We've all screamed into our phones about Patrick Reed's antics at the Hero World Challenge, so here's Gary Woodland with a more level-headed approach
Friday December 6 should have been just another round in Tiger’s hit-and-giggle event down in the Bahamas at the end of last year. It ended up providing one of the most talked-about rules infractions of the decade.
Patrick Reed was playing the 11th hole during his third round and, so far, it was the most uneventful rounds of his career with 10 straight pars. Then he did this and all hell broke loose, the incident spilling over into the Presidents Cup the following week.
A closer look at Patrick Reed’s two-stroke penalty during Round 3 of the Hero World Challenge. pic.twitter.com/z2aqkajnYq
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) December 7, 2019
For the record Reed shot 74, which included the two-shot penalty, while Woodland was round in 68.
Speaking on Subpar on Golf.com the US Open champion, who was already in the hole for a birdie four before Reed tackled his bunker shot, spoke about what it was like to have a front-row seat as the news of his playing partner’s actions began to reverberate around the course.
Reed splashed one out to 25 feet before it rolled off the back of the green, a shot that looked very impressive to Woodland and the on-course reporter Jim ‘Bones’ Mackay.
“He was in a not very good spot,” Woodland explained. “Bones and I both said, ‘Wow, that shot was unbelievable from where he was.’”
Within a couple of holes Woodland heard that there might be a problem while an ignorant Reed carried on regardless. At the end of the round they examined the incident on a TV monitor.
“To be honest he owned it right then and took it. I think if he would’ve just said the same thing [to the media] that he said in the scoring trailer to [rules official] Slugger White – ‘I didn’t mean to do that, I wish there was another camera angle to show my intent’ – I think it would’ve been a lot better.”
Fast forward a couple of days and the American team were on their way to Royal Melbourne for the Presidents Cup with Reed one of Woods’ picks.
Given Reed’s recent form and his previous in team competitions, aside from Le Golf National, it was a no-brainer for Woods and the rest of his team.
“Every team has somebody that you hate the guy if he’s not on your team and you love him if he’s on the team,” Woodland said. “Tiger Woods picked Patrick Reed for a reason. Under the gun, you want Patrick on your team. You really do. Whether you like everything that goes on around it or not, you like him on your team.”
One aspect of the Reed sideshow was when his caddie and brother-in-law Kessler Karain was stood down from the singles after confronting a fan after a third straight loss on the penultimate day.
“In my opinion, he was just defending Patrick. People were crazy and in their face and he’d had enough of it and unfortunately he got a little physical with somebody. I don’t have a problem with anything that happened.”
Come Sunday Reed was sent out third in the singles and finally produced a point as the Americans pulled off their comeback victory.