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Patrick Reed slapped with a 2-stroke penalty for moving sand in waste bunker



Overnight leader Patrick Reed incurred a two-stroke penalty after twice moving sand from behind his ball on the 11th hole at the Hero Challenge during Friday’s round.

The contentious incident was caught on camera as Reed took practice swings before executing the shot on the par-5. You can make your mind up by watching the video below.

Reed incurred a general penalty (two strokes) under Rule 12-3 for improving his lie which was assessed following his round – changing his score of bogey six on the hole to a triple-bogey eight.

Following his round, Reed spoke to the media where he claimed that it was the camera angle which made it look as if he had improved his lie.

“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 behind 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.

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 didn’t feel like it really would have affected my lie, I mean every time I get in the bunker I’m scared to even get my club close to it, it was that far away, but whenever you do that if it does hit the sand, just like if you’re in a hazard area and you take a practice swing and it brushes grass and the grass breaks, it’s a penalty.

So because of that and after seeing the video, I accept that, and it wasn’t because of any intent, I thought I was far enough away. 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.”

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Gianni is the Assistant Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito



  1. Rich Douglas

    Dec 9, 2019 at 6:59 pm

    It was a waste bunker, not a penalty area. So one question wasn’t whether he touched the sand, but whether or not he improved his lie.

    He did. That means the penalty.

    The bigger question is whether or not he knew it at the time. The answer to this gets at his integrity. Breaking a rule isn’t unethical, but knowing you did and not reporting it is.

    I’ll answer the second question with my own question: How could he NOT know after doing it TWICE?

  2. DB

    Dec 9, 2019 at 8:31 am

    LOL I don’t buy his story at all. His club was nestled right up against the ball. He’s not even good at lying.

  3. Ardbegger

    Dec 8, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    That was Reed’s rep back in college. Old habits die hard.

  4. FairwayFraud

    Dec 7, 2019 at 11:30 am

    This is unreal. Reminds me of when my bud Patrick used his dirty cords to clean his ball and then proceeded to put it back in a better lie.

  5. V

    Dec 7, 2019 at 1:44 am

    Either way, the new rules never should have allowed any grounding of the club in a hazard. This rule should be overturned back to what it used to be, no grounding allowed whatsoever in any kind of hazard.

    • Joey D

      Dec 7, 2019 at 11:35 am

      It wasn’t a hazard!

      • R

        Dec 7, 2019 at 5:14 pm

        You don’t play golf obviously

        • Joey D

          Dec 7, 2019 at 7:31 pm

          R – Apparently you are not capable of comprehending what ‘V’ said – calling it a hazard. It is not a hazard! That is a fact!!!

      • DougE

        Dec 9, 2019 at 12:22 pm

        Waste bunkers are not hazards. Grounding club has always been legal in them. But you were never allowed to improve a lie anywhere on the course other than when a local rule permits it or it’s a lift/clean/place round by choice of the committee.

  6. HumanLabRat

    Dec 7, 2019 at 12:01 am

    I did this all day today.???? Kicked my ball, moved it, bumped it, played a second ball,etc. Hadn’t played in months because of an arm injury and trying to get my game back. Don’t worry it was only a practice round and no posting, tournament, match, or playing for money.????????

  7. The Taint

    Dec 6, 2019 at 10:40 pm

    He learned this absurd behavior from his idol Eldrick.

  8. Dan Carraher

    Dec 6, 2019 at 9:20 pm

    Patrick Reed should have done what fake nice guy cheater Matt Kuchar did and just use his fingers to pick as much sand away as he pleased. No penalty for cheater Kuchar…

    • Russell

      Dec 7, 2019 at 11:39 am

      Dan: You are correct about Matt Kuchar – he is a fake nice guy and he is a known cheater. Pretty worthless guy for those that really (REALLY) know him…

      • James

        Dec 7, 2019 at 12:10 pm

        Don’t forget cheater Rory McIlroy for standing on a cart path and pretending he was going to swing through a tree to try to get a drop at WGC Mexico.

  9. Poley

    Dec 6, 2019 at 8:46 pm

    He just got caught, does not surprise anyone. Accidental or intentional — Give me a break – he should get 2 years.

  10. jay jones

    Dec 6, 2019 at 6:09 pm

    Twice, blatant. Unfair to the other players.

    …and a Reed pattern.

    • Ray Rones

      Dec 6, 2019 at 6:25 pm

      …and something jay jones does every week at the local pitch and putt, thus his vanity handicap.

      • jay jones

        Dec 6, 2019 at 6:45 pm

        phhh…but I make sure I’m not on camera.

  11. Iain Gold

    Dec 6, 2019 at 5:24 pm

    Why would the camera angle change anything. He moved sand making a practice swing directly behind the ball and that was his intended swing direction, thus he improved his lie.

    • T

      Dec 7, 2019 at 1:42 am

      Because he’s saying that the clubhead wasn’t directly behind the ball, that it was a good few inches away, as opposed to the camera angle that made it look closer.

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Golf pioneer Lee Elder passes away at age 87



One of the pioneers against segregation in golf, Lee Elder, who will be mostly remembered for his appearance as the first black golfer to take part in The Masters, was reported to have died on Sunday, aged 87.

Having moved to Los Angeles at a young age, Elder took jobs at local golf courses before being encouraged and tutored by Joe Louis and Ted Rhodes before making his mark in the United Golf Association Tour for African-American players, at one stage winning 18 of 22 tournaments.

He reached the PGA Tour in 1968, losing a play-off to Jack Nicklaus at Firestone but always faced an uphill battle against the prejudice that existed.

Per Golf Channel’s report, during a tournament in Memphis one of his opponents, Terry Dill, saw a spectator pick his ball up and discard it, only for him to receive death threats at his hotel.

Further to that and similar episodes, at the 1968 Monsanto Open, Pensacola, Elder was amongst many black players forced to change in the car park as members would not allow non-white players in their clubhouse.

Six years later, Elder was to win in Pensacola, paving his way to that first initiation to The Masters, and whilst he received “up to 100 death threats” he confirmed some 40 years later that, “Every green I walked up on, the applause was just tremendous, I mean every one of the people shouted, ‘Go, Lee! Good luck, Lee!’”

In 1979, Elder became the first black player to qualify for the Ryder Cup and became a crusader and spokesman for injustice against racism at golf clubs, as well as speaking out against social discrimination and forming the Lee Elder Scholarship Fund, aiding low-income families seeking a place at college.

Elder eventually became a member of the PGA Champions Tour winning six of his first 22 starts and a total of nine tournaments.
As Tiger Woods won the 1997 Masters, Elder was on hand to witness the cheers. “You would have thought I was winning the golf tournament,” Golf Channel report Elder to have said. “To be there, to see what Tiger did, that meant the world to me.”

Indeed, Tiger himself stated that “I wasn’t the pioneer. Charlie Sifford, Lee Elder and Teddy Rhodes paved the way,” said Woods. “I was thinking about them and what they’ve done for me as I was coming up the 18th fairway. I said a little prayer and a thanks to those guys. They are the ones who did it for me.”

Last April Elder was appointed an honorary starter (alongside Nicklaus and Gary Player) for the 85th Masters declaring that it was ”one of the most emotional experiences that I have ever witnessed or been involved in… is certainly something that I will cherish for the rest of my life.”

Masters chairman Fred Ridley gave Elder the ceremonial first-tee honours while adding that Elder will “make history once more, not with a drive, but with his presence, strength and character.”

Lee Elder is survived by his wife, Sharon, and will surely go down in history as one of the most influential players to break down racial barriers within the sport.

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19th Hole

‘OMG’ – Pro golfers go wild over Tiger Woods’ swing video



If you are a fan of golf, there’s a good chance you have seen the most recent video of Tiger Woods hitting a golf ball on the range posted to his twitter account yesterday.

As ecstatic as golf fans are about seeing Tiger Woods effortlessly swing a club again, players on Tour seem to be just as fired up about Tiger’s video.

Here we’ve rounded up some of the best tweets from Woods’ fellow PGA Tour players:

The PGA Tour is in a great place, with many young superstars on the rise and interest in the game at all time high. Even still, yesterday was a reminder that nothing moves the needle in the sport of golf like Tiger Woods. If more evidence is needed, the video Woods tweeted currently has 6.8 million views in under 24 hours.

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Brooks Koepka signs with Srixon/Cleveland



Srixon and Cleveland Golf have today announced that Brooks Koepka has joined its tour staff.

As part of the new deal, the four-time major champion will play a Srixon driver, Srixon irons, Cleveland wedges, a Srixon golf ball, as well as carry a Srixon Staff bag.

The 31-year-old began working with Srixon’s Tour Department earlier this year and played the brand’s ZX7 irons throughout the 2021 PGA Tour season.

On joining Team Srixon/Cleveland, Koepka said

“I am very excited to join my good friends Shane Lowry, Graeme McDowell and Hideki Matsuyama as a Srixon and Cleveland Golf Tour Staff member. I’ve been an equipment free agent for the past few years, so it will be fun to be involved with a company on a daily basis and be able to contribute to the development of their future equipment.

“I put the ZX7 Irons in play in January and it is the best iron I have played on Tour. I look forward to kicking off our new partnership this week in Las Vegas!”

Speaking on the Koepka signing, Rodney McDonald, Vice President of Tour Operations at Srixon, said

“We’re extremely proud to have Brooks come on board as our newest Staff member. He’s one of the best players in the world and brings his major championship pedigree and validation to our brands. We’re excited for Brooks to join the Srixon and Cleveland Golf family and look forward to supporting him out on tour.”

Koepka will make his debut as a member of Team Srixon/Cleveland at Capital One’s The Match on November 26th against Bryson DeChambeau. 


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