Patrick Reed has become embroiled in a new cheating controversy after claiming relief over a “ball embedded” in the PGA Tour Farmers’ Insurance Opening.
Reed was playing the 10th hole on the third round at Torrey Pines when he hit a fairway bunker shot. He shot it to the left of the green, where the ball clearly bounced rather than plugging directly into the ground.
Yet Reed claimed otherwise after finding the bullet in the raw state and picking it up. He repeatedly told a rule official that he believed the ball had not rebounded and demonstrated where the ball had come to rest, pushing the ground with his finger.
Reed received relief for a embedded ball, then moved up and down for par. He led the tournament midway through the third round.
Still, cameras caught the controversial moments, including clear evidence the ball bounced, plunging Reed into yet another rules controversy. Veteran commentator Jim Nantz said: “The optics are not good.”
Reed then grabbed a real “fried egg” from a bunker in the next hole, to which commentator Nick Faldo replied: “Do you think the gods of golf are watching?” He bugged holes 11, 13, 14 and 16 to fall off the head.
Reed was called out for cheating at the Hero World Challenge 2019, where cameras caught him grounding his club in a bunker. The pictures showed that the club head improved the lie behind his ball.
At last year’s US Open, Reed was seen pressing the rough behind his ball in an apparent attempt to improve on the lie. The rules state that a club should only be landed gently behind the ball at address.
Leading gold commentator Peter Kostis claimed he saw Reed cheating four times – including at a previous event at Torrey Pines.
Australian golfer Cameron Smith accused Reed of “cheating” at the Hero World Challenge and offered a “bulls – t” – excuse that the camera angle distorted what had happened. Gold analyst Brandel Chamblee accused Reed of “blatantly breaking a rule”.
For a daily dose of the best of the latest news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter in click here!