The Patrick Reed furore rumbles on, with the former Masters champion now turning the tables on his one of most outspoken critics.
As exclusively reported by Golfweek, a lawyer representing the seven-time PGA Tour winner has sent a "cease and desist" letter to the Golf Channel's Brandel Chamblee. In it, he demands that Chamblee stop accusing Reed of cheating during last month's Hero World Challenge.
Former Masters champion Reed courted controversy in the Bahamas last month after footage of him appearing to improve his lie in a waste area went viral.
Fellow pros Eddie Pepperell, Anne van Dam and Cameron Smith were among those to openly criticise the American for his antics and, the following week, he was subjected to a hostile reception from fans at the Presidents Cup in Australia.
He was heckled during the playoff at last week's Sentry Tournament of Champions - his first strokeplay event since the furore - and was branded a "d**k" on social media by former PGA Tour pro Chris DiMarco.
However, it is Chamblee who has singled out for legal threats from the Reed camp.
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“The purpose of this letter is to obtain assurance that you will refrain from any further dissemination, publication or republication of false and defamatory statements concerning Mr. Reed, including any allegations that he ‘cheated’ at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas,” Golfweek is reporting Peter Ginsberg, a partner at the New York City law firm of Sullivan & Worcester, as saying.
Ginsberg, who has previously represented Vijay Singh in his case against the PGA Tour and has recently been hired by Hank Haney to deal with his own grievance against the organisation, referred to a segment on the Golf Channel on December 9 in which Chamblee said: “To defend what Patrick Reed did is defending cheating. It’s defending breaking the rules.”
Chamblee received the letter on December 13, on day two of the Presidents Cup. However, he is standing by his observation.
"My job is to be accurate in my analysis and I weigh my words heavily," he told Golfweek. “Nothing I said on the air did I say flippantly. I thought about how exactly to say it to get closer to the larger point about the traditions of the game.
"That’s the origin of my remarks. They had no malice. They were meant to be accurate and admonishing about the decay of the traditions of the game. Instead of self-policing it’s catch-me-if-you-can. And that bothers me.”