Monday, 21 December 2015
Patrick Reed   (Getty Images)
Patrick Reed (Getty Images)

If one scene sums up Patrick Reed’s first season as a European Tour member, it is possibly one where he is being taught how to play snooker by a few South Africans in a hotel in China.

It is fair to say 2015 was an eye-opening year for the Texan, and sampling the diversity of the European Tour has broadened his horizons, earned him many new friends and undoubtedly improved his game.

Indeed, if the World Ranking was based purely on results from the past three months, Reed would be second; his superb finish to the campaign bettered only by Jordan Spieth.

He had a lower average finish than any other player on the European Tour, at 13.9 from his 12 regular appearances – the 13th was the President’s Cup in October – and came agonisingly close to winning his first title at the BMW Masters, where he lost a play-off to Swede Kristoffer Broberg.

That result was part of a tremendous Final Series for the 25 year old – he was no worse than tenth in any of the four season-ending tournaments – and he has earned widespread praise for his desire to become a global player.

“The guys over here on the European Tour are awesome,” he said. “It’s very different from the US because there everyone has their families. Over here the guys are always hanging out together and having a good time, going for dinner together. There’s a real sense of camaraderie and a great vibe.

“In China I hung out with a few of the South African guys and they taught me how to play snooker. It was awesome.

“It’s easy to see where that team spirit comes from in The Ryder Cup." 
Patrick Reed

"You can see how the European guys get such good camaraderie going.”

The Ryder Cup is where Reed really announced himself as a global star, weighing in with three and a half points from five at Gleneagles – he was the United States’ top scorer – and playing the role of pantomime villain on the Sunday as he whipped up the crowds.

After holing a long putt en route to his one-up victory over Henrik Stenson, the 2014 WGC-Cadillac Champion put his finger to his lips to silence the home supporters, later explaining: “I got the crowd fired up on both sides and it was a lot of fun. 

“The crowd loved it. They were heckling me all day, yet we were being respectful on both sides. It was a lot of fun.”

Fun is an adjective that dominates Reed’s description of his first season as a globe-trotting European Tour player, and listening to his tales it is no wonder he has decided to again split his year between there and the US PGA Tour in 2016.

Given how well he adapted to playing different courses in unfamiliar countries, that is understandable.

“I absolutely loved visiting so many new countries and discovering new places for the first time,” he said. “It’s been awesome. It’s been so much fun. 

“Hong Kong was awesome – what a place."

"We loved Switzerland as well, it was so unbelievably beautiful there. We’ve had so many great experiences this year. 

“I just wish I could stay in some of these places longer than just a week; with golf and everything you don’t really get much of a chance to fully see and appreciate and enjoy these places as much as if you were there on holiday.”

Does he have a favourite of all the new destinations?

“Dubai, for sure,” he said. “It’s an unbelievable place and we had a great time there. My wife was there and my two brothers-in-law. We just had an amazing time.

"I can’t believe how cool the place was and how much there was to do. We’ll definitely be going back with the entire family to see it properly.”

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