Patrick Reed has become embroiled in a fresh alleged cheating controversy after claiming relief on an “embedded ball” at the PGA Tour’s Farmers Insurance Open.
Reed was playing the 10th hole during the third round at Torrey Pines when he struck a fairway bunker shot. He pulled 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 ball in the rough and picking it up. He repeatedly told a rules official that he believed the ball had not bounced and demonstrated where the ball had come to rest, poking at the ground with his finger.
Reed was given relief for an embedded ball, then got up-and-down for par. He led the tournament midway through the third round.
Yet cameras caught the controversial moments, including clear evidence that the ball bounced, plunging Reed into another rules controversy. Veteran commentator Jim Nantz said: “The optics are not good.”
Reed then caught a genuine ‘fried egg’ lie in a bunker on the next hole, to which commentator Nick Faldo responded: “Do you think the golf gods are watching?” He bogeyed holes 11, 13, 14 and 16 to drop from the lead, yet birdied 18 to regain a share of the lead with Carlos Ortiz at 10-under.
Reed was called out for cheating at the 2019 Hero World Challenge, where cameras caught him grounding his club in a bunker. Footage showed that the club head improved the lie behind his ball.
At last year’s US Open, Reed was seen pressing down the rough behind his ball in an apparent attempt to improve the lie. The rules state that a club should be rested only gently behind the ball on address.
A leading gold commentator, Peter Kostis, claimed that he’d witnessed Reed cheat on four separate occasions – 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 misrepresented what had happened. Gold analyst Brandel Chamblee accused Reed of “flagrantly breaking a rule”.
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