In the wake of the United States’ loss to Europe in the Ryder Cup, a disgruntled Patrick Reed said he was “blindsided” by team captain Jim Furyk’s decision not to pair him with Jordan Spieth.
On Monday, in an interview with the Golf Channel, Furyk discussed his decision to team Reed and Tiger Woods in the fourball matches, and he said the pairings were known well ahead of the Ryder Cup team’s travel to Le Golf National outside Paris.
“When I started looking at who [Tiger] would pair well with, I kept coming back to Patrick Reed,” Furyk told Golf Channel. “There was always the idea that we could go Tiger and [Justin Thomas], and Patrick and Jordan, but ultimately they knew going into the week, weeks in advance, they knew they would start the Ryder Cup with Patrick and Tiger being partners.”
Reed told the New York Times last week that he took the pairing with Woods personally.
“The issue’s obviously with Jordan not wanting to play with me,” Reed told the Times. “I don’t have any issue with Jordan. When it comes right down to it, I don’t care if I like the person I’m paired with or if the person likes me as long as it works and it sets up the team for success. He and I know how to make each other better. We know how to get the job done.”
Furyk said he didn’t hear that Reed, the 2018 Masters champion, was unhappy until after the Ryder Cup. The Woods-Reed partnership finished 0-2-0, and Furyk sat Reed during two sessions.
“I talked about [the decision to break up Spieth and Reed] with the vice captains,” Furyk told Golf Channel. “Discussed it. Is this something we really want to do? I really felt like we got two great pairings out of it. It was my call. Ultimately I’m the one that made that decision, but it’s a decision I stand by.
“We got Jordan and J.T. out of it. They played very well and won three of their four matches. I’ll stand by it. I think Tiger and Patrick make a great pair. They went 0-2 playing against a formidable team both times, but I still think they make a good pair.”
Furyk also addressed a reported spat between Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka that was said to have occurred at a post-Ryder Cup gathering.
“Whatever altercation started, or what happened, it was very brief. It was very short. Neither one of them really took anything out of it,” Furyk said. “They’re like brothers. Brothers may argue, brothers get into it. But they’re as close as they’ve ever been, and it really had no effect on either one of them.”
As for himself, Furyk said he continues to feel the sting of the 17 1/2 to 10 1/2 loss to captain Thomas Bjorn and his European team — and will feel it for some time.
“It’s been tough,” he said. “I was the leader of that team, and it didn’t go the way we wanted. It’ll always bother me.”
Still, he said he had a tremendous team on his side.
“I’d take those 12 players into the fire any day, on any course. And I still would,” Furyk said. “Last week didn’t work out the way we wanted, but I love those guys and I love what we had together in the team room. And I’d do it all over again.”