The commisioner of the PGA Tour has given his backing to Patrick Reed amid the ongoing furore of his alleged cheating during last month’s Hero World Challenge.
Reed, 29, was filmed appearing to improve his lie in a waste area during the event in the Bahamas, prompting a widespread outcry.
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.Only yesterday, former PGA Tour pro Chris DiMarco launched an extraordinary Twitter attack on the former Masters champion.
However, one man on Reed's side is the chief of the game's most lucrative tour, Jay Monahan.
During a Q&A session with reporters in Hawaii during last week's Sentry Tournament of Champions, Monahan called for a line to be drawn under the matter.
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“Golf is a game of honour and integrity, and you've heard from Patrick,” he said. “I've had an opportunity to talk to Patrick at length, and I believe Patrick when he says that he did not intentionally improve his lie. And so you go back to that moment, and the conversation that he had with rules official Slugger White, and the fact that a violation was applied and he agreed to it, and they signed his card and he moved on.
"To me, that was the end of the matter.”
Despite Monahan's call for calm, that seems unlikely to be happen. During the playoff in Hawaii at the weekend, Reed was loudly and clearly branded a 'cheater' by a heckler in the crowd.
With the tour set to visit some traditionally rowdier stops in the coming weeks - most notably the Waste Management Phoenix Open - it's fair to assume things will get worse for Reed before they get better.