The Ryder Cup Team USA roster was announced Wednesday morning, and one familiar face was not mentioned during Steve Stricker’s captain’s picks: Patrick Reed.
“Captain America,” Reed’s nickname, will not be playing at Whistling Straits this year after competing for the red, white and blue at the last three Ryder Cups.
Stricker admitted that not having Reed on the team was a tough call, and that Reed was the first person he reached out to to tell him he didn’t make the team.
“He is a tremendous competitor, his record at the Ryder Cup is pretty darn good,” Stricker said. “I think it was just the uncertainty of his health and really the lack of play that led to our decision down the stretch.”
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This “uncertainty of his health” that Stricker is referring to is Reed’s recent hospital stay in August due to an intense battle with pneumonia. At some points, Reed admitted to fearing for his life. He had to drop out of the BMW Championship, but was still able to compete at the Tour Championship, finishing at 25.
But before his case of pneumonia, Reed was dealing with a left ankle injury, causing him to drop out of The Northern Trust in August as well.
With these medical issues, Reed didn’t play much at the tail end of the PGA Tour season, causing him to drop in the FedEx Cup rankings. His playing didn’t look strong heading into the Ryder Cup decision, which presumably led to Stricker leaving him out.
It has been quite the year for Reed. In January at the Farmers Insurance Open, Reed was at the forefront of a rules controversy after he picked up his ball when he was told that it had not bounced. However, he did this before the rules official could come over, and social media erupted saying the ball did bounce and that Reed did not follow the rules. Reed ended up winning the tournament, which then led other golfers to comment on the situation with mixed feelings.
Reed’s overall likeability in the golf world has definitely decreased since he made his last Ryder Cup appearance due to a few rule controversies and comments made about other golfers, such as his former Ryder Cup teammate Jordan Spieth.
After Reed’s last experience on the Ryder Cup team in Paris where he publicly expressed his frustration with the team and captain Jim Furyk when they didn’t pair him with Spieth, there was speculation that Reed wouldn’t make the final cut. It would create an awkward setting in the locker room, that’s for sure.
Regardless, Reed’s infamous match against Rory McIlroy in 2016 will remain one of the greatest showdowns in Ryder Cup history. Reed beat McIlroy by one hole on their Sunday one-on-one matchup to bring the victory to the United States.
This year’s Ryder Cup Team USA roster consists of six rookies — Daniel Berger, Xander Schauffele, Harris English, Scottie Scheffler, Patrick Cantlay and Collin Morikawa — and six former Ryder Cup players — Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Jordan Spieth, Tony Finau, Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas. The Ryder Cup begins Friday, Sept. 24 and runs through Sunday, Sept. 26.
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