Patrick Reed has not brought his green jacket to Gullane. But he has brought the charm with which he is succeeding in winning over Scottish galleries following a difficult start to the relationship at the Ryder Cup in Gleneagles.
As opposed to four years ago, when he gave back to the crowd some and indeed more of what he was getting, he was spotted signing autographs and posing for selfies yesterday as he practised on the eve of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open.
The world No 1 golfer tees off this morning in East Lothian. As befits his current status as reigning Masters champion, he is included in a high-profile group; Ian Poulter and Irish Open winner Russell Knox join him.
Reed is confident he’s brought his A-game. What he hasn’t got is his green jacket, presented to the Masters champion shortly after victory has been confirmed.
He has worn it while watching the Houston Astros, his favourite baseball team. He wore it at a New York Knicks game. He was even spotted with it on while ordering at a fried chicken drive-thru in Texas just a few days after his triumph.
The last time we looked there was not a KFC on Gullane’s Main Street. And it’s not known what the Greywalls Hotel policy is on wearing a green jacket to dinner.
It’s a redundant question in any case. Spoilsport Reed has not brought the jacket with him on his first trip across the Atlantic since winning the Masters in April. It might not have helped his ever-improving standing with the locals if he started cutting about the Old Clubhouse in it. Practicalities stymied this idea anyway.
“I just felt like the liabilities of trying to travel overseas with it, if it were to get lost or anything like that, it would not be good,” Reed explained. “It’s just one of those things - with having to travel and either having it hung up in the closet on the plane or in the hotel room or in my suitcase - I just wouldn’t want something to happen to it.”
“I honestly just wear it around the house,” he added. “I’ve worn it a little bit out. When I wear it out, the energy that the jacket brings, it’s awesome. The people always are friendly. They love it. They want to see it. They come over when I take pictures.”
Wearing it around the house seemed odder than wearing it out. So he was asked to clarify. “Just if I am getting ready for golf,” he replied. “Nothing crazy.” Fortunately there was no desire to dig deeper.
Reed was probably relieved when the subject changed to the potentially thorny subject of Tiger Woods. Reed is certain to be involved later this year at the Ryder Cup. Would he pick Woods?
“You would ask me that question, wouldn’t you?!” he said. “You know, maybe - it all depends. Let’s see how he does these next two majors and these next couple events he plays. I feel like he’s trending in the right direction. I feel like he’s playing some really good golf.
“I feel like the picks are going to come down to who is playing really good golf down the stretch because that’s what it’s going to come down to. I feel like there’s probably a pick or two that are going to be for experience. But the same time you need to keep a couple of those picks for guys that are trending and playing some good golf.”
The pair are due to meet up next week at The Open Carnoustie, which, according to Reed, will be one of the ultimate tests. “I think it’s going to be one of the most complete tests from an Open I’ve played, where you’re going to get all different kind of winds,” said Reed. “You’re going to get all different kind of club selections, shots you’re hitting into the green, and it can drive you nuts mentally.”