Ryder Cup diary: Neil McLeman reports from Rome with three days to go
The USA may have arrived in Rome as the current holders of the Ryder Cup but their last attempt to defend the trophy on European soil was a complete disaster. The Americans, who still haven’t won outside their home country since 1993, ended up losing their grip on the trophy after suffering a humbling 17.5-10.5 defeat at Le Golf National in France.
The result was an embarrassment for the star-studded US team, which included huge names like Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, but the tournament hadn’t even finished before cracks started to appear from inside the American camp.
Heading into the 2018 Ryder Cup, Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed boasted a 66 per cent win record playing together. But USA skipper Jim Furyk named the duo in separate groups on both Friday and Saturday.
Speith was paired with Justin Thomas and the close friends went on to collect three points from a possible four over the first two days play. Reed was only selected for two matches alongside Woods, both of which resulted in defeat.
When the absence of the Spieth/Reed partnership was discussed on social media, one commenter wrote on X (then Twitter): “Reed doesn’t want to play with Spieth unfortunately.”
The post caught the eye of Reed’s wife Justine Reed, who broke a month-long Twitter silence to respond directly to the accusation.
She wrote: “I can assure you- you’re wrong. Patrick never said that 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 for the TEAM.”
Reed had earned himself the nickname ‘Captain America’ following his previous heroics for the USA team. Before 2018 he had only lost one match out of nine and famously beat Rory McIlory in the 2016 Sunday singles at Hazeltine National in what is widely regarded as one of the greatest matches in the history of the Ryder Cup.
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But after recovering from pneumonia, he was left out of the American team that regained the trophy at Whistling Straits in 2021 and after defecting to the LIV Golf tour he will not be involved at the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club this week either.
Spieth, on the other hand, was one of Zach Johnson’s expected wildcard picks for Rome. The 30-year-old Texan will need to improve on one particular record this time around, however. He has never won a singles match in four attempts. Reed – who has appeared in three Ryder Cups – has never lost one.
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