Social media sensation Paige Spiranac says she learned about cheating "the hard way" after an incident with her "scary" mum during a golf competition.
The subject of cheating has been widely debated in the golfing world this week, following a controversial incident involving Patrick Reed at the PGA Tour's Farmers Insurance Open.
‘DOUBLE STANDARDS’: Rival dragged into Patrick Reed furore
Reed was widely accused of cheating by golf commentators and fans after picking up his ball from the rough, during the third round of the Torrey Pines tournament that he eventually won.
The controversial American claimed embedded ball relief and escaped having to take a penalty for a drop - despite replays showing the ball bounce once from the rough before it came to a stop.
Officials cleared Reed of any wrongdoing but with a reputation as a serial offender, the 30-year-old faced severe backlash over the incident.
Spiranac admitted that she thought Reed was "good for golf" after discussing the latest accusations of cheating against him on her Playing-A-Round podcast.
The Instagram star also revealed an incident in her playing days that served as a brutal lesson about cheating.
Spiranac was a star amateur player when she was younger, before competing in a number of Ladies European Tour events and winning a Cactus Tour match in Arizona.
The 27-year-old admits she once cheated during a competitive match but was set straight when her mum found out.
"I learned my lesson the very hard way," Spiranac said.
"It was one of my very first tournaments, I ended up hitting a ball in the water but I was on a very steep slope. I just ended up dropping another ball and saying I found it.
"I played it off and my mum, who packed my golf bag the night before, said 'hey you started the round with six balls how do you only have five?'
"She is one of the sweetest ladies ever but she is scary, you do not want to disappoint her.
"She just gave me this look and she said 'if you ever do that again, if I ever catch you cheating, you will never play golf ever again.'
"I was like 'OK' and I learned my lesson."
Spiranac speaks out in support of Reed
The social media starlet had a curious take on the Reed "cheating" controversy, however, deciding to throw her support behind her countryman.
“I will say Patrick Reed makes for some entertaining golf and I don't hate that,” she tweeted on Monday.
“Give me Bryson [De Chambeau], Reed and Brooks [Koepka] s*** talking all day long.
"Hate them or love them, it's good for golf.”
Reed shrugged off the rules furore to claim a runaway five-shot victory on Sunday, the largest winning margin of his nine career wins.
Reed closed with a four-under 68 at Torrey Pines, making an eagle on the par-5 sixth and finishing off his ninth PGA Tour title with a birdie on the 18th as he finished 14 under.
“I was allowed to kind of put it behind me when the head rules official comes up and says you did everything you were supposed to do,” Reed said.
“When you do everything you're supposed to do, at the end of the day that's all you can control."
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