Everyone is talking about golf’s latest superstar, Patrick Reed. Opinions (pro and con) are split straight down the middle, including my alter egos, Mutt and Jeff.
Jeff: That Patrick Reed fellow has caused a hullaballoo with his anticipation of self-perceived greatness and not being afraid to talk about it.
Mutt: I wish Patrick well. I hope there will be more upside than downside for him. If he wins again soon the upside will double.
If he wins a major - he’ll be on his way to being the superstar he claims to be.
Jeff: I don’t consider him one of the top 5 at present, but he might be in a year, or two. He certainly can play golf but boasting that he is a top-5 player before he has competed in a single major is a bit over the top.
Mutt: It was heat of the moment stuff. He reminds me of Lee Trevino when he burst onto the scene. He didn’t do too badly. If you are going to be a top player, you must believe in yourself.
Top sportsmen always think differently - otherwise they’d be nobodies. If you take offence at Reed’s self belief, you are missing the point. What he says doesn’t matter; what he wins does.
Jeff: Granted that Reed has one more career win than World No. 4, Jason Day but why do the world rankings have such importance?
I thought the top golfers only measured themselves by the number of majors they win? Reed has yet to make a start in a major.
Mutt: You know very well that the world rankings dictate whether you are invited into those big events, or not. Reed believes in himself. At 23-years of age, he has had three PGA Tour wins in 7-months. Nobody else is close to that success rate in the same period.
On current form, Jason Day, Jordan Speith, Jimmy Walker and Reed are all top-5ers. Tiger isn’t! The rankings haven’t gotten around to showing it yet.
Jeff: He’s going to have to back up his big talk with more wins and good finishes in the majors. That sort of talk in public can turn sour very quickly.
There are no guarantees that hard work and self-belief will turn into bigger and bigger success stories. Better to sneak up on success while it isn’t looking!
There’s a fine line between being confident and cocky, between brash and arrogant, between offering an honest opinion and articulating something that is better left unsaid - except to the mirror when you are shaving at which young Reed is certainly not top drawer.
Mutt: Come on! There are enough clean-cut, clones out there amongst the pros - all looking similar and talking the same inanities.
If Reed is prepared to ruffle a few feathers, walk the walk and talk the talk - good luck to him! I’d prefer that to hearing: “It is what it is!”
I love to see a young golfer with ‘attitude’ and ‘bottle.’ Reed’s win at Doral was by far the most impressive on the PGA Tour this year so far, not least because it came on a stringent test and did not come easy.
He was forced into playing some really brave, recovery shots coming down the stretch.
Jeff: It was very impressive but it would have been more so if Jamie Donaldson hadn’t wilted at the ‘monster’ final hole and had forced Reed to make a par to win instead of having the luxury of bogey being sufficient.
Mutt: Can I put it this way? The worst thing you can be in professional sport is ‘boring’ - Reed sure isn’t boring! He’s refreshingly honest and different and I’ll be watching him all the more keenly because of it.
Jeff: To be fair, off the course Reed is reported to be hardworking and mannerly. Let’s not judge him on the strength of one interview in the heat of the moment. He was, after all, responding to a question.
Mutt: Reed may look like a pick-up truck but he is a Maserati when it comes to playing golf shots.
Reed’s confident approach will see him through the inevitable crises that will occur when he begins trying to win major golf tournaments.
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