Paige Spiranac has leapt to the defence of Patrick Reed, saying the controversial American star is “good for golf”.
Reed is at the centre of fresh controversy after sparking claims he cheated when he picked up his ball during the third round of the Farmers Insurance Open.
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The American picked up his ball to see if it was embedded before a rules official arrived, and he was subsequently allowed a free drop.
Replays showed Reed’s ball had bounced before sinking into deep rough, which he later admitted would suggest it didn’t embed, but no one was aware of that at the time.
Reed, who has had rules-related issues in the past, faced several media questions about it afterward and said he believed he handled the matter properly, given what he knew. Tour officials agreed.
However fans, pundits and a number of fellow players weren’t impressed.
Amidst the backlash, golfer-turned-media star Spiranac has thrown her support behind Reed despite multiple controversies.
“I will say Patrick Reed makes for some entertaining golf and I don’t hate that,” she tweeted on Monday.
“Give me Bryson [De Chambeau], Reed and Brooks [Koepka] s*** talking all day long.
“Hate them or love them, it’s good for golf.”
Give me Bryson, Reed, and Brooks shit talking all day long. Hate them or love them, it’s good for golf
— Paige Spiranac (@PaigeSpiranac) January 31, 2021
Rivals players responds to Patrick Reed furore
Asked if he would have picked up his ball like Reed before the official arrived, Xander Schauffele said he would not have.
“I would wait for an official. He did everything by the book according to the official and everyone stood by there,” Schauffele said.
“The talk amongst the boys isn’t great, I guess, but he’s protected by the Tour and that’s all that matters, I guess.”
Lanto Griffin said players were “p*ssed off”.
“Golf’s a game of sportsmanship and it’s tough to put us in the spot to call him out because we weren’t there, but at the end of the day I think 99 percent of the golfers out here, if it’s in question one way or the other, they’re going to go the other way, not taking a drop, it didn’t cross, that type of deal,” he said.
“So, it’s tough to see, it’s sad, kind of pisses us off, but it’s the way it is. Hopefully something changes and come to a conclusion.”
Reed shrugged off the rules furore to claim a runaway five-shot victory on Sunday, the largest winning margin of his nine career wins.
Reed closed with a four-under 68 at Torrey Pines, making an eagle on the par-5 sixth and finishing off his ninth PGA Tour title with a birdie on the 18th as he finished 14 under.
“I was allowed to kind of put it behind me when the head rules official comes up and says you did everything you were supposed to do,” Reed said.
“When you do everything you’re supposed to do, at the end of the day that’s all you can control.
“Going into today, I felt good, I felt confident and really went to the golf course, plugged in my headphones and just kind of got in my world with my coach and got to that first tee.”
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