Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed has been USA's best pairing in recent Ryder and Presidents Cups. On Friday, they go head to head.
Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed have played in the same group in a match-play format plenty of times over the past few years. The pairing is 6-1-2 in team competitions, most recently going 3-0-1 in the U.S.’s romp over the International team at last year's Presidents Cup.
On Friday at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, they'll once again tee it up together in match play, with one critical difference: They'll be facing off against each other, with a spot in the knockout stages up for grabs.
Spieth beat Haotong Li, a promising 22-year-old from China, 4 and 2, to advance to 2-0-0 on the week. Reed came back from an early deficit and nearly holed out on 18 to beat Charl Schwartzel 2 up and match Spieth's perfect record for the week. The winner of Friday's match will advance as Group 4's representative in the round of 16, while the winner will be eliminated from the tournament.
The two young stars (Spieth is 24, Reed 27) first teamed up in the afternoon four-ball matches on the second day of the 2015 Presidents Cup. They won that match 3 and 2 over Jason Day and Charl Schwartzel and have teamed up together in every possible Ryder and Presidents Cup team session since then.
Their personalities, while not necessarily similar, have proven to complement each other quite well. Spieth is an intense tactician who is in constant dialogue with his caddy, Michael Greller. Reed is a fiery competitor who isn't afraid to delve into the type of shameless gamesmanship golf often lacks—during his classic match against Rory McIlroy at the 2016 Ryder Cup, a match Reed ended up winning, Reed famously wagged his finger at McIlroy after draining a birdie putt. He has emerged as a genuine match-play star—supplying the passion regardless of his round.
A perfect example of Reed's ferocity came at last week's Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill. During a rules snafu during which he was denied a free drop, Reed lamented his situation by saying, "what a crock of s---" and, more pertinent to Friday's matchup, "guess my name has to be Jordan Spieth." Don't be surprised to see Reed, who has two top-10s in his last two starts, have some choice words for his good friend Jordan.
When the draw came out on Monday night, eyes immediately gravitated toward that Spieth-Reed matchup. But for it to mean anything, both players had to get past Li and Schwartzel, two players more than capable of spoiling the matchup everyone wants to see. Spieth and Reed have held up their end of the bargain, and the stage is set for what is sure to be a fun Friday in Austin.