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Should we be talking more about Patrick Reed’s family and past? Or less?

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As is customary with major champions in general, and perhaps Masters winners in particular, the golf media rushed to present Patrick Reed’s backstory after he captured the green jacket, Sunday.

To that end: Patrick Reed, as I assume most golf fans are aware, has no contact with his parents, Bill and Jeanette. Both Alan Shipnuck of Golf.com and Ian O’Connor of ESPN.com spoke with Reed’s estranged parents about their son’s victory. (Shipnuck followed up with this explanation for why he decided to write the piece)

Reed’s mother and father didn’t discuss in detail the reason they haven’t spoken to their son since 2012, and the pieces focus more on the couple’s experience, and mix of powerful emotions, watching Reed win the green jacket.

Additionally, the allegations of Reed’s collegiate cheating and stealing leveled in Shane Ryan’s 2015 book, Slaying the Tiger, have resurfaced in a range of outlets.

Again, while most who follow the game closely are familiar with Reed’s dubious history, the Masters champion is arguably the most visible of the four major winners. General sports fans may know little about Reed, so it’s worth painting the full portrait of the 2018 Masters winner.

Or is it? Geoff Shackelford and Matt Adams discussed the merits of digging into Reed’s past, particularly his family situation, on Morning Drive. Similarly, we’d like to hear what GolfWRX members think.

It’s also worth noting that, while Reed is currently estranged from his parents, there have been no recent accusations of cheating, stealing, etc. Additionally, reporters are not merely presenting the past, they’re actively fueling the fire by interviewing Reed’s parents and writing new stories.

Is this problematic, or is it good journalism? Can it be both? We want to know what you think, GolfWRX members. We’d like to take the pulse of the readership on this situation, as it dictates content decisions in the future.

And if you’d like to take the discussion even further, here’s something else to chew on: Assume Tiger Woods had won the 2018 Masters. Would reporters feel the need to reexamine his 2009 sex scandal? His 2017 arrest? Should they? 

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48 Comments

48 Comments

  1. Bill

    Apr 14, 2018 at 12:49 am

    When a football or basketball player succeeds after a troubled past, they’re praised for making something of themselves. When a white golfer does it, people question their validity.
    Reed may have a troubled past, but he is a fantastic talent and now a major champion. Cover his masters win, not his college mishaps.

  2. Richard

    Apr 13, 2018 at 10:13 am

    Patrick Reed showed incredible guts down the stretch to win The Masters. That’s the story journo’s should focus on, but I guess the grubby, controversial stuff gets more clicks or sales. That’s all that really matters to most of them in the end anyway.

    But I’m guessing PReed couldn’t give a damn what people say about him.

    • Max

      Apr 13, 2018 at 6:54 pm

      You writers come across like a group of vultures ready to dredge any negatives you can. And you will come across the same if Tiger and you do the same lowlife reporting.

  3. Ryan

    Apr 13, 2018 at 9:29 am

    Golf in college: less. Personal life: not at all. Last I checked this is a golf website, not Dr. Phil.

  4. rogolf

    Apr 13, 2018 at 8:32 am

    It seems the University and Reeds manager are quiet. If someone in the golf world saw him cheat, come forward. Make the accusation. Wait and see if you get a defamation of character lawsuit. Other than that, as the John Goodman in the “Big Lebowski” said, “shut the f… up”.

  5. Tim Armington

    Apr 13, 2018 at 2:51 am

    Let the guy enjoy his well deserved victory.

  6. JThunder

    Apr 12, 2018 at 9:21 pm

    His family story, from what I can gather, is truly personal, and no one’s business unless Reed makes it so.

    His college career, including cheating or not, is certainly part of the story of his golf career, and therefore absolutely fair game. College careers are discussed ad nauseam during telecasts. If he was falsely accused, let him say so and the media remind us of his innocence. If guilty, it doesn’t need to be repeated at every win, but it remains part of the story of his career.

    For any professional golfer in the post-Tiger era, they absolutely are aware coming up that fame is part of the equation, and everything they do is potentially under the microscope. On the course and off. None of them can claim ignorance or surprise that the media covers their lives. This is equally true of Tiger and his “indiscretions”; he’s been on TV since he was 3 years old. To suggest he was unaware that anything wrong he does will catch up with him would be ridiculous.

    NOW – if you want to discuss if it SHOULD be this way, that’s a different conversation. We spend WAY too much time and effort idolizing “sports heroes”, turning them into “role models” not just within their sport, but for their entire generations. This is tied directly to their fame and their wealth; they get sponsorships and generate ad money because corporations know people “trust” and “admire” them.

    So, yes, I absolutely think we should idolize athletes less, and therefore be less concerned with their private lives and behavior. Hand-in-hand with that, we should pay them far less as well. Find some real heroes for the world (which might include some athletes who are deserving of that mantle), and let these folks make a *decent* living playing golf to entertain us.

  7. Lovejoy

    Apr 12, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    This is a pathetic and cowardly way to make a story out of nothing,the author absolves himself of any responsibility by repeating second-hand rumour.

  8. Judge Smeills

    Apr 12, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    More, that way I can stop visiting the site

  9. Walter Jenkins

    Apr 12, 2018 at 11:43 am

    No need to further delve into his well reported past issues. They are behind him now. Instead we should rejoice in his recent accomplishments. Heartiest congratulations to Captain America!!!!

  10. W Breaux

    Apr 12, 2018 at 7:40 am

    Hoping golf reporters do not go the way of mainstream media.
    Did not have time to celebrate his victory without the piranhas beginning their attack. SAD

  11. Birdswing Golfer

    Apr 12, 2018 at 3:28 am

    Let’s be real here you know right to discuss his personal life this is a golf forum not a gossip rag!

    If you want to discuss issues related to his college career and golf in general then discuss away

  12. A. Commoner

    Apr 11, 2018 at 8:02 pm

    It’s a bit wearisome to hear/read underachievers’ so frequent attempts to tear down the more successful people.

  13. Patricknorm

    Apr 11, 2018 at 6:38 pm

    Frankly, Patrick Reed’s backstory doesn’t affect the way I view him as a golfer. He was the best golfer at the Masters and deserved his victory. It’s really hard to win on Sunday with a lead, and Reeds two clutch putts on 17&18 proved that he has ice water in his veins. His personal issues apparently don’t affect his play so, why should it be an issue to the public?
    I applaud CBS for sticking to the script and not making any noise about Reeds past indiscretions.

  14. Dude

    Apr 11, 2018 at 6:27 pm

    All this talk about his “cheating”. Did the PGA or USGA ban him? No. I hope he wins ten more majors to shove it down everybody’s throats. Golf’s anti-hero had arrived and will tell everyone to pound sand.

  15. Harry Goss

    Apr 11, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    Reeds past seems fair game because he’s white. Remember, we just learned Earl Woods racism and womanizing were covered up by golf journalists to protect the coming messiah. Reed, being who he is, has no protection from the SJW’S WHO COVER GOLF SO VALIANTLY!

  16. Zach

    Apr 11, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    Why is this even a question? Less.

    • Saigonlawman

      Apr 11, 2018 at 4:26 pm

      Oh please!!!! Will real journalists please raise their hands. We are all flawed, make mistakes and try and learn from them. Let’s not shoot our wounded. Reed’s game was superlative. Bravo! Don’t give a hoot about his private life.

  17. c

    Apr 11, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    Don’t let golfwrx become part of the problem. Don’t debase yourself to the level of the tabloids.

  18. dj

    Apr 11, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    I’d rather just talk golf. Let their personal life stay personal.

  19. Bob

    Apr 11, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    It just shows what a sick society we live in these days. My hat off to Patrick for his win at the Masters. He is my hero, my Captain America.
    If any of you are getting off on this sick news coverage, then you are not part of the problem, you are the problem.

  20. Bill

    Apr 11, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    I’m afraid in today’s culture it’s the nature of the game ,he seems to have thick skin so I think he can take it

  21. Larry hagel

    Apr 11, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    My God, leave it alone. Find something else that matters to report on. News media just can’t get off running a so called into the ground until something else is found to gossip about. Chill out!!

  22. kevin

    Apr 11, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    our media is mostly garbage. its clickbait. very little relevance. they aren’t interested in reporting the story, they want to create the story, and that revolves around what will drive ratings or clicks over fact every time.

  23. William

    Apr 11, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    He’s NOT a Kardashian, he’s a golfer. Leave his personal life out f it..

  24. Mike Bryan

    Apr 11, 2018 at 12:45 pm

    Don’t see how it’s related to winning the Masters. It’s nobodies business except his and his family and shouldn’t be made cannon fodder for overzealous reporters. Also in regards to his college days, people do grow up and I’m sure that most reporters have things they did as teenagers they wouldn’t want dug up and discussed by strangers.

  25. Stump

    Apr 11, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    Why don’t we dig into Shipnuck’s past? It’s got to be relevant, right? How can we trust his reporting if we don’t know what he was doing when he was 21?
    Reed’s family life is his business. Those events from college are between him and those involved. Sure, it might speak to character, but more importantly, what has his character been in the last 5 years.
    It seems he is being treated differently than others that have won the same tournament and have much worse behavior problems that have occurred much more recently.

  26. Steve O

    Apr 11, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    It’s old news. Shipnuck, like many lefty reporters, looks for ambulances.

  27. CW

    Apr 11, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    I hate how he is treated in the press,because he is not handsome he is an easy target. I did not walk in his shoes and there for have no view to judge him. Not everybody has perfect parents and is indebted to them for the rest of their life.
    He is obviously a dedicated family man now and his reasons are his alone why he is estranged from his parents. So to the press I say lay off him, we have read this story over and over and over again. It is not news anymore than Fowler left a disgruntled girl at the alter.
    When he said at Doral win I feel like a top 5 player many took it out of context and I became his fan then from a headline distorting press.

    I root for him every time he goes out. (I am not a handsome guy either)

  28. Bob Jones

    Apr 11, 2018 at 11:58 am

    To the question: no. No, no, no.

  29. Joe

    Apr 11, 2018 at 11:50 am

    Cheating and stealing is very relevant !! It’s part of the foundation of the game. He needs to own up to it rather than pretend it didn’t happen. All is forgiven when he can truly admit his mistakes in the game. Key word “Game” that is what we are talking about right? How he conducts and represents the game! Who cares about his relationship with his parents…Unless there was a crime caused it’s completely his business.

    • David McNab, Vero Beach, FL

      Apr 11, 2018 at 12:46 pm

      Joe (and Bob Parson)…..I think that everyone agrees that cheating and stealing reflect character. In Reed’s case, I am not aware that any of these (old) allegations have been proven to be true (or, even ‘probably true’), and, repeating them won’t make them any moreso. However, now that these allegations have been resurrected, Patrick Reed may have to address them once and for all. As far as family ‘issues’ go, there is not need whatsoever to report on any of these unless they bear on character.

    • William

      Apr 11, 2018 at 1:02 pm

      Did u see him cheat?

  30. David McNab, Vero Beach, FL

    Apr 11, 2018 at 11:50 am

    I agree with Brian DeGraf……it wasn’t a story before the event, or even during it….how can it be a story now?

    Digging it up now (especially as regards any fallout with his family) borders on disgraceful. It isn’t ‘reporting news’. Nobody (to my knowledge) has ever verified any (very old) allegations of ‘cheating at play’, and the family angle has absolutely nothing to do with his golf. It is all typical media muckraking, and the public already has a steady diet of this kind of ‘reporting’ when it comes to politicians and others — I expect much more honorable behaviour from those covering golf. Kudos to the Golf Channel for ‘reporting’ or commenting on the ‘reporting’, but refraining from joining in.

  31. Bob Parson Jr.

    Apr 11, 2018 at 11:46 am

    All is fair game, specially if it emphasizes the truth and his character or lack there of. I personally don’t care for Patrick Reed, but his past and story is relevant to those of you who claim to be fans of this individual.

    I’ll be interested to read the comments from people who think his cheating and stealing allegations are irrelevant. That will tell me more about you than Reed.

    • cox

      Apr 11, 2018 at 12:19 pm

      We all did very stupid things when we were younger. For some to say they didn’t says a lot about them. Hopefully most of us learn from those mistakes and don’t look back except to learn from them. If there had been allegations(issues or problems) that his PGA Tour playing partners noticed since coming out on tour we would have heard about it way before now. SO…keep his past and his family out of it and lets keep them all in our prayers.

  32. Nilopol

    Apr 11, 2018 at 11:29 am

    His family is his business. Family dynamics are unique. However it is just a shame when families can’t work out their differences.

  33. Bill

    Apr 11, 2018 at 11:08 am

    Wasn’t Tiger remorseful for his past? Didn’t he ask forgiveness? Not seen any penitence from Reed. Americans love it when their heroes fall but rise again to prove themselves.

    • Ron

      Apr 11, 2018 at 11:50 am

      Penitence for what?? For not talking to his parents anymore? For being “accused” of cheating? That’s all it is, is an accusation from college. This is way different than Tiger’s situation and in my opinion he doesn’t need to say sorry to anyone

    • Bob Parson Jr.

      Apr 11, 2018 at 11:48 am

      Hey now, don’t expose the truth, the fanboys won’t like it, lol…..Captain America he’s not.

  34. Brian DeGraf

    Apr 11, 2018 at 10:46 am

    Reed’s past is totally is immaterial. If it wasn’t a story 2 weeks ago, ity’s not a sytory now. Period.

    • Bob Parson Jr.

      Apr 11, 2018 at 11:49 am

      If you are a tour insider you will know Reed’s story has been pretty material and relevant for years.

      • Ron

        Apr 11, 2018 at 11:53 am

        They didn’t seem to mind too much when he was owning Europe’s a$$ for the USA at the Ryder Cup in 16.

  35. Mark

    Apr 11, 2018 at 10:45 am

    My opinion is that journalist should only talk about Reed’s past if she/he can demonstrate its relevance to his life today and his future. If the journalist cannot make the connections, then all she/he is doing is generating clickbait.

    • Jeff

      Apr 11, 2018 at 11:38 am

      I totally agree.

      • Art Williams

        Apr 11, 2018 at 3:28 pm

        Less. His problems at Georgia were years ago when he was still quite young. UofG won’t speak about them and we shouldn’t either. Families who broke apart over who marries whom are quite common and being a celebrity shouldn’t make it an everyday subject. I know the press will still bring it up until the man dies but it doesn’t make it right or relevant. Congrats to Patrick for his success on the course. I don’t need the sordid details of his past.

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19th Hole

The 7 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (10.11.18)

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If you’re on Instagram, you’re hopefully aware that we are ‘gramming it up as well (@golfwrx). And if you’re not following us, well, that hurts our feelings more than a three-putt bogey.

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Report: No tickets will be sold for Tiger-Phil match

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Sorry, fans, you’re not going to be able to buy tickets to the Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson $9 million megamatch at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, November 23.

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WATCH: Is this the craziest hole-in-one you’ve ever seen?

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Golfers often say that getting a hole-in-one is all luck. (Keep in mind that Tiger Woods, arguably one of the most skilled iron players ever, says he has 19 holes-in-one… so maybe not all luck.) But certainly there are some holes-in-one that are “luckier” than others.

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