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The ball disappeared: Patrick Reed in new rules controversy at Farmers Insurance Open – The Guardian

Golf

  • 2018 Masters champion picked up ball before official arrived
  • Reed penalized in 2019 over incident at Hero World Challenge

Associated Press

Sun 31 Jan 2021 17.46 GMT

Patrick Reed was involved in another rules controversy on Saturday in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.

On the par-four 10th, Reed hit a 190-yard shot out of a bunker with a TV replay showing the ball bounced once before settling into the rough. Believing the ball didn’t bounce, Reed picked it up to see if it was embedded before a rules official arrived. Reed told the official that no one in his group, as well as a nearby volunteer, saw it bounce.

Reed was awarded a free drop and saved par. He bogeyed four of the next holes before birdieing No 18 for a two-under 70 and a share of the lead with Ortiz at 10 under. Ortiz had a 66 on the South Course.

In December 2019 in Tiger Woods’ Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, Reed was penalized two strokes for appearing to deliberately improve his lie in a bunker.

“It’s an unfortunate situation obviously, but at the end of the day when you finish a round and the head rules official comes up to you and has the video and shows everything that went down to the whole group and says that you’ve done this perfectly, you did this the exact right way, the protocols you did were spot on, at that point, you know, I feel great about it,” Reed said after Saturday’s round.

“The ball just disappeared. None of us saw it bounce,” said Reed, who added that a nearby volunteer told him that it did not bounce. “I looked at my group and said, ‘Guys, she didn’t see it bounce it, either, so I’m going to mark this ball and see if it’s embedded.’

“Once I marked it, the first thing I wanted to do was make sure I got the ball out of my hand because you don’t want to clean it or anything because you don’t know if it’s embedded yet. When I put my finger down there and felt like it has broken ground, the first thing you do is call the rules official. … The rules official said, ‘Yes, this ball has broken the plane.’”

The ground was soft because of rain overnight on Thursday and during the second round on Friday, when play was suspended for nearly an hour because of a storm.

“At that point we go with what the rules official said and also with what the volunteers and what we see,” Reed said. “When we’re out there, we can’t see everything and when that happens you have to go with what the volunteers say and what the rules officials say and when all comes push and shove we felt like we did the right thing and the rules official said we did absolutely perfectly.”

PGA Tour rules official Ken Tackett said Reed “did all the things we ask to do of a player. It’s obviously difficult and you get to second-guessing when see video; soft conditions, there’s a lot of variables out there.”

The tournament concludes on Sunday.

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