Patrick Reed brings ‘Shush’ to Dubai

Patrick Reed, tormentor-in-chief of the European Ryder Cup team, will be back among familiar foe as he makes his second consecutive appearance at the DP World Tour Championship later this month. The American was one of the stars of the show at Hazeltine as he defeated Rory McIlroy in the lead-off singles match, paving the way for the United States to win their first Ryder Cup since 2008 by a score of 17-11. He’ll be welcomed back to Dubai – a place he has fond memories of – and hoping he can get into contention once again.

AMERICA’S Hazeltine hero was full of praise for Dubai after posting a top ten finish at Jumeirah Golf Estates 12 months ago. “Dubai is awesome,” he said. “It’s an unbelievable place and we had a great time. The skyline is particularly awesome. We were thinking of going up to the ‘Atmosphere’ restaurant in the tallest building – that would have been fun. The only problem was, I’m scared of heights so we’ll have to wait and see.”

Away from the dizzy heights of the Burj Khalifa, Reed found the Earth Course at JGE very much to his liking as he posted rounds 70-65-68 to sit three strokes off the lead heading into the final round. Disappointingly, he fell back into a share of tenth place with a final round 73 but he wasn’t too downbeat, knowing he has the capability to win events all around the world, having become something of a global player in the intervening year.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to play both Tours,” said Reed earlier this year at the AAM Scottish Open in Inverness. “The first time I actually came over and played in Europe was at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in 2011, and the first round I played was at St. Andrews. It was 72 degrees, sunny with no wind. I was like, ‘Oh, man, this is easy’.

“Yet I only shot 1-under par when I expected it to be a lot different. But come the third day when I played Carnoustie, it was 55 degrees, wind blowing sideways and raining. I got to see true links golf and it was a blast. So I don’t mind if it’s raining. I don’t even mind if it’s windy or cold.”


Patrick Reed hits his tee-shot on the third hole during the final round of the DP World Tour Championship on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates on November 22, 2015 in Dubai
Patrick Reed hits his tee-shot on the third hole during the final round of the DP World Tour Championship on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates on November 22, 2015 in Dubai

It shouldn’t be too cold when he tees it up in Dubai and it’s fair to say that Reed has had plenty of bright days out on the golf course in his relatively short professional career. Since joining the paid ranks in 2011 he has won six times on home soil, including a notable win two years ago when he first hit the global headlines with a superb victory at the WGC-Cadillac Championship in Miami.

Not only did he get people talking with his one-stroke win over Jamie Donaldson and Bubba Watson – something he said ‘made people sit up and take note.’ He announced himself as a ‘top five player’ in the world, despite having not yet played in a Major and being officially ranked 20th in the world. “I believe in myself and especially considering how hard I’ve worked,” he said, clarifying his comments. “To come out on top in a field like this and to hold on, wire to wire, like that, I feel like I’ve proven myself.”

One thing was indisputable about his win: Reed joined Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlory as the then only current players who have won three or more times on the US PGA Tour before reaching the age of 24.  Victory in Florida was his third over an eight month stretch and it saw him qualify for a memorable Ryder Cup debut at Gleneagles later that year.

Tom Watson paired him with fellow young Texan Jordan Spieth and the duo worked their magic, earning 2 points together from three matches.

Reed would later defeat Henrik Stenson in the singles and during this match he pulled out his now trademark move to the galleries – putting his index finger to his mouth in a ‘shush’ motion. While it rankled with some in the Scottish crowd, Reed’s outstanding performance was one of few American bright spots during the week as they went down 11.5–16.5.

Asked about his match with Stenson, Reed was clearly thrilled about his debut outing. “It was amazing, just to be able to play for your country is something else.” He added: “Watching Henrik make a long putt for birdie, the crowd went absolutely nuts, which I would expect. Then I made one on top of him to halve the hole and I gave the galleries the ‘shush’ sign.

CHARLOTTE, NC - MAY 13: Patrick Reed poses for a portrait ahead of the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club on May 13, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

“I was doing it all in fun to get the guys going and get everyone going. It was awesome after that. It got the European side really fired up and really roaring and it also got the USA side fired and roaring. It was one of the most fun rounds of golf I’ve ever played.”

Despite coming out on the losing side, Reed savoured the atmosphere and he was raring to go when it came to his first home outing two months ago in Minnesota. The 26-year-old was the star of the United States side as he led the line in the singles and produced a stunning 1-up victory over Rory McIlroy as the USA romped to a 17-11 victory, avenging their three previous painful defeats.

“When I look at it, yeah, we’re playing the Europeans, but at the same time we play golf with these guys every single week,” said Reed after his win over McIlroy. “To be a part of the Ryder Cup, I don’t look at it as just the U.S. team, more as the Ryder Cup family.

“I consider everybody in the Ryder Cup, whether it’s the European side, captains, vice captains, U.S. side – it’s one big Ryder Cup family. We want everyone to play well. We want to beat them at their best and they want to beat us at our best. I know it was something fun to be a part of and I’m pretty sure it was fun to watch.”

That kind of attitude has seen Reed become one of the most popular players in the game – and his fan base is streadily growing as he continues to share his time on the US PGA Tour and the European Tour. This year he won on his home Tour for the fourth season in succession with his sixth US PGA Tour title at The Barclays in New York – a win which sealed his spot in Davis Love III’s side.

What chances a first European Tour victory as he tussles – this time as  a lone American – with all 12 of the European Ryder Cup team and a plethora of European Tour stars at the DP World Tour Championship.

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