Ryder Cup fallout: Patrick Reed and wife tee off on Jordan Spieth, Jim Furyk; Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka in near fight
Little has changed since Phil Mickelson threw Tom Watson under the bus in 2014 – how can the Americans expect to win if they keep airing dirty laundry?
It didn’t take long for the infighting to start – again – after the US suffered another Ryder Cup blowout.
Just an hour after the closing news conference of their latest meek surrender, with Europe triumphing 17.5-10.5 at Le Golf National, Patrick Reed was taking potshots at teammate Jordan Spieth and captain Jim Furyk.
Reed felt Furyk had got it wrong by pairing childhood friends Spieth and Justin Thomas, instead of sticking with the successful Spieth-Reed partnership which had lost just once in 12 matches.
“The issue is obviously with Jordan not wanting to play with me,” Reed said. “I don’t have any issue with Jordan.
“When it comes right down to it, I don’t care if I like the person I’m paired with or if the person likes me as long as it works and it sets up the team for success.
“He and I know how to make each other better. We know how to get the job done.”
Spieth and Ryder Cup rookie Thomas took three points from four matches in France, though Reed and a tired Tiger Woods lost both of their fourballs matches to Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood, and were not called upon for the foursomes.
Reed – the top scorer for the US in the previous two Ryder Cups – won his singles match against Tyrell Hatton on Sunday, but long after Europe’s victory was confirmed.
“We were totally involved with every decision that was made,” Spieth said in defence of Furyk at the news conference. “We had two potentially fantastic teams and we went out confidently and tried to play our best.”
That served only to anger Reed, who didn’t get a chance to weigh in, prompting his outburst to the Times.
“I was looking at him like I was about to light the room up like Phil Mickelson did in 2014,” Reed said.
When it comes to airing dirty laundry, it feels like nothing has changed since Mickelson criticised Tom Watson’s tactics and management after the US were thumped at Gleaneagles in 2014.
Reed added of Furyk: “I thought our captain might go back with the groups that have worked in the past. For somebody as successful in the Ryder Cup as I am, I don’t think it’s smart to sit me twice.”
The public infighting didn’t stop there, with Reed’s wife Justine taking the Golf Channel commentary team to task on Twitter.
In a reply to a tweet saying her husband didn’t play well, she wrote: “You must be living in La La Land! They [the Golf Channel] are the ones that are unspeakably awful. Not even trying to hide their bias, their prejudice and their hatred. They are journalistically disqualified. Have been for a long time. Now others can see it clearly as well.”
“He was the leading point scorer for the last two Ryder Cups,” Justine Reed wrote in another tweet. “You didn’t see any of the others playing with [Francesco] Molinari and [Tommy] Fleetwood. Yet you change the most winning pairing in American history in Patrick and Jordan.”
Another volley read: “Patrick never said he didn’t want to play with Jordan. Maybe you should ask Jordan why he didn’t want to play with Patrick. You don’t have to love the people you work with – but when you have chemistry and success, you go with it.”
If that wasn’t enough, The Daily Telegraph reported Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka had to be separated after an argument during the post-tournament festivities.
The two top-ranked players on the US team – who are workout partners and close friends – are said to have almost come to blows after being invited into the Europe team room. They had lost to Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson in the Saturday afternoon foursomes.
A witness reported that a European player’s wife was “clearly shocked and upset by the nastiness, which was very threatening”.
Contrast all of this to the European side, for whom there has hardly been a peep of negativity since then-captain Nick Faldo called Serio Garca “useless” in 2008 at Valhalla.
Garcia had the last laugh on Sunday, when his singles victory against Rickie Fowler saw him surpass Faldo as Europe’s all-time leading scorer with 25.5 points.
“This means a lot to me,” Garcia told Sky Sports. “I have passed some of my heroes today – and Nick Faldo.”
But that’s about as spiteful as it has got on the European side for a decade, which says a lot when you consider this was Europe’s third win by seven points or more in their last five victories at the biennial competition.
Le Golf National was Europe’s ninth win in 12 tournaments, and it has now been 25 years since the US won on European soil.
How can the Americans ever expect to snap that sorry streak if they can’t even get on the same page?
Reed just about summed it up to the Times: “I saw these inspirational messages in our team room like, ‘Leave your egos at the door’. The Europeans do that better than us.”