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Patrick Reed blames camera angles for blatant bunker violations at Hero World Challenge

Ryan Young
Yahoo Sports
After cameras caught him blatantly improving his line of play in a bunker at the Hero World Challenge, Patrick Reed was hit with a two-shot penalty. (David Cannon/Getty Images)

Patrick Reeds’ round in The Bahamas took a sudden turn on the back nine on Friday — one that isn’t likely to help his credibility in the golf world.

Reed was assessed a two-stroke penalty after finishing his third round at the Hero World Challenge on Friday when the Golf Channel broadcast caught Reed blatantly hitting the sand with his club twice during a practice swing in the bunker on No. 11. 

Reed’s wedge could clearly be seen moving sand during two practice swings in the greenside bunker after his ball had fallen into a bad lie, a clear violation of Rule 8.1a (4), which prohibits the removal or “pressing down sand or loose soil.” While new rules do allow players to ground their clubs in bunkers, officials determined that he was improving his line of play.

His bogey on No. 11 was then changed to a triple-bogey, changing his final score for the round to a 2-over 74. He now sits three shots back from leader Gary Woodland ahead of Saturday’s final round.

Reed wasn’t very apologetic after the round, either. Had there been a different camera angle, he said, he “might not have been penalized.”

“It’s unfortunate because even though they weren’t, I wish they were actually directly on the side of me, because it was in a pretty good footprint but the footprint was a full footprint, and I felt like my club was that far being the ball when I was actually taking the practice strokes which I felt like I was taking it up and it was obviously hitting a little sand,” Reed said, via “I didn’t feel it drag, but then when they brought it up to me it definitely did drag some of the sand and because of that it’s considered a two-stroke penalty ... I think with a different camera angle they would have realized that if it was from the side you would have seen that with the backswing it was not improving the lie because it was far enough away from the golf ball.

“But after seeing that camera angle, because it brushed the sand it was a penalty.”

Reed, a seven-time Tour winner, had five top-10 finishes last season and won The Northern Trust, the first of three FedExCup Playoff events. He finished T17 at the Zozo Championship and T8 at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions so far this season, and is set to compete with the United States team at the Presidents Cup next week at Royal Melbourne in Australia.

“After seeing the club go back and brush some sand, they thought that’s a breach in the Rules of Golf,” Reed said, via the PGA Tour. “At the end of the day, you just have to accept it and move on.”

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