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Hate him or love him, you have to admit that there’s never a dull moment involving Patrick Reed. Not only did he trade jabs (and tees) with Rory McIlroy all week at the Dubai Desert Classic, but Reed found himself in just his latest cheating controversy as well.
During Sunday’s third round, Reed’s tee shot on the Par 4 17th was lodged in a tree. He and a rules official identified his ball stuck in the tree which then allowed him to take an unplayable penalty below.
Identifying the ball saved Reed at least one shot. Had he not been able to identify his ball, he would have had to re-tee as his initial tee shot would have been deemed lost. Instead, Reed played his third shot from beneath the tree and made a bogey on the hole.
Slow-mo video of his tee shot, however, disputes the entire situation.
Reed and the rules official identified his golf ball in the third tree of a group of three similar trees, but as Brandel Chamblee broke down on Golf Channel, the ball looks to have actually been lodged in the first tree.
Patrick Reed and Brandel Chamblee Have History
Chamblee – who Reed sued for defamation back in August – explains that there is no possible way for the golf ball to have made its way all the way to the third tree.
While Reed of course didn’t have access to watching a replay of his shot while on the course, he explained after the round that he was “100 percent” certain he identified his golf ball in the tree.
“I would have gone back to the tee if I wasn’t 100 percent,’’ Reed told reporters after the round. “I got lucky that we were able to look through the binoculars and you have to make sure it’s your ball and how I mark my golf balls is I always put an arrow on the end of my line, because the Pro V1 the arrow on the end stop before it so you can see the arrow.”
The DP World Tour issued its own statement explaining the situation noting “the player was not asked to specify the three but to identify his distinctive ball markings to confirm it was his ball.”
This isn’t Reed’s first run-in with the rules of golf.
A History Of Patrick Reed Allegedly Cheating
Reed’s first controversial moment came during his college days at the University of Georgia.
The nine-time PGA Tour winner began his college career at Georgia before transferring to Augusta State. His move to the smaller school wasn’t necessarily by choice, according to a number of reports.
Reed was reportedly kicked off of Georgia’s team after allegedly cheating during a qualifying round. He allegedly hit a tee shot deep in the rough, found a different ball closer to the fairway, and played that as his own.
Later that same semester, $400, a watch, and a Scotty Cameron putter were allegedly stolen from the team’s facility. The very next day, Reed allegedly showed up to the facility with a wad of cash and said he won it by beating a professor the day prior.
Then you have the infamous moment during the third round of the 2019 Hero World Challenge when Reed was caught improving his lie in a waste bunker. The PGA Tour issued Reed a two-stroke penalty after the incident.
In a surprising turn of events, McIlroy came to the defense of Reed after the latest controversy in Dubai.
“I felt it was fine. Kev Feeney is a really experienced referee and he’s not going to do anything wrong,” McIlroy said. “Had it been anyone else in the field it would have been a non-issue. But because of certain things in the past, people brought some stuff up, which is maybe unfair in some ways.”
McIlroy ended up winning the Dubai Desert Classic by one shot over Reed.
Follow Mark Harris on Twitter @ItIsMarkHarris