- In his first round after a disappointing Ryder Cup and the bizarre war of words that followed, Patrick Reed fired a eight-under 64 to seize a two-shot lead.
Patrick Reed has a brand. He's brash, he's confrontational, he's fiercely competitive.
The last time we heard from Reed was after that Ryder Cup, where he went 1-2 (including losing both team matches alongside Tiger Woods) as the Americans were shellacked 17.5-10.5. Just hours after the action finished at Le Golf National, Reed complained to the New York Times that he was "blindsided" by not being paired with Spieth and said the reason they were split up is because Spieth didn't want to play with him. He also criticized Furyk for sitting him during both fourball sessions, citing his previous Ryder Cup success as a reason he should've played more.
A number of U.S. Ryder Cuppers came to captain Jim Furyk's defense shortly after the comments were made. An anonymous vice captain said Reed is "so full of s---" and that he "begged" to play with Tiger. Furyk himself said Reed was aware of the pairing well before. Justin Thomas said he knew he'd be paired with Spieth weeks prior.
It all painted an unflattering picture of Reed, who came off as petulant and did serious damage to his reputation among his peers and golf fans. All the while, Reed must have been itching to get back on the course and show all the naysayers what he's capable off.
Reed made eight birdies without a single bogey for the 64, the best score on a day where seven of the world's top 10 players teed it up. It's his second-lowest score on the PGA Tour (behind only a 63 at the 2014 Humana Challenge) and it's the first time he's leading after any round since his win at Augusta.
Newly crowned world No. 1 Brooks Koepka, coming off a win at last week's CJ Cup, fired an even-par 72, as did Rory McIlroy. Defending champion Justin Rose managed a three-under 69 while world No. 2 Dustin Johnson struggled to a 74.
Xander Schauffele and Tony Finau, one of the only players to post a winning record at Le Golf National, were in a tie for second after matching 66s. Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick was a shot further back at five-under, one shot ahead of a group of five players who shot 68.
Reed, who is playing alongside Jon Rahm and Alex Noren, will tee off in his second round at 10:40 a.m. local time, which is 10:40 p.m on Thursday night on the East Coast.