Patrick Reed: Tiger still to prove he’s worth wild card

Phil Casey

Masters champion Patrick Reed believes Tiger Woods has yet to do enough to guarantee a Ryder Cup wild card for this year’s contest in Paris.

Woods has made an impressive return to action following spinal fusion surgery in April 2017, climbing from outside the world’s top 650 to 69th thanks to three top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour in 2018.

However, the 14-time major winner has already been named as an assistant to US captain Jim Furyk and is only 31st in the points standings, with the eight automatic qualifiers determined after the first FedEx Cup play-off event at the end of August.

Furyk is widely expected to give Woods a wild card, but asked if he would do the same, Reed said: “It all depends. Let’s see how he does these next two majors and these next couple events he plays. I feel like he’s trending in the right direction. I feel like he’s playing some really good golf.

The times I’ve played with him he’s hit the ball really well. He’s made some putts. It just kind of all depends. I feel like the picks are going to come down to who is kind of playing really good golf down the stretch.

“I feel like there’s probably a pick or two that are going to be for experience, but at the same time you need to keep a couple of those picks for guys that are trending and playing some good golf.”

Reed has become something of a talisman for the American Ryder Cup team, winning three and a half points in both 2014 and 2016 and beating Henrik Stenson and Rory McIlroy in the singles at Gleneagles and Hazeltine respectively.

“I love that role,” added the 27-year-old, who believes the American team have finally achieved the same team spirit which has always been a strength of the European side.

I love that target on my back and try to lead the team and go out and set an example for any rookies we have on the team, but at the same time get the veterans behind us and just run as a unit and go out and play some good golf.

While Reed seems unconvinced about Woods playing on the Ryder Cup team, he would still like to see the former world number one take on Phil Mickelson in a proposed $10 million (€??) shootout — as long as they play for their own money.

Mickelson told last week that the original plan was to play the match in Las Vegas on July 3, but that all the details could not be arranged in time.

“I would pay a little bit more to watch it if it was for their own money, for sure,” Reed said ahead of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open. “It’s going to be entertaining. I think it would be more entertaining if it was for their own money because I think the guys would grind even harder.”

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