Patrick Reed won his eighth PGA Tour title in Sunday at the WGC-Mexico Championship by birdieing three of his last four holes to beat a world-class field and a group of chasers that included top-15 players Bryson DeChambeau, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy, among others.
And that may have been the easy part for Reed.
During a week that saw the Ryder Cup stalwart called out for cheating during last December’s Hero World Challenge by Brooks Koepka and being accused of improving his lie on at least four separate occasions by former CBS on-course analyst Peter Kostis, Reed had to have known what was going to come his way during his media rounds.
It started right away off of the 18th green where Reed had only moments earlier salvaged a poor tee shot to make a bogey and win by one over DeChambeau. Speaking to SkySports’ Wayne Riley, the commentator asked Reed if he believed he had silenced a few critics with his victory.
The question was about resilience. Not inflammatory, well articulated, but clearly designed to get him to talk. It was a good pundit doing a good job. Reed’s reaction, as always, is to blame someone else. Always the victim of circumstance, somehow.
— Boris Becker Jnr (@becker_jnr) February 24, 2020
“Honestly, I don’t know,” Reed responded. “Really at the end of the day, to me, it doesn’t really matter. For me, it’s go out there and continue doing what I’m supposed to do, and that’s try to play the best golf I can, try to be the best person I can, and try to set an example for the younger kids that are out here watching as well as my kids that are watching back at home.
“If I feel like I’m doing that, that’s all I can ask for. I feel like I’ve been doing a good job of that, and hopefully, everything starts smoothing out and going the right direction.”
The reading of the back-and-forth seems relatively mundane, but it was evident in the immediate aftermath as cameras continued to roll that Reed took issue with the final question.
Patrick Reed was not pleased with a question from Sky Sports’ Wayne Riley after his win. Not sure exactly what it was but presumably about the controversial week.
“Way to ask that one,” Reed says. pic.twitter.com/zVFVSyUPfe
— Josh Berhow (@Josh_Berhow) February 24, 2020
“Way to ask that one,” Reed can be heard saying to Riley before DeChambeau came into the frame to congratulate the victor.
By all accounts, however, the question was well-worded and certainly topical given the backlash he has received in the past, in general, and over the past week, in particular. And a similar line of questioning came in his winner’s press conference.
Of the roughly 25 questions asked of him in the interview room, a third of them were centered around the extracurriculars that surrounded him and his team outside the ropes. True to form, however, Reed always brought it back to what he can control inside them.
“I’m used to it,” Reed said when asked if he feels as if the world is against him. “Honestly, it’s one of those things that at the end of the day, all I can control is me and what I do on and off the golf course.
“If I feel like I’m improving each day on and off the golf course and setting a good example for the next generation coming up, the children, as well as my own children, then that’s all I can do. I feel like I’ve been doing a good job of that, and I feel like I’ve been growing as a person and as a golfer, and that’s all I can really do.”