Mike Francesa, WFAN blowhard from NYC, went off on Patrick Reed for laying up and hitting a 5 iron off the 18th tee on Sunday on his way to winning the WGC-Cadiallac Championship. I know I shouldn’t feed trolls like Francesa, but it’s rare that a big name voice spends this much time on golf, so I’ll go ahead and pick him apart.
If you watched that clip and your brain did not explode, you’re a bigger man than me. If there is ever a topic that we should have authority on, it should be something like this. I mean, our website is called No Laying Up. We’re all about the guys that play balls to the wall with reckless abandon, but we didn’t even think twice about Reed laying back off the final tee, clearly playing for a bogey to give him a one-shot win.
Francesa’s (awful) take is really unclear throughout the 30 minutes. He ridicules him for laying up, but then says that he understands course management and strategy. He then changes his take to say that you can’t lay up (nevermind that it helped him WIN the tournament) and then post-round proclaim yourself a top-5 player in the world because that doesn’t show confidence. What? Showing you have confidence in your woods is more important than winning a tournament? There are a myriad of reasons why Reed can’t say he’s a top-5 player in the world, but the fact he hit 5-iron off the 18th tee on Sunday surely isn’t one of them.
Next, he says that the players are killing him for laying up. Did ONE single player make a comment about Reed laying up on 18? Several have certainly appeared put off by his comments, but did anyone say a thing about him laying up?
He then goes OFF on callers demanding that someone name another golfer that has EVER played a final hole like that. Seriously? Top of my head, haven’t the last 3 winners at Pebble done it? (Mickelson in 2012, Snedeker in 2013, Walker in 2014). Tiger in 2013 at Doral took his driver out but purposely drove it way right and still almost made a mess of the hole.
Hitting the iron off 18 was the obvious, smart play. I would have been going nuts if Reed had pulled a wood on 18. Help me out here with more specific examples of players hitting irons off the 18th tee to ensure wins.