Here is why Patrick Reed is being accused of cheating again

Patrick Reed is currently in a share of the lead at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines but he is again being accused of cheating after an incident during his third round.

No stranger to being accused of cheating (remember sand gate?) American Patrick Reed is again facing fresh allegations of deliberately breaking the rules of golf.

Reed pulled his shot out of the fairway bunker at the par-4 10th hole into the long rough to the left of the green. (The heavy rough isn’t unusual as it hasn’t been mowed because of heavy rain yesterday).

The TV coverage clearly showed (both live and on replays) the ball take one bounce and nestle deep in the grass.

Before Reed arrived at his ball, he asked a nearby volunteer if the ball had bounced. The volunteer incorrectly said it had not, and within 10 seconds Reed picked out his ball and placed it to the side.

Watch for yourself.

Reed eventually called over a rules official to ask for free relief for an embedded ball and pointed to where he said the ball was found.

Despite the ball now lying a few feet away, and replays showing the ball did bounce into the rough Reed was given a free drop for an embedded ball.

Given one of the first rules of golf is to play the ball as it lies, Reed’s action to pick up the ball before any ruling could be made has raised eyebrows. Even the on-air commentary team were questioning Reed’s behaviour with Jim Nantz suggesting “the optics aren’t good”.

And it is very strange to hear Reed ask if the ball bounced before he even arrived at the golf ball.

Reed explained his actions after his round where he was told his actions were “textbook”.

Is it possible Reed did not see the ball bounce? Possibly.
Was he given bad information by the official? Yes.
Is it likely his ball was embedded in the ground after such a small second bounce? No.
Was he pretty quick in asking if the ball had bounced or embedded itself? Yes.

And given his reputation, and the fact the cameras are always around, especially when you’re leading a golf tournament, should you really be picking up your golf ball before any tells you to?

No.

UPDATE: I really love this series of tweets from Jason Sobel. Sums it up for me.

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