Three days of unsavory headlines and relentless heckling from Australian crowds at Royal Melbourne seems to have finally ignited the kind of take-no-prisoners play that Patrick Reed is known for in team events.
Reed started his singles match against C.T. Pan with three consecutive birdies to win the first three holes. He won the fourth hole with par as Pan three-putted and continues to keep his foot firmly on Pan’s throat in the third match out on Sunday morning.
Reed, of course, has a new caddie for singles. His coach Kevin Kirk took over for Kessler Karain after Karain made headlines in the third round for getting into an altercation with a fan who Karain thought had taken the heckling too far. Karain, who is also Reed’s brother-in-law, was not allowed to return to the course for singles play.
Some have questioned how the heckling aimed at Reed had been allowed to go so far. Security seemed to have a tighter grip on the situation on Sunday, and even addressed an outspoken fan at the second hole.
If Reed can hold on for a point over Pan, it will be the first he has earned so far this week. Teamed with Webb Simpson for the first two fourball sessions along with Friday foursomes, the duo went winless.
Head-to-head play has always been Reed’s specialty, though. He has gone 3-0-0 in Ryder Cup singles.