Patrick Reed was caught up in another rules controversy at the weekend.
His victory at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines was overshadowed by an incident in his third round when he received a free drop when he moved his ball believing it was embedded in the turf before calling a rules official.
The official deemed the ball was embedded, but television replays showed the ball had bounced before settling in the rough.
⬇️ Patrick Reed on 10 ⬇️pic.twitter.com/AqxPgJdOMU
— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) January 30, 2021
This isn’t the first time that Patrick has been involved in an incident like this – there have been at least two or three now.
If you think your ball is plugged, the normal thing to do would be to put a tee down, check to see if it is embedded and then call for a rules official.
You wouldn’t pick it up and then call someone over.
If the ball has already been moved by the time the rules official turns up then he doesn’t have a starting point.
The referee needs to see the ball in situ, then pick it up himself to deem if it has broken the ground.
The manner Patrick went about it wasn’t right, so it is not surprising to see a few of his colleagues on the PGA Tour coming out and questioning it.
No golfer wants to get that type of reputation, but Patrick is getting one because he has been involved in so many of these incidents. He doesn’t do himself any favours.
Of course, you can get a reputation like that wrongly, but even if that is the case you have to make sure that you are being overcautious if you had been involved in infringements like that and making sure you are doing everything to the letter.
He is such a talented player and he went on to win that event by five shots, but it was completely overshadowed.
Remained resilient, locked in and got it done. Thank you to my coaches, @davidleadbetter, Sean Hogan, Kessler, and my entire team and sponsors. Thank you all. See you back at Torrey for the U.S. Open! pic.twitter.com/e0y0JVvWR2
— Patrick Reed (@PReedGolf) February 1, 2021
Patrick likes to play on the European Tour, which is good for us, but you don’t want to get a reputation and people questioning whether you have tried to gain an advantage.
He needs to work hard to reverse this perception and start going about his business differently.
Robert MacIntyre keeps going in the right direction
Robert MacIntyre should take plenty of confidence from his top three finish at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
He went into the final round with a real chance to win and was only one shot behind leader Paul Casey.
Robert was unlucky a few times on the greens, while Paul played great and never looked like being caught.
Paul played some amazing golf on Sunday. He is a great frontrunner and he was relentless.
I know Padraig Harrington will be desperate to have him in his European team for the Ryder Cup.
It wasn’t the Sunday Robert would have been hoping for, but his performance over the week won’t have done his Ryder Cup ambitions any harm.
He has picked up some more points and proven that he has the game to compete.
I was speaking to Padraig and he is definitely keeping a close eye on Robert.
He was impressed with how he played last week. Robert just needs to keep playing well, because if you keep knocking on the door it will eventually open.
We all want him to do well, but he has just to remain patient and keep focusing on the positives.
I think his plan is to play a few events in America. He is now up to 44 in the world rankings and is the top-ranked left-hander in the world.
It is exciting, but he is very grounded and seems to be taking it all in his stride.
He is playing with Graeme McDowell and Paul Casey in Saudi Arabia this week, which is another exciting grouping for him.
He is going to be under the spotlight all year. If you have aspirations to play in the Ryder Cup you have got to be able to handle that pressure.
He has handled that challenge really well so far, so hopefully he can keep it going this week.
Rule change could be a driver for good
Bryson DeChambeu may not get the chance to use a 48in driver at the Masters in April.
The R&A and the USGA have announced some new proposals, which include limiting the maximum length for clubs other than putters from 48 to 46in.
The game’s governing bodies are keen to combat the length players are hitting the ball off the tee.
It is a minor change, but I think it is a positive change if it means players aren’t able to hit the ball quite as far.
This won’t be a knee-jerk reaction from the R&A and a proposal that has been made with Bryson in mind.
— Bryson DeChambeau (@b_dechambeau) February 3, 2021
This would have been a lengthy process and something they have been thinking about doing for a while.
They will be looking at other things such as reducing the size of the driver heads or changing the golf ball.
They are always looking to refine the rules and this sounds like a change that will be broadly welcomed.