Rickie Fowler and Patrick Reed are back in the United States playing at the Wyndham Championship this week. The two Americans flew from Rio de Janeiro to Greensboro, North Carolina, for the finale of the PGA Tour regular season. They both discussed their favorite moments from the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Here's Fowler tale:
"I mean the whole trip is very special. To me, my favorite moment was when I was back at the pool, the warm up pool with the swim team and Bubba [Watson] came back with me. I had met the PR guy for the U.S. swim earlier in the week, Scott, and he was great and wanted us to come back and meet some of the team. They wanted to get pictures and it was cool to take pictures with other athletes I wanted pictures with.
"They wanted pictures with me and the coaches who were back there for 10 minutes or so. We go to walk out and this is the warm up pool where all the countries have their kind of therapy tables and everything set up. Hundreds of people back there. We start to walk out and you start to hear the cowbell ring and they start chanting, 'USA, USA.'
"Didn't really think anything of it at first. Look back, they're all starting to chant, 'USA.' I started pumping my fist and chanting, 'USA' back. In the meantime, obviously, you can hear a cowbell from pretty far. The whole pool, hundreds of people are looking straight over at us. A really cool moment. I probably could have swam -- went out and swam the 100 meters."
The idea of Fowler swimming the 100 in any stroke is pretty amusing. Reed, who finished T11 at the tournament, also listed the swimming events as some of his favorite memories.
"You fly in and once you get on-site and you see all of the rings everywhere and you see all the people. You see the flags from around the world. You see all the Rio 2016 Olympics, the signs everywhere, just kind of putts chills down your back thinking, 'Wow, I'm an Olympian.' That was just amazing," he said.
"The other one was watching [Michael] Phelps win his 20th gold. I never been to a swimming competition ever before in my life ... To go over there and kind of be a part of that and the whole team as well the same time we're all sitting together. It's so crazy to see how excited people get over literally a 10-second race. It's ready, go, they're in the water and out of the water. It was so cool to watch."
Not sure about the "literally a 10-second race" part, but he's right about the rest. The U.S. swim team cleaned up in Rio. Then they got out! As for the golf portion of these Olympics, Reed was impressed, but he also said it could be better for 2020.
"It was awesome. They exceeded my expectations," said Reed. "You know, you really don't know what to expect when it's the first event ... You didn't know how things were going to be really run throughout the whole week. But, no, it was flawless. You get down there, the people were great. There was a lot bigger turnout than I expected out on the golf course with the galleries and, you know, just the traveling to and from, the security and everything, it was awesome."
As for the tweaks, Reed wants two-player teams.
"As I was flipping [channels], had like 10 channels, all of them were Olympics channels. Down there got to see every event I wanted to. One of them was beach volleyball. When I flipped I was like, 'Wait a second, that's Canada versus Canada. How is that possible?' I found out there's other teams that you can have multiple teams in the same country. So I think they should do 30 countries, two-man teams, stroke play where you have to count both of them."
I'm in! That's a tremendous idea. He went on to note that with two-man teams you're grinding until the very end because you don't want to let your teammate (or country) down. A brilliant take from somebody who's been in the thick of it for a week.