Rory McIlroy comes to the defence of Patrick Reed

Rory Reed

Patrick Reed might be feeling as though the whole world is against him today.

So, he'll be glad to hear that he has the support of his old Ryder Cup sparring partner Rory McIlroy,

Reed, 29, has been widely condemned after footage of him appearing to improve his lie in a waste area during the third round of the Hero World Challenge went viral over the weekend.

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His fellow pros Anne van Dam, Eddie Pepperell and Cameron Smith all rounded on the former Masters champion.

However, appearing on the Golf Channel this morning, McIlroy said that he had some sympathy with the American.

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“You try to give the player the benefit of the doubt,” said the world No.2. “He’s in there and he’s trying to figure out what way to play the shot and he’s moved some sand so it is a penalty.

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“I don’t think the intent is there but it’s also very hard for me to believe he didn’t feel what he was doing. It’s a hard one. I would never like to think anybody was intentionally improving their lie but there’s an obliviousness to it, almost like it’s his pre-shot routine.”

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He added: “I don’t think it would be a big deal if it wasn’t Patrick Reed. I think, it’s almost like, a lot of people within the game, it’s almost like a hobby to kick him while it’s down.

"If it wasn’t Patrick Reed, it wouldn’t be getting quite so much attention. It’s going to make things really difficult for him down in Australia [during this week's Presidents Cup]."

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