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Patrick Reed was refused free drop from Tour rules official: ‘I guess my name needs to be Jordan Spieth’

March 19, 2018

After a T2 finish at the Valspar, Patrick Reed was no doubt fired up about his chances at last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational. Unfortunately, inconsistent play (and a double bogey in three of his four rounds) derailed his chances for victory, and he ended up T7 at eight under par, 10 shots behind winner Rory McIlroy.

But recorded footage of his final double bogey of the tournament is causing a bit of controversy.

On the 11th hole, Reed hit his approach shot on the far right side of the green, and found his ball among the brush where TV cables were also present. A rules official was called over, and Reed requested relief because he claimed he would have been standing on a cable (power lines, cables and telephone lines are generally considered temporary moveable obstructions during tournament play, and players are entitled to a club-length of relief under Rule 24-2b).

But the official refused to grant Reed the relief, arguing that he would be taking an abnormal stance.

“Not if I take a 7-iron,” Reed replies in the video. He then calls for his 7-iron from his caddie as an off-camera voice says, “Anyone else would get a drop out of there any day of the week.”

“I guess my name needs to be Jordan Spieth, guys,” Reed responds dryly. 

The rules official is unmoved. He tells Patrick to play away. “That’s fine,” Reed replies. “I want a third opinion. I’m allowed that.”

It’s unclear whether he’s joking, because he then addresses his ball. From off camera, the rules official asks, “You want a third opinion?” Reed backs off and responds, “Yeah I do. I do want a third opinion. From an unbiased source.”

The video ends, so whether or not Reed gets a third opinion is unclear. But the double bogey on his card indicates that he was never given the relief he requested. The exchange was originally uploaded to Twitter, but the owner has since deleted the video.