I wasn’t in­ten­tion­ally try­ing to im­prove a lie

Evening Times - - GOLF/SNOOKER -


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

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