GREENSBORO, N.C. – The dust from a whirlwind trip around the world has settled, and the ink has dried on their passports. Given some time to reflect, Rickie Fowler and Patrick Reed were in agreement about the best off-course memory of last week’s Olympics.
Fowler was visibly present at a variety of Olympic events, and was the only golfer to participate in the opening ceremonies. His favorite moment from 10 days in Rio came at the aquatic center, where he was able to snap some behind-the-scenes pictures with members of the U.S. swim team.
“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,” Fowler said Wednesday at the Wyndham Championship. “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 start pumping my first and chanting, ‘USA’ back.”
It was a momentary spike of patriotic enthusiasm that nearly led Fowler to trade his golf clubs for a Speedo.
“The whole pool, hundreds of people are looking straight over at us,” he said. “A really cool moment. I probably could have went out and swam the 100 meters.”
Like Fowler, Reed enjoyed some time away from the golf course watching the swimming, highlighted by watching Michael Phelps win his 20th gold medal. It was a moment made all the more special since Reed was joined by his wife, Justine, and brother-in-law, Kessler Karain, both of whom swam competitively while growing up.
“It’s crazy to see how excited people get over literally a 10-second race,” Reed said. “It’s ready, go, they’re in the water and out of the water. It was so cool to watch. I’ve never seen one before, only on TV, and it was amazing.”