DeChambeau and Reed hit the headlines for the wrong reasons – but were they out of line?

The Scoop

NCG's Alex Perry and Mark Townsend lock horns in this week's Alternate Shot

Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed were the headline names in the Porsche European Open field, but both found themselves on the wrong end of the critics at certain points during the week.

Masters champion Reed was first up when he and caddie Kessler Karain fell out with the broadcast team covering their group during the opening round. The pair accused the cameraman of rattling change in his pocket…

Warning to all camera crews: Do NOT jingle your change around Patrick Reed!

A post shared by Golf Channel (@golfchannel) on

Then on Sunday, two-time PGA Tour winner DeChambeau, whose family originates from Hamburg, where the European Open was held, was accused of disrespecting champion Richard McEvoy on the 18th green…

So were the pair out of line? Alex Perry and Mark Townsend discuss…

Yes, says Alex Perry

Cards on the table: I’m not fully in the ‘yes’, camp. More leaning towards ‘kind of’.

Look, if you stand next to me in my place of work and rattle change in your pocket while I’m trying to get stuff done, we are going to fall out. You’d be hard pushed to find anyone who doesn’t agree.

But could Patrick Reed and Bryson DeChambeau have handled their respective scenarios with a bit more grace? Of course they could have – instead they’ve both come out of it looking a bit silly.

Having a cameraman rattling change in his pocket while one of the world’s best golfers is preparing to hit a shot nearby is so bizarre it’s actually quite funny. Reed could have laughed off the ridiculousness and come out looking the good guy. Instead he told him “I’m not hitting my shot until you get the heck out of here” in a rather petulant manner.

As for DeChambeau, it was a lack of grace that I’m sure he is embarrassed about, will regret, and has since apologised to Richard McEvoy for. But at the time it was stroppy at best and not in this “spirit of the game” I hear so much about.

That said, the reaction to both has been beyond belief. The problem with social media these days is people are so desperate to be the voice of reason that they can’t wait to jump on every little thing that happens in the tiny hope for a retweet or a like. (I know, I’m as guilty as anyone.)

I spotted one person tweeting on Sunday night telling DeChambeau that we don’t want that kind of behaviour on the European Tour and that he should be banned from the majors for 12 months. The mind boggles.

Reed and DeChambeau behaved in an unacceptable manner, but they haven’t killed anyone. So get over it. Imagine how boring golf would be without these guys…

No says Mark Townsend

Patrick Reed is never going to win many popularity contests.

He won The Masters this year, edging out Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson and Henrik Stenson, and all most people were interested in was his past, his family and some petulant behaviour and silly quotes over the years.

None of that is ever going to change, he’ll always say and do things that are laughable to most of us so maybe, if we’re looking for role models, go elsewhere.

I love the fact that manners matter in golf but the sport doesn’t half love a pantomime villain. He’s easily irritated, as demonstrated by his handling of this, and he can’t stop himself, but that’s all it is. These things have gone on for years, it’s just that there weren’t as many cameras around.

I’ve caddied a handful of times and have witnessed and been on the end of similarly brutal behaviour by professional sportsmen – let me shock you, some golfers can be a bunch of prima donnas and aren’t very normal. It’s probably not unlike most offices that any of us have worked in.

As for DeChambeau supposedly he did shake hands with Richard McEvoy and his caddie, even the caddie has spoken up for him. In an ideal world he would have been the bigger man, smiled, seen it for what it is and been happy for McEvoy but he’s a headstrong nut-job who has just finished his 72 holes 6-6-3-8.

Again, we all love him for his out-there quotes and unique methodology but aren’t so keen on the other side.

We don’t even have to like these characters but a bit of understanding would be a nice start. Peace. Out.

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