Patrick Reed’s first shot in the Presidents Cup was only ever going in one spot.
In the wake of an ugly cheating scandal born from a bunker in the Bahamas, the latest chapter in the saga continued in the Royal Melbourne sand trap at the first hole.
The Texan was widely condemned in the golfing world over an incident in a Bahamas tournament that has seen him branded a “cheat”.
Patrick Reed gets busted cheating at the Hero World Challenge pic.twitter.com/r25cE6zenE— Viral Sports (@NotScTop10plays) December 6, 2019
Reed was penalised two strokes for improving his lie when he moved sand with his practise swing on two separate occasions.
The 2018 Masters champion denied he intentionally broke the rules.
He further raised eyebrows in a press conference before the Presidents Cup when he proceeded to explain that because there were no intent on his behalf, the incident didn’t amount to cheating.
Aussie golfer Cameron Smith was one of Reed’s most outspoken critics, saying his justification was "bulls**t" and accused him of "cheating the rules".
America’s pantomime villain was warned to expect a hostile reception from local fans at Royal Melbourne and that’s exactly what he got on the opening day of the Presidents Cup on Thursday.
Spectators booed the American when his name was called out on the loudspeaker but it was the wicked case of irony that many marvelled at, when his first shot end up in the bunker.
Not surprisingly, viewers had an absolute field day on social media at the sight of Reed in the sand at the first.
Patrick Reed has his first tee shot end up in a bunker. Ironic, and the crowd lets him know they know. ⛳️🙀🤷♂️— Marc Inglis (@marcinglis2) December 11, 2019
It is going to be interesting to see how Patrick Reed reacts to the crowds in the #PresidentsCup— Mehdi Grayeli (@mehdigrayeli) December 11, 2019
On the first hole tee box a guy shouted your only allowed 14 clubs and a shovel 😂 and then he proceeded to hit his shot in the bunker.
I want to know what the odds were of Patrick Reed hitting his opening tee shot into a bunker.— Steve Hampton (@Hampt10) December 11, 2019
The fact that Patrick Reed had to hit a bunker shot on the 1st hole of the #PresidentsCup is just ironic. He’ll probably get it up and down— Taylor Davis (@TDavis2golf) December 11, 2019
In a promising sign for the controversial American, Reed brushed aside the adversity to secure a tremendous up-and-down on the opening hole.
Aussie worried saga has affected ‘friendship’
Australia's Smith said on the eve of the tournament that his cheating comments about Reed had potentially cost him a friend on Tour.
The pair have crossed paths during practice at Royal Melbourne this week with Smith revealing that Reed had ignored him.
"I'm sure he didn't like it," Smith said on Wednesday.
"I think there is a little bit of tension there. I've looked at Patrick a couple of times but he hasn't looked back."
The 26-year-old Queenslander said he and Reed shared a physio so were previously on good terms in the locker room but felt that may no longer be the case.
"I think our friendship, I guess, is not quite there any more," Smith said.
But the world No.52 didn't back down on his comments.
"I just think it's a case of what's right and what's wrong. I think there's something to be said about that."