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Love him or hate him, Patrick Reed is great for golf

By Kyle Porter | Golf Writer

More Golf: Leaderboard | Rankings | Schedule | Equipment | FedEx Cup | Masters

You know who cared about Patrick Reed winning the 2013 Wyndham Championship in a playoff? About 16 people, half of whom had to write about the proceedings.

You know who cared about Patrick Reed winning the 2014 Humana Challenge with three straight rounds of 63 to open the tournament? Those same 16 people, give or take.

You know who cared about Patrick Reed winning the 2014 Cadillac Championship and declaring himself one of the five best players in the sport?

A lot more than 16 people.

Part of that has to do with the fact that it was a World Golf Championship event but the part has to do with Reed's comments after the round.

"I'm one of the top five players in the world," Reed told Steve Sands.

Reed backtracked a little on Monday but surely the upper crust of golfers will file Reed's interview with Sands away for future necessity -- like, say, in the final round of a major when Reed realizes the pressure of winning an Open is a tad different than winning the Wyndham against a rookie (Jordan Spieth).

But for now, for golf, damn, it's pretty great, isn't it?

Youth in any sport is fun to project, fun to follow. Jordan Spieth, Harris English, Brooks Koepka, Hideki Matsuyama, and Peter Uihlein -- those guys are great because they grew up watching Tiger Woods scorch golf courses and leave the ashes in his wake.

But they also watched him dull you to death in press conferences and interviews. They learned from that, how to be a pro and a boring one at that.

Patrick Reed seems to care very little about that, though.

Did you see what he said about Tiger after he won on Sunday?

"My wife actually calls him my twin star. I am reckless like he is. I like to go for everything. But at the same time, that's how we win events, that's also how we lose events. It's one of those things that we don't play scared."

That's how "we" win events.

Don't you see how great this is, though? Jordan Spieth wins an event and says something about how much he always wanted to be like Tiger and what an honor it is to be on the same tour as him.

Patrick Reed wins an event and puts himself on par with Tiger and the other "legends of the game."

He is the (well he is a, not the) lightning rod golf needs. Golf desperately need somebody fans can take sides on. Bubba Watson is sort of that guy but he's concealed and it's not overt like it has been with Reed.

It's something every other sport thrives on. The heel, the villain, the dude half the golf world is pulling like hell for and the other half wants to lose and lose in a way that makes him suffer.

In Chuck Klosterman's newest book I Wear the Black Hat he defines a villain as "the one who knows the most but cares the least."

That's Reed. He knows more than you and I -- and truthfully at his age more than most of his fellow pros -- what it's like to stare down Tiger and Co. on a Sunday and he just doesn't give a crap about reverance.

So whether you love Patrick Reed or you hate him, you know who he is now and you have an opinion. You must have an opinion when he invokes the names of Tiger and Jack Nicklaus and the rest.

It doesn't even matter what that opinion is because, as athletes like Russell Westbrook and Richard Sherman and Matt Harvey have shown us, all that matters is whether or not you care.

And you do now.

You definitely do.

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnGolf and @KylePorterCBS on Twitter or Google+ and like us on Facebook.

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