Even for golf’s preeminent villain, Day 3 at the Presidents Cup proved to be uncharted territory.
It started between the morning and afternoon sessions of Saturday’s action, when Golf Channel’s Steve Sands reported of an altercation between Patrick Reed’s caddie, Kessler Karain, and a fan.
— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) December 14, 2019
Quickly the story unraveled on social media, with Barstool’s Fore Play podcast releasing a statement from Karain, in which Reed’s caddie/brother in law defended his behavior.
“I had had enough,” he said. “I don’t think there’s one caddy I know that could blame me.”
Karain allegedly shoved the fan, but downplayed the incident in his statement.
“Unless his bones break like Mr. Glass, the most harm done was a little spilled beer, which I’m more than happy to reimburse him for,” Karain said.
Karain has been on the bag for the 2018 Masters champion since 2014, and he’s been a part of six of Reed’s seven PGA Tour wins. In October, Reed praised Karain’s temperament in an interview with PGATour.com.
“He has same work ethic,” Reed said. “I mean he is an athlete and he’s a competitor, and he doesn’t get high, doesn’t get low; he’s just kind of really even-keeled.”
The incident on Saturday occurred after the completion of Reed’s third match, a 5-and-3 loss alongside Webb Simpson to Hideki Matsuyama and C.T. Pan. The loss dropped Reed to 0-3 this week, as this Presidents Cup has been heavy on contentiousness but light on results for the 29 year old.
He finished the round without a single birdie, hearing taunts from the crowd throughout the day — as he has for the entire tournament — for the penalty he received in last week’s Hero World Challenge. While Reed claims the video, which shows him improving his lie by illegally grounding his club in a waste bunker, exaggerates the extent of the rule-breaking, the crowd at Royal Melbourne took exception.
During his second match, Reed stoked the already-rowdy crowd even further, mimicking a shoveling motion after draining a long putt. Tempers continued to rise until the end of Reed’s third match, when the alleged incident occurred.
It’s already been reported that Karain is scheduled to meet with PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan to discuss the incident, while Reed is slated to compete in one of Sunday’s dozen singles matches in the fourth and final day of the Presidents Cup.
GOLF.com will continue to follow this story as it develops.
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