Because the Ryder Cup was canceled in 2020, the performance of U.S. players were graded and judged over a three-year span (2019-2021). During this time period, Patrick Reed won three PGA Tour titles in elite field events (2019 WGC-Mexico Championship, 2020 Northern Trust and 2021 Farmers Insurance Open).
Scottie Scheffler? 2019 Zip. 2020 Zilch. 2021 Nada.
When Reed left for England to tee it up at The 149th Open Championship, he was ranked No. 9 in the world, and No. 7 in the Ryder Cup standings. Later that month, he would be an alternate for the FOUR-man U.S. Olympic team.
In late July, as Reed was representing the United States in the Olympics, the suggestion of ‘Captain America’ – a Ryder Cup legend – not being one of the 12 U.S. players teeing it up at Whistling Straits would seem absurd.
But then after returning from Japan, Reed came down with COVID pneumonia, and missed the Wyndham, The Northern Trust and the BMW – two places where he’s won (Greensboro and Liberty National) and a third (BMW) with no cut. Translation: a ton of Official World Golf Ranking and Ryder Cup points left on the table.
Yet, despite this, Reed still finished ahead of Scheffler on both lists (OWGR and Ryder Cup standings).
Any other player with that kind of recent world-class performance (2019-2021), who fought back from a near-death illness, would have been a no brainer as a captain’s pick.
When you add in his crazy good Ryder Cup history – including an unblemished 3-0-0 singles record, and ‘Captain America’ persona playing to the home crowd… well then it’s absolutely mind boggling that Reed was slighted.
Yet, because Reed is who he is (i.e. not personally popular), Stricker is being given a pass after his snub of the best U.S. Ryder Cup player of this era.
Yes. Steve Stricker made a huge mistake… by listening to Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas who I’m told lobbied heavily against Reed.
Editor’s note: This post, originally titled ‘Stricker should be fired for picking Scheffler over Reed’, has been updated to reflect reality.