2020 Masters Choose Your Own Adventure, Patrick Reed vs. Jon Rahm: The Heel
Harry Trump/Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick Reed, Jon Rahm
Reed keeps making birdies and heckling the crowd.
It’s one thing for spectators to verbally abuse the players they’re watching, though that’s hardly a common occurrence at Augusta National. But it’s quite another for a player to consistently give it right back.
This is quite obviously part of Reed’s plan right now. Whether he consulted with his “team” about how to handle any on-course outbursts or just took the situation into his own hands, it has become apparent that his M.O. is to just fight fire with fire.
His trademark shush is the go-to move, used after nearly every solid approach shot and holed putt. It’s at the point where you’re walking with this pairing and wondering whether Reed is somehow getting paid by some company for each shush he offers during the course of the round.
But there are plenty of other reactions from him, too.
When a fan greets Reed at the eighth tee by telling him, “You ain’t nothing, Pat!” he wheels around and asks, “What are you, like an 18 handicap?”
When another fan on 14 calls him “Fat Pat,” he suggests they race down the fairway.
When yet another fan on 16 cries for his tee shot to “Get in the bunker!” he watches it land 10 feet from the hole and answers over his shoulder, “I don’t mind, I’m pretty good out of bunkers, too.”
Other players — maybe every other player– would lose all semblance of concentration while trying to keep up the trash-talking rhetoric with spectators, but Reed continues to feed off it. And of course, the more he interacts, the more each fan feels the need to interject.
When he finishes, tapping in a par putt for a two-stroke victory, Reed drops his putter and goes double-barrel, putting both index fingers to his lips as he slowly spins around, shushing seemingly everyone in attendance.
Among the applause — he did win, after all, and some people still respect that — there is an equal smattering of boos and laughter, some observers hating the fact that he won while trolling them and others loving the un-Hollywood twist of the villain winning in the end.