Like most high-end golf venues, Hazeltine National features a nice dining room.
So it will be awkward when, at the 2029 Ryder Cup, the course welcomes the return of Captain America by hiding the expensive silverware.
Patrick Reed made himself an American hero, or at least a hero to American golf fans, by outdueling Rory McIlroy and leading the United States to a Ryder Cup victory at Hazeltine in 2016. Reed's performance laundered his reputation, but laundry stays clean only for so long.
This weekend, Reed, the 2018 Masters champion, won another big event, the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego. Again, he stared down McIlroy, but this time he provided a more clear reminder of the reputation that has followed him since college.
At the University of Georgia, he got kicked off the team for twice being arrested on charges of public intoxication.
In his book "Slaying The Tiger: A Year Inside The Ropes on the New PGA Tour,'' author Shane Ryan wrote that teammates of Reed at Georgia accused him of playing the wrong ball, one in a more favorable position than his own, during a qualifying tournament, and that Reed pleaded ignorance when confronted.
Ryan also reported that valuables and cash were stolen from the team locker room and that the next day Reed showed up with an unusual amount of cash. After a teammate confronted him, Ryan reported, Reed said he won the money from a professor in a golf match. The professor denied this, according to Ryan.
In 2019, at the World Hero Open, Reed was criticized for improving his lie in a waste area while dragging his club back from the ball during practice swings. He was penalized two strokes but maintained his innocence.
This Saturday, Reed hit a shot into the left rough at No. 10. Cameras showed the ball bouncing a couple of feet into the air in the springy rough before landing softly.
Reed told his playing partners the ball had embedded, picked the ball up, held it in his palm for about 15 seconds, set it down, then poked into the area where he claimed the ball had been embedded before calling in a rules official.
PGA officials said he did nothing technically wrong, but golf is the rare sport in which the spirit of the rules is more revered than the letter of the rule.
A number of former PGA pros working as television analysts criticized Reed, and said that they had been in contact with current players who were livid at Reed's sleight of hand.
Nick Faldo, Ian Baker-Finch, Brandel Chamblee and Frank Nobilo were among those criticizing Reed.
Chamblee, the Golf Channel analyst and former touring pro, noted that Reed contradicted himself by saying that the ball was embedded, and that the ball could not possibly have embedded itself if it had bounced.
Chamblee and others also noted that they had never seen a player "palm'' a golf ball in a way that could wipe debris from the ball's surface, or "poke'' at the area where the ball had been embedded.
Reed acted like a criminal cleaning up a crime scene, not a golfer looking for a fair ruling.
On No. 18 on Saturday, McIlroy hit a ball that bounced, claimed that the ball was embedded and took a free drop. There were two differences in the sequences: 1) McIlroy is liked and trusted on tour; Reed is neither. 2) McIlroy dropped his ball into rough that was as bad as the place he had removed the ball; Reed appeared to be trying to improve his lie.
Chamblee said Reed "palmed it like a magician.''
On Sunday, Reed ran away from the field and karma, shooting a 68 to win by five strokes. He's an excellent golfer and a tough competitor.
After Hazeltine, Reed could have played the part of American golf hero for the rest of his career. Instead, he decided to become American's second-most prominent golf cheat.
At Hazeltine, Reed may be the only attendant at the 2029 Ryder Cup who gets put through a metal detector on the way out.
Jim Souhan's podcast can be heard at TalkNorth.com. On Twitter: @SouhanStrib. • email@example.com