'Embarrassing': Patrick Reed at centre of ugly new 'cheating' storm

Pictured here, the latest incident that has seen Patrick Reed accused of cheating.
Golf fans have once again accused Patrick Reed of cheating. Pic: Getty/Fox Sports

Controversy and Patrick Reed never seem to be far away and the American found himself at the centre of more ugly drama at the US Open.

The overnight leader going into Saturday at the New York major had a disastrous third round as he plummeted out of contention at the notorious Winged Foot course.

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A laser-focused Matthew Wolff capitalised on Reed's shocker with a record-equalling round of 65 to go into the final round with a two-stroke lead.

To make matters worse for Reed, the 2018 Masters champion once again found himself in the crosshairs of fans after being accused of trying to improve his lie.

Reed is no stranger to allegations of cheating, with commentators and fans pointing out numerous occasions on which he has been caught employing underhanded tactics on a golf course.

Seen here is the infamous Patrick Reed bunker shot at the Hero World Challenge in 2019.
Patrick Reed was famously called out for cheating at the Hero World Challenge in 2019. Image: PGA

Perhaps the most famous of those incident came at last year's Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas when he was caught grounding his club in a bunker before hitting the ball - something that is completely against the rules of the sport.

On Saturday at the US Open, camera footage picked up Reed appearing to pat down the rough around his ball before he attempted a chip shot onto the green at the ninth hole.

The rules state that the club can be gently rested on the grass behind the ball at address, but Reed appears to press down considerably on the turf before hitting his shot.

Eagle-eyed fans were quick to condemn the 30-year-old over the latest incident, insisting that it is another example of him "cheating" on the golf course.

A disastrous seven-over par performance saw Reed tumble from the top spot of the leaderboard on Saturday, as his hopes of a US Open victory all but evaporated in the third round.

"Just kind of one of those days that when I hit the quality good golf shot, it still ended up in a spot on the green that I had to be really defensive, couldn't actually be aggressive with putting," said Reed (77), who had a one-shot lead headed into Saturday's action.

The World No. 10 drained a nine-foot birdie on the contentious ninth hole but saw his game fall apart in a nightmarish back nine performance with six bogeys and a double bogey.

"My short game just could not save me today," said Reed. "You just can't continue missing fairways and missing greens and expect to continue shooting under par."

Joint-record round rockets Wolff into lead

Reed, who is now eight strokes back from leader Matthew Wolff, said it was tough to pinpoint where things went wrong, telling reporters he was "just off" and struggled to hack his way out of the thick rough at the treacherous course.

The 30-year-old, who is three over par through 54 holes, conceded that victory is unlikely headed into the finale at Mamaroneck on Sunday - though he was not ready to rule anything out.

Wolff's aggressive style took him top of the leaderboard heading into the final day, where he will start with a two-shot lead over Bryson DeChambeau.

"There's a lot of holes out there that maybe people would try to hit it in the fairway or maybe take the safe play because it is a US Open, and they know that pars are a good score," Wolff said.

Pictured here, third round US Open leader Matthew Wolff.
Matthew Wolff goes into the final round at Winged Foot with a two-stroke lead. Pic: Getty

"But I don't really like to think of it that way. I like to go out there and do what I feel comfortable with, rip dog and see how it goes from there."

It's going so well that Wolff is one round away from becoming the youngest US Open champion since Bobby Jones in 1923 and the first player to win the event on debut since Francis Ouimet 107 years ago.

After round one, 21 players were under par. It was six after Friday and after moving day there were just three - Louis Oosthuizen efficiently putting together a 68 to sit third at one-under.

Hideki Matsuyama (70), Xander Schauffele (70) and Harris English (72) are at even-par.

Another shot back is Rory McIlroy, who posted his 68 some three hours before the leaders finished.

with agencies