Commentary: Happy for deserving Patrick Reed, but it doesn’t mean I was rooting for him

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I’m happy for Patrick Reed – winning The Masters is an incredible feat and he deserves it. But I’ll start tonight with a question: Were you rooting for him to win? Because I admit I wasn’t.

Ultimately, that’s what makes this tournament so great, and it’s no disrespect to Reed. Winning any major is impossibly tough, and he had to do so with the best golfers in the world making a charge to earn his first Green Jacket. But coming down the stretch, with Jordan Spieth making a close-to-historic run for the greatest final-round comeback at Augusta and Rickie Fowler on his tail as well, I know many were hoping for a different outcome.

There’s an irony here too. I’ve never rooted harder for an American in the Ryder Cup, and harder for the same guy not to win The Masters. But it makes a lot of sense.

Patrick Reed is fiery and often comes across as brash or cocky. It’s awesome to see it when he’s on your team – which is no surprise that he’s nicknamed Captain America. He’s a big reason the U.S. finally won the Ryder Cup for the first time in eight years.

I mean, we should all be happy to see three Americans atop the Augusta leaderboard. If this was The Olympics, they would’ve swept the medal stand. Reed just wouldn’t have been my choice to win gold.

Even USA Today tried to answer the question, “Why do so many golf fans hate Patrick Reed?” And aside from his persona and brash comments from the past, it also alludes to past accusations of cheating on the course and stealing equipment from teammates in college, and calling some golf fans obnoxious.

Maybe we want to see a front-runner at The Masters fail at least once, like Rory McIlroy. Or knock on the door in a major multiple times like Rickie Fowler.
Maybe I’m blinded by my adopting of Jordan Spieth as an honorary Pacific Northwest son, having won the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay with a caddie from Gig Harbor.

I just don’t see anyone going out and saying, “I want to be like Patrick Reed.” He doesn’t have the superstar charisma or flair for the dramatic in momentous circumstances like Spieth or the crazy distance of a Rory or Dustin Johnson. There don’t seem to be a number of endearing qualities about a guy who declared himself a Top 5 golfer when he hadn’t even won a major yet.

And I’m not alone. I asked the question on Twitter earlier today, and with more than 800 votes, 73 percent said they weren’t rooting for Reed down the stretch. It doesn’t take away from his accomplishment – it’s just an interesting footnote about a seemingly polarizing individual. And yes, some root for the foil, because every good story needs a villain.

In the end, I appreciated his humility in Butler Cabin when being presented with the Green Jacket. He clearly carries a respect for the game and its history, and is one of the young rising stars who has now etched his name in Masters lore.

So, congratulations to Patrick Reed. Most of us applaud your win. Just don’t expect most of us to root for you to win it again.

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