London Club proves a damp squib for beaten Reed

Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:27pm EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

ASH England (Reuters) - There was no sign of the hype and hullabaloo of the Ryder Cup when American Patrick Reed returned to Britain for the opening day of the Volvo World Match Play Championship on Wednesday.

The rookie entertained the huge crowds at Gleneagles last month with his excitable demeanor but the contrast in atmosphere could not have been more stark when he took on round-robin group rival Jonas Blixt of Sweden at the London Club.

You could have heard a pin drop on the sopping wet hills of the Kent countryside with sometimes as few as 20 people looking on as the two players squelched their way from hole to hole.

Reed, 24, who was full of noisy, fist-pumping exhortations at the Ryder Cup, said on the eve of the World Match Play that he was ready to wind up the fans again but he was as quiet as a church mouse as he slipped to a 2 & 1 defeat against Blixt.

The course has been saturated by a deluge of rain this week and it was so bad on the third fairway that Reed had to drop his ball 10 feet from where it landed in order to get sufficient relief.

"We had to find a dry spot somewhere," referee Jan Visser told Reuters with a smile.

Reed upset some people with his antics at Gleneagles but Visser said he never overstepped the mark.

"We need characters in the game and I don't think he did anything untoward at the Ryder Cup," the Dutchman added.   Continued...