The rise of Patrick Reed

Golf has some incredibly skilled players who have been and will continue to be around for years. Characters like Lee Westwood, Phil Mickelson, Miguel Ángel Jiménez and Vijay Singh have dominated the circuit, displaying some excellent golf and building a reputation and profile that has allowed them to become household names. Even the next generation of golfers, including the likes of Padraig Harrington, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Speith, are quickly becoming international superstars who will continue to develop interest in golf across the world.

2017 looks to be a great year and could potentially provide a masters win against the odds for the upcoming talent. There were some excellent performances in 2016 from both fresh and seasoned professionals, with a dominant US win in the Ryder Cup and a first US Open win for 32 year old Dustin Johnson. It is plain to see that there are some great up and coming golfers in amongst the old guard and youngster Patrick Reed is definitely one to watch in 2017.

Reed turned professional in 2011 aged 20 and soon began to show his talent with a new PGA tour record for most strokes under par after 54 holes at the 2014 Humana Challenge. He also became only the sixth golfer to win three times on the PGA tour before his 24th birthday that year, joining Tiger Woods, Jordan Speith, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and Sergio García. He is hotly tipped to finish in the top ten in any of the majors this year, but there also some solid odds on him going the whole way.

After automatic qualification to the 2016 US Ryder Cup team, Reed put in a solid performance, helping team US to a dominant victory. It is clear that Reed is comfortable on the worldwide stage, handling pressure well and continuing to play a tight, faultless game without giving away many unnecessary strokes. The big question however is whether Reed can sustain such a high level of performance over four individual rounds at a major. Many who have looked good in either team or tour games come undone when the big guns come out to play, so it will be interesting to see how this promising young prospect will stand up to the pressure and mind games.

After the days where Tiger Woods dominated absolutely everything, the field has been blown open and pretty much anyone has the opportunity to come in and win a major. The likes of Speith, McIlroy and Johnson came from pretty much nowhere to walk away with major titles over the last few years, so it’s definitely doable for Reed. Maintaining form and not getting carried away seem to be the best tactics for young golfers, so it will also be interesting to see how his coaches and support network react. He is full of confidence to the point of being brash, declaring he will be in the top five soon and giving Rory McIlroy something to think about on eighth hole at Hazeltine, but he needs to channel this desire to win and actually go ahead and do it.

Reed can probably do it with ease. He oozes natural talent, stands up to the big guys and is one of those golfers who just seems to know the game despite limited experience. If he can get it together this year, there is no doubt he will be on both team sheets and back pages for years to come.