Woods had been asked on Saturday if he thought the fans’ behavior was disrespectful, and his answer seemed directed at the tour officials running the event. “Have people said things that have been over the top?” Woods said. “Yes. I’ve heard it. I’ve been in the groups playing when it has happened, and I’ve been inside the ropes as a captain today witnessing it.”
Message delivered. The security around Reed during his singles match was much more visible than at any other time during the week. At least four armed police officers walked the match. They waded into the stands or stopped alongside the gallery ropes to issue warnings to spectators who spoke out of turn.
Karain sat out Sunday’s session and was replaced on the bag by Reed’s swing coach, Kevin Kirk. Reed’s wife, Justine, who used to be his caddie, also was nowhere to be seen, depriving Reed of his two main pillars of support. She stayed back in the team room to avoid becoming an easy target for Reed’s critics.
Fortunately, Reed said, he had Woods in his corner, and in his ear.
“Tiger believed in me, and that’s why he threw me out early, to get the momentum,” Reed said. “Tiger’s such a great captain; it doesn’t matter whether you are 0 and 3, he’s going to get behind his guys no matter what, no matter what they’re doing or what’s going on.”
He added, “When you have that kind of support going on, that’s what makes you want to go out and battle.”
His teammates had said all week that Reed was a bear better left unprovoked, and he proved them right against Pan, making birdies on his first four holes — and five of his first six — to race to a 6-up lead after seven.
When they realized they weren’t getting under Reed’s skin — he birdied eight of his 16 holes — the fans redirected their voices. Instead of rooting against him, they started shouting support for Pan, who cut the deficit to 2-up before bowing out, 4 and 2.