I wasn’t intentionally trying to improve a lie
There’s a book that comes highly recommended called Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump, in which the current US President’s dodgy duplicity and shameless shenanigans on the fairways, greens and in the rough is documented in all its unedifying glory.
If it’s not the use of a foot wedge here then it’s the brazen absurdity of a gimme chip there. Perhaps the author could hastily cobble together an addendum with a chapter on Patrick Reed?
The former Masters champion, who is in Australia this week as part of Team USA in the Presidents Cup match with the Internationals, caused a right old rumpus at the weekend as his highly dubious antics – or act of cheating as many have called it – in the Hero World Challenge thrust him back into a spotlight of controversy.
Then again, his actions may get him the Presidential Medal of Freedom from madcap Trump.
Amid the mounting criticism of Reed’s rules violation – footage showed him twice brushing away sand behind his ball with two practice swings – Australian tour pro Cameron Smith, who is in Ernie Els’ International side for this week’s tussle, didn’t hold back.
He suggested that Reed’s limp explanation of the incident was “bulls***”, while adding that he “didn’t have any sympathy for anyone that cheats”.
If Smith and Reed go head-to-head at any point at Royal Melbourne, the matchplay bout will have to take place inside a canvas ring given all this verbal sparring.
Reed, who remains typically defiant, clearly doesn’t give a Castlemaine Four X what anybody thinks about him but the 29-year-old insists he is not a cheat.
In the merry midst of the panto season, the cry “oh yes he is” is not just reserved for the Pavilion Theatre.
“It’s not the right word to use,” Reed said of the “c” word as he attempted another defence of his activities.
“At the end of the day, if you do something unintentionally that breaks the rules, it’s not considered cheating and, at the end of the day, that’s what it is.
“If you’re intentionally trying to do something, that would be considered cheating, but I wasn’t intentionally trying to improve a lie or anything like that, because if it was, it would have been a really good lie and I would have hit it really close.”
Not many people are buying Reed’s lame excuses – well, apart from President Trump, perhaps – and the reaction of the galleries to the American when the competition heats up could be interesting.
Reed has always been something of a rabblerousing character in the team arena and, having been on the receiving end of some withering observations from other players, he is clearly relishing being the villain of the piece.
“It goes from wanting to beat those guys to it now turning personal, so it’s going to be a fun week,” he added.
“They (the International team members) are going to speak out, because they want to get their crowds going and get on their side. That’s the name of the game.
“At the end of the day, all I can do is control what I can do and how I play, and so it doesn’t matter who I’m playing on the other team.
“My job this week, as the captain has told all of our guys, is to go out and win your point.”
Reed was given the tag Captain America for his Ryder
THE SCOTTISH Open isn’t quite what it used to be for Alan McManus but he says victory in Glasgow would still mean the world to him.
The home potter eased through his first-round battle under the Emirates Arena lights, brushing aside higher seed Zhao Xintong 4-1 after compiling polished breaks of 85 and 91 in frames two and four.
And the world No.51, whose tournament best performance was a semifinal berth back in 1994, says the competition still means something to him after 30 years on the professional circuit.
“It would mean more to go on a run here if I was 20 years younger and I was 30, but it’s still brilliant to play at home,” the 48-year-old said. “It’s a cracking feeling and it’s important to do well here – I’ve been around the block for 30 years so some of the thrill has gone, but this is an event I look forward to every year.”
It was not such a fond return to his home city for fellow Glaswegian Gary Thomson, however, as he succumbed to a gutwrenching 4-3 defeat to Chinese player Mei Xiwen.
His fifth-frame 57 was no to avail and Thomson, an amateur, was devastated after crashing out of his home tournament.
“I’m absolutely gutted – it was a tough, tough match, and because I’m not on the tour this was a once in a blue moon chance in my home city,” he said. “But I battled well and gave him a good game – I felt like I could have won that but my safety was a little bit ropey.”
It was another Chinese player who proved the nemesis of fellow Glaswegian Fraser Patrick, as he lost 4-2 to Chang Bingyu. The world No.121 had raced into a 1-0 lead, before he was pegged back by Chang’s breaks of 56, 85 and 76 to see his hopes cut short prematurely.
Patrick Reed with US captain Tiger Woods at the Presidents Cup