'Double standards': Rival dragged into Patrick Reed 'cheating' furore

Andrew Reid
·6-min read
Pictured here, Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.
Rory McIlroy has become embroiled in the latest controversy surrounding Patrick Reed. Pic: Getty

Golf fans have hit out at the perceived "double standards" around the Patrick Reed controversy after the American was accused of cheating in the PGA Tour’s Farmers Insurance Open.

Reed shrugged off a rules furore in the third round to claim a runaway five-shot victory in the tournament at Torrey Pines.

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The 2018 Masters champion closed with a four-under 68, 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.

However, the American has been widely condemned in the golfing world after once again being accused of cheating after taking "embedded ball" relief in a third round incident that has divided fans.

Reed has been cleared by the PGA Tour over a controversy that erupted on Saturday when he picked up his ball to see if it was embedded before a rules official arrived and he received a free drop.

Replays showed Reed's ball had bounced before sinking into deep rough, which he later admitted would suggest it didn't embed, but no one was aware of that at the time.

Reed, who has had rules-related issues in the past, including at the 2019 Hero World Challenge, faced several media questions about it afterward and said he believed he handled the matter properly, given what he knew. Tour officials agreed.

Seen here, Patrick Reed holds the Farmers Insurance Open trophy aloft.
Patrick Reed celebrates with the trophy after winning the Farmers Insurance Open. Pic: Getty

"My biggest takeaway was mentally, I hung in there and stayed the course," Reed said after his victory.

"... We felt like we did (the right thing), the rules officials felt like they did that at the same time so with that being said I felt fine, I felt great throughout the day. And at the end of the day, I wouldn't have felt any other way.

"I was able to shoot a low number (Sunday) and get the job done."

Adding more intrigue to the story was the fact that rival golfer Rory McIlroy was at the centre of a similar incident at Torrey Pines that went largely unnoticed.

On the par-5 18th also during the third round, McIlroy’s second shot wound up in the rough to the right of the fairway.

The Northern Irishman said after the round that he asked a marshall if the ball had bounced and was told they had not seen it do so.

McIlroy alerted his playing partner Rory Sabbatini that he was going to check if the ball was embedded. He determined it was, took free relief, and wound up making a par.

McIlroy incident ‘virtually the same’ as Reed’s

On Sunday morning, the PGA Tour released a statement concerning McIlroy’s drop, determining that "it was virtually the same situation that Patrick Reed faced".

“It was reasonable for both players to conclude – based on the fact that they did not see the ball land but given the lie of the ball in soft course conditions – that they proceed as the Rule allows for a potential embedded ball.

While Reed's incident sparked widespread outrage, McIlroy's barely raised a mention - leading some golf fans to slam the "double standards" of the coverage.

Sharing the lead overnight, Reed jump-started his final round with a 45-foot eagle putt on the sixth hole to get to 12 under and followed with a birdie on the par-4 seventh.

His only bogey was on the par-3 eighth, and he rebounded with a birdie on the par-5 ninth. He played par the rest of the way until sinking an 8-foot birdie putt on No. 18.

Joint overnight leader Carlos Ortiz stumbled badly with a round of 6-over 78 and tied 29th.

Tony Finau (69), Xander Schauffele (69), Ryan Palmer (70), Sweden's Henrik Norlander (69) and young Norwegian star Viktor Hovland (71) all tied for second.

Australia's Adam Scott went backwards with a 73, including four bogeys, to finish tied 10th, seven shots behind fellow former Masters champion Reed.

Marc Leishman was the next best Australian, tied 18th after a 70 while Cameron Davis (73) tied 32nd, Cameron Percy (72) and Matt Jones (71) tied 48th on even par and Rhein Gibson (74) was a shot further back.

with agencies

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