When the Sunday singles matches for the Ryder Cup were announced and we saw Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed paired in the first match, we all expected a fantastic round of golf. These were the two hottest players for both teams and the ones that play with the most fire.
We expected great golf. On the front nine, these two exceeded expectations as we got phenomenal play and incredible emotion in arguably the greatest Ryder Cup match of all time. The two traded birdies and massive celebrations on the front nine.
Both golfers poked at the other by stealing the other's signature celebration. First, Reed hit Rory with a bow after a birdie to halve the sixth, adding a Mutombo-esque finger wag.
Then Rory answered with Reed's famous shush motion to the crowd after halving the seventh hole with a birdie.
The biggest eruptions came on the eighth hole, though, as McIlroy poured in a ridiculously long birdie putt and started barking at the crowd. "Ahhhh! F------ come on! I can't hear you! I can't hear you!" he screamed
Reed dropped his birdie putt in the center of the cup to answer and halve the hole. He then gave a finger wag right to McIlroy as he walked to the cup, calling for more noise from the crowd.
The two briefly hugged it out afterward.
Reed and McIlroy made the turn all square with each shooting a 4-under 32 on the front nine and were doing so with more emotion than we've ever seen consistently from two golfers. The crowd was electric and the two golfers were feeding off of it with McIlroy embracing his role as villain and Reed taking on the Captain America role in front of the home crowd.
Those watching the match couldn't help but feel like they were witnessing history and possibly the greatest Ryder Cup match ever.
The level of golf in this match is astonishing. They're gonna be singing folk tales about this in a hundred years.— Alan Shipnuck (@AlanShipnuck) October 2, 2016
Things I've said or seen compared/mentioned about this Rory-Reed match so far;— Shane Bacon (@shanebacon) October 2, 2016
Rumble in the Jungle
Even other players watching were in awe.
Can I just say..wow! Not sure I've ever seen anything like this. So cheesed off to be sitting here in the couch. Want to be out there. #epic— Graeme McDowell (@Graeme_McDowell) October 2, 2016