Patrick Reed doesn’t just play golf with a chip on his shoulder. He’s got an entire poke of them on it.

The Texan’s me-against-the-world defiance reaped a rich reward at the weekend when he landed the WGC-Mexico Championship.

Amid the furore generated by his highly questionable antics earlier in the season, there can be no doubting his strength of mind.

With the kind of background noise that would require most folk to wear ear protectors, Reed put all the cheat claims behind him to earn his first win of the 2020 campaign. Those aforementioned claims, of course, continue to follow him around like the paparazzi.


His decidedly dodgy activity in a waste area during the Hero World Challenge, when he was captured twice swiping sand from behind his ball, led to a two-shot penalty and damning judgement from all and sundry but a lack of contrition and awareness from the man himself.

His shrugging denial has hardly been a great PR move for one of golf’s pantomime villains but the louder the criticism, the better Reed has played. He’s been routinely heckled and his caddie has had altercations with fans but the performances have been progressively purposeful.

In the days before the Mexico event, Brooks Koepka, the world No.2, questioned Reed’s ropey routines by suggesting he was “building sandcastles” during that infamous Hero event.

Meanwhile, Pete Kostis, the coach of Paul Casey and a former TV analyst, claimed that he had witnessed Reed “improve his lie, up close and personal, four times now.”

The slings and arrows have been flying in wild abandon but Reed clearly doesn’t give two hoots.


A brief exchange during his post-round interview summed up the former Masters champion’s outlook.

“Do you ever take anything personally?,” came the question. “No,” responded Reed. “Ever?,” came the follow up. “No,” insisted Reed.

In the wake of his cheating controversy, Reed helped the USA win the Presidents Cup. When he got back to individual duties, he lost in a three-man play-off at the Tournament of Champions during an event which led to a spectator shouting ‘cheater’ when Reed was putting.

A couple of weeks later, he had to ask for a rowdy fan to be ejected in San Diego but still finished sixth.

“I’m used to it,” he said. “At the end of the day, all I can control is me. I felt like I had something to prove to myself coming into this week because I feel like I’ve been playing some really solid golf and just haven’t quite gotten over that hump to get the win.


“All I needed to do was continue to try to improve on my golf game, but at the same time just block out all the noise, no matter what it was.”

There’s certainly been a fair bit of racket for Reed to deal with and, somewhat remarkably, the 29-year-old managed to answer the next part of the interview with a straight face

“I feel like I’m improving each day on and off the golf course and setting a good example for the next generation coming up, the children, as well as my own children,” he said in an admission that had many spluttering into their copy of the rules of golf.

Reed may have won on Sunday, but he’s still not winning many people over.