Patrick Reed insists he did nothing wrong during a rules incident on the 17th hole in the third round of last week’s Hero Dubai Desert Classic, believing people should just focus on the golf.
On the penultimate hole of the day, Reed saw his tee shot unluckily lodge in a palm tree before he and a rules official used binoculars to attempt to identify the markings on his golf ball.
Despite admitting he was ‘100 percent’ certain that the golf ball identified in the tree was his own, television replays appeared to suggest that his ball became lodged in a different tree.
The 2018 Masters champion, now playing on LIV, dropped a shot on that hole before birdieing the 18th and sparked a huge rules controversy which the DP World Tour had to release a statement to clarify and clear him of any wrongdoing.
“Some people love controversy,” Reed said on his Twitter page.
“But what happened on the 17th hole at the Hero Dubai Desert Classic was a non-issue.
“As the DP World Tour confirmed, I was not asked to identify the tree my ball struck (that was done by ShotLink volunteers and several marshals), I was asked to describe the distinctive markings on the ball I was playing.
“I am looking forward to this week’s Asian Tour flagship event at Royal Greens.”
Rory McIlroy who birdied the 72nd hole to beat Reed by a single stroke to claim his third Dubai Desert Classic title, defended Reed over the incident – not the first time he has leapt to the defence of the American over a potential rules breach.
“I felt it was fine,” McIlroy said. “If it had been anyone else in the field it would have been a non-issue, but because of certain things in the past, people bring stuff up, which is maybe unfair in some ways.
“But it is what it is. I’ve stood and defended Patrick in some of the controversies. I don’t feel like he was trying to get any advantage.”