Patrick Reed insists he is not a cheat. Picture: Michael Klein
Patrick Reed insists he is not a cheat. Picture: Michael Klein

‘It’s just wrong’: Reed slams cheating claims

AMERICAN bad boy Patrick Reed says he's no cheat at golf.

"It's just wrong. It's just not right," Reed declared of claims he deliberately shifted sand to improve his lie last week in the Bahamas.

"If you intentionally try to do something, then it is considered cheating, but if you're not intentionally trying to give yourself a good lie or intentionally breaking a rule or something like that, that's not considered cheating.

"It's just considered breach of rule."

Reed was heckled before he even hit a shot during Tuesday's practice round at Royal Melbourne.

"Next on the tee - the excavator," one fan sledged within metres of the 2018 US Masters champ.

 

Reed dipped his hat and said later he welcomed the "banter", even rolling out a wood cover depicting himself silencing the crowd, but the Bahamas "sand storm" has been an unwelcome distraction for his team's Presidents Cup preparations.

Patrick Reed has hit back at critics. Picture: Michael Klein
Patrick Reed has hit back at critics. Picture: Michael Klein

International opponent Louis Oosthuizen poured fuel on the fire by declaring "it looked like a very stupid thing (Reed) did".

"It doesn't look great for him … it's going to be a tough one to get rid of," the smooth South African swinger said.

"If  it was someone on my team, I know a bunch of us would ask him straight the question."

Asked if he was hurt by the commentary, Reed said: "It goes from wanting to beat those guys to it now turning personal, so it's going to be a fun week".

Tiger Woods has spoken to US teammate Patrick Reed. Picture: Michael Klein
Tiger Woods has spoken to US teammate Patrick Reed. Picture: Michael Klein

US captain Tiger Woods conceded Reed would probably cop some special attention from the galleries across the weekend.

"Well, I'm sure somebody's going to say something out there," Woods said.

"(But) I think Pat will be fine. Pat is a great kid. He's handled a tough upbringing well, and I just think that he's one of our best team players and is one of the reasons why all of the guys wanted him on the team."

Woods said he had a "short and brief" conversation with Reed on the flight to Australia and was adamant the issue had been put to bed.

Reed, a captain's pick for the tournament, was penalised two shots during the Heroes World Challenge after TV footage captured him twice moving sand directly behind his ball with his club.

Australian Marc Leishman, who on Sunday condemned Reed's conduct, played a straighter bat on Tuesday but smirked when informed of the "excavator" sledge.

"I only saw what everyone else saw. I guess we've all made up our own minds about it," Leishman said.

"I think we're just going to let that one go and try to beat him on the course."

International team skipper Ernie Els said the reactions to Reed's Bahamas brain-fade were "only natural".

"These guys are competitors," Els said.

"Obviously they didn't like what they saw, and they came out and obviously you guys asked them questions about it and they were pretty new questions (but) like Tiger, we're moving on. We've got a Cup to play for.

"There's nothing more to be said."

Reed's US teammate Patrick Cantlay said the incident had been "overblown".

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