“Hate them or love them,” certain golfers make the game entertaining, according to Paige Spiranac.
On Sunday, the golfer-turned-influencer weighed in on a weekend controversy involving Patrick Reed, who won the Farmers Insurance Open.
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During the tournament at Torrey Pines in San Diego, the incident arose on the par-4 10th, where Reed hit a 190-yard shot out of a bunker, with a TV replay showing the ball bounced once before settling into the rough.
Without waiting for an official, Reed picked up the ball to see if it was embedded. He told the official that no one in his group nor a nearby volunteer saw it bounce.
Reed was awarded a free drop and saved par in a round of 70.
Speaking on her Playing a Round with Paige Renee podcast, Spiranac provided a more in-depth analysis of Reed’s transgression.
Because of Reed’s infamous history in the sport, Spiranac sympathised with those who immediately suspected the American was cheating.
“He shouldn’t have picked the ball. That’s where he went wrong and that’s the only mistake that he made,” Spiranac said.
“If you play competitive golf, and you are under any uncertainty around the rules, you do not touch the golf ball, you do not pick the golf ball up.
“You can tell if it’s embedded or if it’s not embedded. And I think that’s why he picked it up, because I think he saw maybe it was a really bad lie.
“Or maybe he didn’t, but again, because of everything that’s happened in the past, you automatically think he’s cheating, he’s trying to take advantage of the situation.”
This isn’t Reed’s first brush with controversy, as he was penalised during the World Hero Challenge in December 2019. His peers also had opinions regarding Saturday’s events, notably Xander Schauffele, who tied for second.
“I mean, he did everything by the book according to the official and everyone stood by there,” Schauffele said Sunday, although he did not view the clip in question.
“Obviously the talk amongst the boys isn’t great, I guess, but he’s protected by the (PGA) Tour and that’s all that matters, I guess.”
This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission