IS REED THE NEW VIJAY?

Reed’s re­luc­tance to talk about his con­tro­ver­sial past could have long-term reper­cus­sions.

Golf World (UK) - - PATRICK REED -

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.

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