2020 Masters Choose Your Own Adventure, Patrick Reed vs. Jon Rahm: In the Sand


Harry Trump/Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick Reed, Jon Rahm

“Hey Pat, gonna build another sandcastle?!”

Thankfully, this squawk doesn’t come from anyone near you, because this time the members and their security team aren’t as polite with their penalization.

It’s one thing to be heard in the background, it’s quite another to become part of the story. But that’s exactly what has happened here: Instead of casually looking toward the culprit, Reed and his caddie stop in the middle of their pre-shot routine and start pointing toward the emanation of that heckle.

Maybe he’s trying to get ahead of the situation. If I get this fan ejected, I can play the next 17 holes in peace. Or maybe he just doesn’t want to deal with getting berated any longer. Everyone has a tipping point and it seems Reed has reached his, before he’s even hit his second shot of the day.

His face beet-red, he fingers a man in a Georgia Bulldogs hat as the screamer and confronts him from about five yards away.

“How would you like it if I started yelling in your workplace?” he blurts rhetorically.

Just like the previous violator, this one is whisked away, vanishing into blur of bodies within seconds.

Finally calmed down, Reed begins his pre-shot routine once again.

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Over the past handful of months, he’s not only been accused of breaking a rule, but he’s also broken every psychological statute in golf. This is a mental pursuit, it’s so often been stated, and players need to be of sound mind in order to compete at the highest level.

Reed, though, has dealt with more outward animosity than all of his peers put together. The more he gets chastised, the better he plays.

As he readies to hit this bunker shot, you wonder whether he can continue to handle this hostility in such a high-pressure environment. This next swing will be very telling.

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