IS REED THE NEW VIJAY?
Reed’s reluctance to talk about his controversial past could have long-term repercussions.
Given his already well-established preference to give interviews that fail to extend beyond the birdies and bogeys he has just made on the course, there is an obvious danger that the world of golf is never really going to know Patrick Reed. This is not without precedent. Former World No.1 Vijay Singh has long been similarly disinclined to share anything more than perfunctory thoughts about his game.
Both men fear the awkward question journalists will understandably wish to ask. Reed doesn’t want to talk about his estrangement from his parents and sister, or the various accusations of misdeeds during his college days. And Singh is forever haunted by the sixmonth Asian Tour ban he served after being found guilty of altering his scorecard at the 1985 Indonesian Open.
In Singh’s case, his self-enforced near-silence is a huge shame. Ten years ago, the Fijian gave an interview to the Scotland on Sunday newspaper – one that focused entirely on the five weeks he spent in Caledonia early in his career. It was illuminating and entertaining. Singh’s likeable personality was obvious as he painted an entertaining picture of a young man who loved golf and was determined to do whatever it took to make it to the very top.
“I loved Scotland right away, even if it was a bit cold,” he said, before breaking into what must be one of golf’s most infectious laughs. “But I got used to it. I worked as a bouncer on the door of a nightclub on Lothian Road in Edinburgh. I wouldn’t say there was a lot of job satisfaction, but I was earning money and it was certainly an interesting insight into Scottish culture.
“The women were the hardest ones to handle. When they fight, goodness gracious me! I knew how to deal with the men, but the women... you never knew what they were going to do.”
There is no guarantee that Patrick Reed could ever be just as amusing. But it would be a great pity if we never get the chance to find out.