Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson were among the notables standing outside the winner’s circle on Sunday after Patrick Reed knocked off a talent-rich field at Doral for his third PGA Tour victory. But the brassy 23-year-old, who dared to don Tiger’s Sunday colors on his way to a Sunday wire-to-wire W at the WGC-Cadillac Championship, went all FIGJAM during a post-victory chest-thumping in which he compared himself to the world No. 1 and put some observers in mind of the popular Lefty.
So Patrick Reed thinks he is really, really good and that’s a bad thing? Did everyone forget Phil Mickelson’s nickname?— Shane Bacon (@shanebacon) March 9, 2014
But they already have a FIGJAM on the Tour. "@Pacduneslooper: I have no problems with any thing Patrick Reed just said."— Kristen Williams (@TheGolfChick) March 9, 2014
While some members of the staid fraternity of golfing brethren applauded Reed’s selfie, others were put off by the fourth-year PGA Tour pro’s boasting.
I love Patrick Reeds interview. Dude speaks how he feels. People today could not have handled Muhammad Ali.— John Peterson (@JohnPetersonLSU) March 10, 2014
Count 2006 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am winner Arron Oberholser among the latter. A Golf Channel analyst who last competed in a tour event a year ago, Oberholser said Sunday night that Reed’s bravura was best displayed "in the mirror, in the bathroom, when you’re home alone."
Oberholser was not alone in his tsk-tsking over the way Reed comported himself after earning his third win in his last 14 events in a tournament that had a major-like feel, thanks to the fight the revamped Blue Monster put up as well as the quality of the contestants. After beating the lineup that included 49 of the world’s top-50 players, Reed, whose win moved him inside the top 20 in the rankings, claimed he was one of the top-five in the game.
That did not go over well with some in the country club set.
Patrick Reed calls himself 1 of the world's 5 best golfers. Hasn't won a major. Hasn't played in one yet. Also bragged on his patience.— Dave Kindred (@DaveKindred) March 9, 2014
See there was some smack talk at the WGC today, game I guess is easy for 1 player, hope he has 20 plus years of 3 wins every 7 months.— Stuart Appleby (@StuartAppleby) March 9, 2014
Kinda harsh -- until you consider the outrage a journeyman outfielder with the Red Sox sparked on Boston sports-talk radio on Monday. Jonny Gomes played a critical role for the 2013 World Series champions, helping the home town team go 10-1 in the postseason when he started.
Like Reed, however, Gomes may place more value on his skills than others do.
Gomes told Nick Cafardo in a story in Sunday’s Globe that he had "turned a team around 20 games four different times. Worst to first. I was on a Tampa team that was historically bad in 2007 and then went to the World Series in 2008. The Reds hadn’t been in the playoffs for many years."
While giving Gomes his due for having played on some good teams, 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Michael Felger and Tony Massarotti had some guffaws at the expense of the 33-year-old part-time left-fielder.
"My God. If you can find a player who has a higher opinion of himself than Jonny Gomes, I’d like to know who it is," Felger said. "This guy literally thinks he’s Mickey Mantle."
About Gomes’ claims to be a turn-around artist, Felger demanded, "Who says that? What fourth outfielder in the history of Major League Baseball has had the chutzpah to say that ‘I’ve turned around four different teams 20 games four different times’?"
Another quote from Cafardo’s article, in which Gomes said he had "gone from getting pinch hit for six times in the first month and a half to becoming this pinch-hitting guru guy at the end of the year," also struck a nerve with the drive-time co-hosts.
"Guru?" Felger said. "Like swami? Like the maharishi out there for pinch hitting?"
Yeah, Reed, who has yet to play in a grand slam event, let alone win one, had the audacity to claim he belonged in the company of 14-time major champion Woods and "other legends of the game" after becoming the youngest player to capture a WGC event. But at least he’s not the "bench player" that Massarotti believes Gomes to be.
After all, Reed, with his one-shot victory over Bubba Watson and Jamie Donaldson on Sunday, joined Woods, Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, and Rory McIlroy as the only under-24-year-old players on tour to win three or more contests.
That certainly captured the attention of the ever-critical Johnny Miller, who gave the confident Texan a pass for his stones.
"I don’t know about the top-5 stuff," NBC's lead analyst said after Reed’s post-game crowing, "but you’ve got to believe in yourself."
It would appear that Reed -- like Gomes -- has that skill down pat.