Koppelman: The Golf Establishment Hates Patrick Reed, But I Love Him

Reed talks a big game and backs it up – a rarity for golf

April 10, 2018 - 8:52 am

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Brian Koppelman has written, created, or produced numerous films and TV series, including Billions, which airs on Showtime, but he is, in his own words, “a golf nut.” 

So when Sports Illustrated asked him to cover the Masters, he said yes. Pretty quickly. 

The best part? His guy, Patrick Reed, won the tournament.

“I’ve always been a Patrick Reed fan,” Koppelman said on Ferrrall on the Bench. “I’ve been tweeting about him for a long time. He and I even messaged each other before the thing. He was my second choice. My first choice was Tiger. The second guy I was rooting for was Reed. So I was thrilled that he won. You could just feel that he was rounding into form and he was ready.”

Reed shot a 15-under 273 to edge Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth by one and two strokes, respectively, and capture his first major. Some golf aficionados dislike Reed’s brash style and eloquence, but Koppelman loves it.

“Reed’s attitude is pretty similar to Scott Ferrall’s attitude,” Koppelman said, laughing. “He’s a take-no-prisoners, I’m-going-to-do-my-thing, get-on-the-train-with-me (kind of guy). I love the fact that the kid won those tournaments when he first came on tour (and said), ‘I think I’m as good as anyone in the world.’ The golf establishment hated him, but I loved him for it. He was willing – in a sport where no one’s willing to say that stuff – he just right away just said it and then backed it up. He doesn’t care.”

Koppelman has always had a profound respect for the game of golf – and for those who play it.

“I think what golfers have to do is among the hardest things in all of sports,” he said. “Having to master yourself is so difficult. There’s nothing you’re reacting to, you’re just sitting there, everyone’s looking at you, and you have to find a way to swing that club and hit that ball without letting your brain get involved, without letting yourself freak out. Imagine if you were going to hit and there’s a thousand people circled around you in just this little gap you had to hit the ball through. It’s really a high level of difficulty and really incredible that they can control their nerves the way they can.”