2020 Masters Choose Your Own Adventure, Patrick Reed vs. Jon Rahm: Given the Boot
Harry Trump/Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick Reed, Jon Rahm
Fans continue berating Reed and getting kicked out.
If the verbal abuse for a specific player kept taking place at another golf tournament, if fans throughout a gallery were yelling at him in droves, there’s probably not a whole lot that would — or could — be done as punishment.
Sure, the combination of security employees and volunteer marshals would have some of them removed, but the crowd’s strength in numbers would be too much for tournament staff to overcome. At some point, you can’t plug every hole in the dam.
The Masters is not just any other golf tournament.
Things happen quickly here. Once, about 15 years ago, Augusta National implemented WiFi throughout its press room for the first time. On Thursday evening, it stopped working properly. When the press corps arrives Friday morning, they found that every spot in the nearly 1,000-seat room had been hard-wired with an Internet connection overnight. Another time, a mid-week storm wreaked havoc on the course, destroying a bathroom facility in the process. The next day, that bathroom facility had returned, looking eerily identical to the one that had been destroyed.
So when spectators started feeling their beer muscles, inspired by others who were already upbraiding Reed, what you witnessed next shouldn’t have been a surprise.
And yet, it was still startling to see in person.
As if calling upon an army to spontaneously combat this verbal abuse, dozens of security personnel materialized among the gallery. Just hordes of them, each paying attention not to the golf itself, but to those watching the golf. It was obvious that they’d been directed to identify these people and have them removed immediately.
The security presence alone was enough to lessen the catcalls. And what you quickly realized is that is was hardly a majority who were yelling things. But just going from 0.1% to 1% to 5% of the gallery was a major development each time.
The yelling had become such a story that Reed’s play itself had become a secondary subplot, not even the biggest story of his day around the golf course.
He played well among the fury, he dealt with the myriad distractions and posted a 1-under 71, which would’ve been satisfactory under any other conditions, but downright impressive with so many people willing themselves against him — and getting themselves kicked out in the process.