Masters champion Reed relishes playing villain in Ryder Cup

By Richard Lough

PARIS (Reuters) – Patrick Reed knows he will be typecast as the villain in the United States’ bid to win the Ryder Cup on European soil for the first time in over two decades and on Tuesday told European golf fans: bring it on.

The 28-year-old Masters champion, who as a Ryder Cup rookie four years ago famously offered a “shush” gesture to heckling European fans, said crowd banter spurred him on in match play.

“(In 2014) just because when Henrik (Stenson), their guy, makes a putt, the crowd goes nuts, and then when I made the putt, I told them to shush, to quieten down. The match is only six holes in and we’re only all square,” Reed told reporters after the first practice day at Le National Golf.

“There’s no other event that you can do that at.”

The chubby-cheeked Reed, nicknamed Captain America for his fiery patriotism, won 3.5 points in the 2014 event and followed up two years later with the same haul, revving up the crowd and downing Europe’s top player, Rory McIlroy in Sunday’s singles.

“I think the biggest thing is it’s a head-to-head battle. It’s throwing two guys in the ring,” Reed said.

“You expect to hear the fans go back and forth with you. If it’s not happening, it probably means you’re not playing very well.”

(Reporting by Richard Lough; Editing by Toby Davis)

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