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From Kuchar’s caddie furore, to Sergio’s bunker meltdown and DQ, to Danielle Kang’s Solheim mind games, there have been plenty of controversies in golf this year.

However, the game’s fickle Gods might just have saved the best for last.

Former Masters champion Patrick Reed has found himself at the centre of an alleged “cheating” storm after appearing to improve his lie during the third round of this week’s Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.

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Reed, 29, stands accused of deliberately improving his lie in a bunker – not once, but twice. 

Television cameras got a pretty fantastic view of it, too.

Check out the footage.

Doesn’t look good, does it?

After his round, Reed was docked two shots, turning his 72 into a 74. He now enters the final round three shots adrift of leader Gary Woodland.

Of course, the fine line that distinguishes cheating from an accident is intent and, without Reed admitting to intentionally attempting to improve his lie, it’s hard to say for certain that he cheated. He broke a rule, yes. But cheated? Much tougher to prove. 

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That being said, it does seem hard to believe he could have struck the sand – twice, no less – without noticing. And if he did notice, he should have called a penalty on himself. 

Some people on Twitter have wasted no time in decided what happened…

bunkered editor Bryce Ritchie also pointed out this isn’t the first time Reed has been accused of trying to improve his lie this year.


author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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