Some of Patrick Reed’s fellow PGA Tour pros have hit out at the former Masters champion following his latest brush with the rules.
Reed, 30, found himself at the centre of yet another controversy after an incident that occurred on the tenth hole during Saturday's third round of the Farmers Insurance Open.
After pulling his approach from a fairway bunker into the left rough at the tenth, Reed called in a rules official to check on whether or not his ball was embedded - but not before having already picked up his ball and despite television footage showing that the ball had, quite clearly, bounced.
During the telecast, Reed could be heard telling the official - twice - that his ball hadn't bounced. The official accepted Reed's version of events and he was allowed a free drop, from which he saved par.
The American, who was subsequently exonerated of any wrongdoing by PGA Tour officials, went on to win the event at Torrey Pines – much to the chagrin of two of his fellow players.
Speaking to the media after finishing his week’s work, Xander Schauffele said that he would have handled the situation differently to the way Reed did.
“I would not put myself and create a situation like that,” said Schauffele, who finished in a tie for second, five shots adrift of Reed.
“If my ball's embedded, I usually will wait and call someone and kind of wait until everyone's on the same page, wait to look at video. I try to avoid situations like that just for that reason.”
Tellingly, he added: “Obviously, the talk amongst the boys isn't great but he's protected by the Tour and that's all that matters, I guess.”
Lanto Griffin went even further.
After finishing a in a tie for seventh, he said: “Golf's a game of sportsmanship and it's tough to put us on the spot to call him out because we weren't there but, at the end of the day, I think 99% of the golfers out here, if it's in question one way or the other, they're going to go the other way, not taking a drop, it didn't cross, that type of deal.
“So it's tough to see. It's sad, kind of pisses us off, but it's the way it is. Hopefully something changes.”
In his winner’s press conference, it was put to Reed that some people believe that he cheated.
“I've already said anything I need to say about what happened yesterday,” he said. “All I can really do is focus on today and just listen to what the rules officials said and they said that I didn't do anything incorrect.”