade dominance.
“I think we need to kick our guys’ butts in gear and say this is the one week you need to play some great golf,” he said. “Because it just seems really lopsided lately.” Mission accomplished, nobody kicked more butt than “Captain America” Reed.
Now, it is absolutely imperative that tournament organisers pair Reed with Willett in the first two days of the event. Come on, give us a bit of irony to relish here. Golf needs it and so does the Hong Kong Open.
It may be a full two months since the Ryder Cup ended, but it will still give Willett a chance to enlighten Reed on the joys of satire in literature.
He can talk about the legends of the genre, like Jonathan Swift and American Mark Twain and also touch on some of the modern masters such as Stephen Colbert and Pete Willett.
Since Reed was very vocal about how much he enjoyed the new experience of playing in Hong Kong and Asia last year, no doubt he will appreciate being enlightened on the sublime joys of satire.
You see, it was all a joke Patrick and would you be so kind to take that message back home for the Masters champion? Thank you.