(Reuters) - Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed want to outdo each other even when playing as partners on the U.S. Ryder Cup team so the rivalry will be fierce when they clash on Friday at the WGC-Dell Match Play in Texas.
Throw in some friendly trash talking by Reed, not to mention Spieth’s desire to win in the city where he went to university, and the ingredients are ripe for sparks to fly.
The two Americans enter the encounter with perfect 2-0-0 records at Austin Country Club. The winner on the final day of the round-robin phase will advance to the final 16 and the knockout phase of the event.
“My back still hurts from the last Ryder Cup,” Reed told reporters, implying that he had carried Spieth in that event against Europe.
Joke finished, Reed explained how the rivalry helped fuel them in team competition. They have a record of four wins, one loss and two halves in seven matches together at the 2014 and 2016 Ryder Cups.
“Playing with each other on the same team, if we try to beat each other and one-up each other, the other team seems to not really have a chance,” Reed said.
“And for some reason it brings the best golf out in both of us when we do it that way. It works.
“Now it’s going to be for real. We’re going to try to one-up each other, because we’re going against each other. It should be a nice day.”
Spieth said his dynamic partnership with Reed had drawn comment from Tiger Woods.
“Tiger says it’s a phenomenon, not something that he’s used to seeing in those team events,” said former world number one Spieth.
“Normally you’re working together, but we want to beat each other every time. So even when we’ve been on the same team, it’s been a match against each other. In alternate shot, if we don’t win a hole, I want it to be his fault and he wants it to be my fault.
“We’ve almost played every single match we’ve been involved in together against each other. We just happen to be wearing the same colours for a lot of those matches.”
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford