Patrick Reed: Is He Really Top 5 Material?

Patrick Reed Celebrates, image: golfchannel.com

Patrick Reed Celebrates, image: golfchannel.com

A year after setting off a media firestorm over the assertion that he was one of the top-five golfers in the world, Patrick Reed is proving that sometimes it’s best to let the golf clubs do the talking.

With a host of incendiary comments coming out of his camp over the past year – from shushing European Ryder Cup fans to media outrage over homophobic slurs – Patrick Reed is no stranger to making unsolicited statements and gestures on the golf course. Whether or not those comments are harming his professional image is anyone’s guess.

With the World Golf Championships fresh on the minds of golf fans this week, and with the youngest champion in WGC history – Patrick Reed – defending his title, one can’t help but think of the 24-year-old pro golfer’s statement last year after he won the tournament. It was then that Mr. Reed proclaimed in a post-win interview that, “I believe in myself and – especially with how hard I’ve worked – I’m one of the top five players in the world.”

The confident young PGA Tour pro went on to state that, “To come out in a field like this and to hold on wire to wire like that, I feel like I’ve proven myself.”

Many people disagreed and went as far as to throw up a faux Twitter account titled PatrickReed’sEgo. Here’s one of the pointed posts from that account:

PatrickReed'sEgo Twitter Post

PatrickReed’sEgo Twitter Post

While Reed has had some success since the comment, including his most recent win at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, one could easily call into question whether or not his performances have lived up to his own hype. And with a WGC – Cadillac Championship title to defend for 2015, the pressure is on more than ever to earn his self-proclaimed top-five spot.

Can the Callaway Golf spokesperson live up to his own billing, or is his top-five claiming all hype and no hope?

A Bear of a Time at PGA National

The most recent tournament event we saw Patrick Reed play in was during the tumultuous Honda Classic, held at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Reed’s performance included a series of ups and downs over the course of the extended event, including a run-in with the PGA National’s infamous Bear Trap during Monday’s final round.

After flirting with the lead and battling it out with Ian Poulter during what was supposed to be the final round on Sunday, Reed was able to secure a T7 finish during the extended event. The final round on Sunday carried over to Monday morning due to inclement weather.

It appeared that Reed was lined up for a second win of the season, until the course’s Bear Trap – the 15th, 16th and 17th holes – cursed Reed with a cringe-worthy double-bogey, bogey and yes, another bogey, respectively.

Modest Progress, Hardly Top Five

Wouldn’t it be nice if golf fans, commentators and industry insiders had a way of ranking the best golfers in the world without the need to take a professional golfer’s word for it? Isn’t that exactly what the official world golf ranking system is designed to do?

Patrick Reed was ranked 20th in the world when he made his fateful top-five comment following his single-stroke win at last year’s WGC – Cadillac Championship. And while placing 20th among the best golfers in the world is no small feat, it’s still not in the top five. In fact, to cite an interesting point that is obvious to almost everyone but Reed, the top five golfers in the world are in the top five. That’s how ranking systems work.

In Reed’s defense, he has progressed over the last year, moving from the aforementioned 20th spot up to 15th, so if he keeps up the pace, maybe he’ll make that top-five spot within the next couple of years.

Until that time, we think its best he lets his results do the talking.

Brad Pecot

Director of Marketing, Golfballs.com

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