It’s been over a week since the European Ryder Cup team put the finishing touches on a 17½ – 10½ romp over the United States in the Ryder Cup, but in the week-plus, the narratives, quotes and drama that have unfolded largely in the public eye have overshadowed the play on Le Golf National.
While most of the U.S. team was willing to take the loss on the chin, Patrick Reed and his family voiced their cumulative displeasure both in print and in the comment sections of various articles.
The drama kicked off following the completion of play on Sunday when Reed spoke to The New York Times’ Karen Crouse to complain about the pairings. It was then followed by various name-calling from anonymous members of Team USA and finished with Reed’s mother-in-law going scorched earth in the comment section of a Golf.com story.
On Monday, Golf Channel released an exclusive interview with U.S. captain Jim Furyk on a wide range of topics that inevitably circled back to the pairings.
“When I started looking at who (Tiger) would pair well with, I kept coming back to Patrick Reed,” Furyk told GolfChannel.com insider Tim Rosaforte. “There was always the idea that we could go Tiger and (Justin Thomas), and Patrick and Jordan (Spieth), but ultimately they knew going into the week, weeks in advance, they knew they would start the Ryder Cup with Patrick and Tiger being partners.”
Asked if there was a concern about splitting up the successful team of Reed and Spieth, Furyk reiterated what he said in the post-tournament press conference.
“Yes, (I was concerned),” Furyk said. “(I) talked about it with the vice captains, discussed it. ‘Is something we really want to do?’ I really felt like we got two great pairings out of it. It was my call. Ultimately, I’m the one who made that decision, but it’s a decision I stand by.
“We got Jordan and JT out of it. They played very well and won three of their four matches. Some of our lowest scoring was coming out of that pairing. Also, I’ll stand by it: I think Tiger and I think Patrick make a great pair. They went 0-2 playing against a formidable team both times, but I still think they make a good pair.
Patrick and Tiger had such a great relationship as Tiger as a vice captain and Patrick as a player (at Hazeltine) and Patrick played so well while he was in that role. Tiger’s been a little bit of a mentor to him in many ways. They get along very well so I thought it would be very good for Patrick to have Tiger as a partner, but I also thought Patrick would provide a lot for Tiger as well.
“It wasn’t as much as putting Jordan and JT together as it was I really wanted Patrick and Tiger to be partners. I wanted that relationship. There was always the idea that we could go Tiger and JT, and Patrick and Jordan, but ultimately they knew going into the week, weeks in advance, they knew they would start the Ryder Cup with Patrick and Tiger being partners.”
Furyk went on to say that he was surprised to hear about Reed’s unhappiness with the pairings, citing both Reed and Woods being excited to play together.
Furyk also confirmed and diffused the alleged near-fight between Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson during the interview, describing it as something similar to a sibling dust-up that neither considered out of the ordinary.
“Whatever altercation started, or what happened, it was very brief. It was very short. Neither one of them really took anything out of it,” Furyk said. “They’re like brothers. Brothers may argue, brothers get into it. But they’re as close as they’ve ever been, and it really had no effect on either one of them.”