Did someone yell “Kobe”? Here’s Patrick Reed from the parking lot.
In the lead-up to this year’s U.S. Open at Winged Foot, an impossibly long Par 70 20 miles north of Manhattan, all anyone could talk about was how difficult the course was including diabolical head pro Mike Gilmore, who predicted the winning score would be six-over. Well not for Reed, who aced the Par-3 seventh hole with this money iron shot from 162 yards out.
That capped a chaotic three-hole stretch that saw the World No. 10 double-bogey five, birdie six and eagle seven for his first hole-in-one at a major tournament. Reed, whose best showing at the U.S. Open came when he finished fourth at Shinnecock two years ago, carded a four-under 66 on Thursday, tying him with Justin Thomas atop the opening-round leaderboard.
Reed’s ace, the second in as many years at the U.S. Open (Rory Sabbatini holed one from 202 yards out at Pebble Beach in 2019), didn’t render much of a response from playing partners Hideki Matsuyama or Jordan Spieth. Watch carefully … has there ever been a more muted hole-in-one celebration in PGA history?
It’s no secret the aloof Reed, who has gained a reputation for being standoffish (he famously wanted nothing to do with Tiger Woods when the two were paired together at last year’s Ryder Cup), isn’t particularly well-liked among tour colleagues. That might explain why Spieth and Matsuyama barely acknowledged Reed sinking arguably the shot of his life. Having no fans in attendance also took away from what would have been, under normal circumstances, an earth-shattering moment.
Reed, who tied for 13th at last month’s PGA Championship in San Francisco, is seeking his second career major following a previous win at the 2018 Masters.