The latest curious case of Captain America

John Craven

Patrick Reed (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

It was too scripted, too far-fetched, too artificial even for a place as made up as Dubai.

A week that began with Rory McIlroy evading Patrick Reed’s advances ended with Rory McIlroy evading Patrick Reed’s advances, but even a degree of separation couldn’t stop this tournament simmering from start to finish.

From tee-gate to tree-gate, the Dubai Desert Classic exposed two hard truths: Golf tournaments are more interesting with LIV players in them, and Patrick Reed is not to be trusted.

Quite how the American came within a whisker of the title is a question for the DP World Tour to answer after footage confirmed that Reed, having identified his ball with 100% certainty in one tree, had mistaken that tree for another.

Too much was made of Reed attempting murder with a ‘4 Aces’ branded tee peg on Tuesday but not enough is being made of him falsely identifying his ball on the 17th hole of the third round.

The irony that it was McIlroy in his winning interview declaring ‘fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me, fool me a third time’… in relation to his decision to lay-up on 18 having come unstuck in the hazard guarding the green the previous day, and indeed the previous year when Viktor Hovland lived up to his name.

McIlroy could just have easily been talking about Reed.

Why? Because this is the third time the Texan has been caught bang to rights in the film room. From building sandcastles in the bunkers in the Bahamas, to famously declaring an embedded ball at the Farmers that clearly bounced, Reed has been caught on video in rules controversy on three occasions now only to be moved on to the next parish. It makes you wonder, what are people trying to protect?

The latest case, and this is saying something, is probably the most clear cut yet; Reed telling reporters after his third round on Sunday that if there was ANY doubt the ball he identified wasn’t his own, he would’ve declared it lost and returned to the tee to play his third…

Any doubt? Hello, hello, anybody home? Think McFly, think! You were looking at the wrong tree, never-mind the wrong ball! God help anyone standing in a police line-up if Reed’s the guy identifying you from behind the glass.

For a man dishing out defamation lawsuits like hot dinners, you’d think someone would’ve climbed that tree and retrieved the ball. You’d swear it was dangling over the fires of Mordor such was the reluctance. Hell, chop the tree down. Hire a cherry picker. Make a pyramid out of spectators. Launch PReed from a canon. Anything to reveal the truth that lies in the frond of that palm. Truth already widely available on video but somehow inadmissible on Tour.

Of course, Monday’s finish wouldn’t have been nearly as compelling had Reed not been in the fray. And the guy’s ability to play great golf under such scrutiny is oddly admirable, and largely psychotic.

But what happens if McIlroy comes up one shot shy? Do we ignore the fact that Reed incorrectly identified his ball, just put it down to rub of the green and brush a third misdemeanour under the grassy carpet? Or would an inquest begin at long last into the curious cases of Captain America?

After all, there’s no smoke without fire and in golf, there’s one of four aces constantly in the hole.

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2 responses to “The latest curious case of Captain America”

  1. James phelan avatar
    James phelan

    it’s a pity Reed hadn’t a Ball retriever in his ball he could easily shown it was his ball 😀

  2. James avatar

    it’s a pity Reed hadn’t a Ball retriever in his bag he could easily shown it was his ball 😀

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