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Jan 31st, 2021

Reed in the dock again!

American is accused of cheating at the Farmers Insurance Open

What is wrong with Patrick Reed? He is a great golfer but a rather marmite character who seems you either love or hate. Sadly, given his propensity to sail close to the wind with the golf rules, supporters are few and far between.

On Saturday at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, the 30-year-old American found himself in hot water again after receiving a drop for an embedded ball in the thick rough. The problem for Reed was that the TV cameras clearly showed the ball bounced before coming to rest in the rough.

If the ball bouncing had been the only issue, then there might not have been the outcry but it was Reed's actions on arriving at his ball that beggar belief. The American chose to mark and pick up his ball, putting it to one side before requesting the ruling!
This is a player who was blatantly seen breaking the rules at the Hero World Challenge back in December 2019 and then courted controversy at the 2020 US Open when it looked like he was improving his lie in the rough.
When you have been called a cheat in the past you need to be seen as whiter than white when dealing with the rules. If in any doubt you immediately call over a rules official and leave it him or her to decide your fate.
The video footage shows that the ball had bounced in the rough before it nestled down on the second bounce, making it all but impossible for the ball to have embedded. In Reed's defence he, his playing partners and the official in the vicinity of the ball left of the 10th green did not see the ball bounce.

Following Reed's removal of the ball Brad Fabel, a PGA Tour senior tournament official arrived at the crime scene.  After being informed by Reed that no one had seen the ball bounce, Fable checked the ground for an indentation in the soil and determined a 'lip' in the ground. He deemed the ball had embedded and allowed Reed to take a free drop.
Of course to infuriate those watching further Reed proceeded to pitch to roughly 20 feet and then holed the putt for a par. Social media lit up as both commentators and the golfing public rushed to condemn Reed.

Once again the PGA Tour backed the player stating that Reed's behaviour had been 'textbook'. If that is textbook, then the book needs to be changed!
Reed sought to justify his actions telling the Golf Channel that it was 'What a lot of the players do, as well as what I always do."
“When you sit there and whether it's an embedded ball or whether it's a sprinkler head or anything, whenever we're taking relief, we mark it and we check to see if it's embedded first."
"If you lift it and you put your finger down and it's flat down there, then you're like, "OK, the ball's not embedded", you place the ball back as it lied and then you proceed on."
One can easily turn that on its head and say that unless you are sure the ball has not bounced and it is not obvious the ball is plugged, then you play it as it lies.
Reed double down on his claim of innocence in a later tweet claiming that he did what Rory McIlroy had done at the 18th hole in his third round.
It looks like nothing more will come of this issue but Reed now has an even bigger target on his back. The golf world will be watching his every move and that is his fault. Watching his conduct crouching down with ball in hand one can only think ‘What the Hell?!!’

TAGS: PGA Tour, Patrick Reed, Farmers Insurance Open, Rule Of Golf, 2021