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19th Hole

Brooks Koepka says Patrick Reed cheated at the Hero



Kimberly White/Getty Images for SiriusXM

On Monday, while speaking on SiriusXM during a PGA Championship media tour, Brooks Koepka claimed that Patrick Reed cheated at the Hero when he was adjudged to have improved his lie in the bunker by moving sand from behind his ball.

The four-time major champion was typically in no mood to mince his words when asked by host Sway Callaway whether or not he felt Reed had cheated at the event, responding “Yeah” before adding

“I mean, I don’t know what he was doing, building sandcastles in the sand but you know where your club is. I took three months off, and I can promise you I know if I touched sand.”

Koepka further compared Reed’s actions to the controversy surrounding the Houston Astros who were caught stealing signs during the 2017 World Series, stating

“It’s one of those things where you know if you look at the video; obviously, he grazes the sand twice, and then he still chops down on it. 

“I guess the Astros are going through that right now. Jim Crane said it when he got asked, ‘Is it cheating?’ And he said, ‘No, we just broke the rules.’ If you play the game, you understand the rules. You understand the integrity that goes on. I mean, there’s no room for it.”

The 31-year old also suggested that incidents like the Reed controversy go “on a little more than people think” on Tour and though he has “bitten his tongue in the past” he expressed how if he were to see a player improving their lie going forward he would “call them out.”


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Gianni is the Managing Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at [email protected]



  1. Jessie Richardson

    Oct 6, 2020 at 4:39 am

    Brooks is annoying and has an opinion about everyone except himself, we’re born imperfect therefore should humble ourselves and have empathy. Did DJ cheat in the fairway bunker, they were both accessed strokes, let’s move on get yourself healthy, in golf the intimidator is the course not the players, if you want to fight get in the ring, challenge yourself, you’re an okay player fading fast, but to dumb and brass to realize GOD is attempting to change your course, reflect, analyze, learn and move forward, look and listen more than you speak because at the end of the day no one wants to hear what you have to say anyway!

  2. richard alan chaffier

    Feb 19, 2020 at 12:22 pm

    Let it go!! He made a mistake and paid the penalty. He is trying to make a living. Do you walk on water and never make a mistake that we do not know about?

    • Really?

      Feb 19, 2020 at 3:39 pm

      It’s not about “making a mistake”. It’s about intentionally breaking the rules. A mistake is no longer a mistake when it is done intentionally. Reed is a cheat.

    • Joe

      Feb 19, 2020 at 11:43 pm

      It was intentional!

      A mistake is when you are typing and you hit the I instead of the T. That is a mistake.

      He knew what he was doing, and it is not his first offense.

  3. Bernard

    Feb 19, 2020 at 10:54 am

    Brooks is a PIA. Always has something to say about something or other. He frequently contradicts himself about golf, I don’t practice, I do practice, I don’t care about golf, I do care about golf. Something odd about this guy. My knee is not that bad, oh I can’t play in the President’s Cup because my knees is so bad. Now he says he is telling it like it is. I see cheaters all the time … Give me a break. Get of your high horse, play golf, win more , care more and zip it.

  4. T-Bone

    Feb 19, 2020 at 10:52 am

    Koepka says a lot of troubling things, and nobody calls him out on it…yet.

  5. Charlie Waffles

    Feb 19, 2020 at 10:21 am

    I know you need rules for the game but come on now, some rules are just plain ridiculous and serve no purpose. Not a Reed fan but taking a club back and moving some sand….putting a towel on the ground so when you kneel to take an odd shot your pants won’t get wet, get flagged for improving your lie. Totally for rules that matter, but make it reasonable.

    • JD

      Feb 19, 2020 at 11:23 am

      What Patrick Reed did, did in fact help him. While golf has a lot of odd rules that one was pretty clear. The ones he (Brooks) mentioned are also very clear and do matter

  6. oneputt2mqany

    Feb 19, 2020 at 9:37 am

    sorry typos in post
    the touching of the sand is NOT breaking the rules

  7. oneputt2many

    Feb 19, 2020 at 9:34 am

    Reed was in a waste area not a bunker. The touching if the sand is breaking the rules. The question may be he moved stuff ( sand dirt) to improve his lie, granted. If Brooks is going to be the expert maybe he should ,more precise in is use of words. Not all sand is the same sorry Brooks. In addition to your multi Millionaires, if you are such experts on the rules why do you need referees. Why does TW get to say I dropped it in the wrong place to get a better line to the pin, and nobody makes a big deal. He admitted he did the wrong thing and received a small slap on the wrist. Either make all the waves or stay quiet/ Based on your statement I guess we will be hearing about many more golfers who take liberties. Right Brooks

    • Smith

      Feb 19, 2020 at 11:58 am

      Brooks wasn’t giving a ruling, he was giving an off-the-cuff answer on a talk show. Reid claimed that he didn’t know he was moving sand, and Brooks was saying that he would have known if he was moving sand. If I somehow missed the part where Brooks said that he was in a bunker, please enlighten me.

      His point was that, by shoveling sand, Reed knew what he was doing, and he only claimed ignorance after he was caught. How are people still defending this guy?

      • oneputt2many

        Feb 19, 2020 at 7:50 pm

        I was quoting from this article
        rooks Koepka has sounded off on rule breaking in the game – including the Patrick Reed incident from a few months ago.

        In a town hall interview this week on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio, Koepka said that Patrick Reed knew what he was doing when he was “building sand castles” in the bunker at the Hero World Challenge.

        as it turns out this was Golf Channel translation I should know better then use golf channel for anything sorry

  8. The Infidel

    Feb 19, 2020 at 5:00 am

    Brooks is right on message. If you think there is a difference between intentionally breaking the rules and cheating then you’re flat out bad for the game of golf. What makes this saga so much worse is that the PGA Tour and some in the media circled the wagons round Reed at the time and now. It’s never a bad thing to tell the truth and call it is. He’s a cheater.

    • Smith

      Feb 19, 2020 at 12:03 pm

      Couldn’t agree more. Per Miriam-Webster:

      Cheat: to violate rules dishonestly

      Intentionally violating the rules = cheating. Doug, kick him off the tour.

  9. Dilbert

    Feb 19, 2020 at 2:19 am

    Brooks seems to always be involved in some sort of gossip/drama these days. Wonder if hes one of those people???

  10. Paul

    Feb 18, 2020 at 6:38 pm

    So, Brooks seen cheating in the past with your players, but chose to remain silent. How’s that better than the cheater?

    • geohogan

      Feb 25, 2020 at 4:30 pm

      @Paul. That you ask , illustrates the problem.

      Like some who call out the “whistler blowers”

  11. Garrett

    Feb 18, 2020 at 6:28 pm

    This world needs more Brooks Koepkas.

    He has inspired me to report literally EVERY SINGLE PERSON I see texting and driving. I feel like with my stature on the road, I’ve earned that right.

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19th Hole

Caddie forced to wade through nettles after bizarre blunder at Women’s Open



In just her second professional start, 22-year-old Louise Duncan finished inside the top-20 of the AIG Women’s Open, but the Duncan team experienced far more than just her first proper paycheck.

In 2021, the Scot won the Women’s Amateur Championship by a record margin (9&8) before nabbing a top-10 at the Women’s Open at Carnoustie, the low amateur winning the traditional Smyth Salver.

It’s a big leap to the paid ranks, but the £73,000 prize is early justification for the move, an amount that might well have just upgraded her future wedding to fiance Jordan Hughes.

After her second round 73, Duncan admitted it was, “a bit of a grind” but having been assured of making the cut, said that, “If it’s a nice cheque we’ll probably just go abroad and get it over with. That sounds bad – sorry Jordan. What I mean is we’ll be able to go abroad and have a good one.”

The round wasn’t without its humor either, with caddie Dean Robertson playing his part.

As reported in The Telegraph, former European Tour winner Robertson has been a large part of Duncan’s success, his experience as player and coach providing mentor-ship to the darling of the Scottish crowd.

However, during the second round when Sophia Schubert handed him a ball, he thought the American had just found it and wanted him to get rid. So he threw it over his left shoulder.

Schubert was actually wanting her ball cleaned and, because of Robertson’s actions, was now facing a stroke-and-distance penalty. So, despite wearing shorts, he did his valiant duty, scaled the wall and went searching in the scrub and nettles for the ball. To Schubert’s relief, it was a successful forage.

Duncan was pleased to see the closest member of her team having the tables turned on himself.

“I was like, ‘oh, no, Dean, tell me you haven’t just done that?’,” Duncan said “But it was an honest mistake and quite funny. He is always telling me to stop being an idiot and to calm down, so maybe he deserved that one.”

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19th Hole

Sergio Garcia and Greg Norman’s WhatsApp messages reveal talk over ‘shallow threat’ from PGA Tour



There would never be much pleasantry surrounding the lawsuit filed by 11 players suspended by the PGA Tour for jumping ship to the LIV series.

Evidence given by both sides is going to be under intense scrutiny by lawyers and the media alike, and it started last Friday when Golf Magazine’s Dylan Dethier tweeted a screenshot of a WhatsApp conversation between Sergio Garcia and LIV CEO Greg Norman.

The exchange, ‘Exhibit 6’, is part of the upcoming lawsuit, and dates from 11th and 12th of February 2022, some four months prior to the inaugural LIV event at the Centurion Club, England.

The conversation starts with Garcia, seemingly nervous about the upcoming series, asking, “how things are going with the League cause it seams (sic) like a lot of those guys that were loving it and excited about it last week, now are shiting in their pants.”

Norman doesn’t seem bothered by the “white noise” and assures the Spaniard that he will “reach out” if Garcia has names.

He then comments that, “if the Tour was going to ban players they would have already,” before telling Garcia that it would be “fantastic,” if he can “get them or any player threatened to get it in writing.”

When Garcia goes back to Norman, he tells him, “it’s official,” and that the Tour are banning players for life. Again Norman is unfussed, replying that it is a “shallow threat.”

Sadly, this looks like being a very long-running saga, with much dirty laundry, and the domination of headlines where others would surely be preferred.

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19th Hole

Will Zalatoris explains decision to fire longtime caddie mid-tournament



Players spend an awfully long time with their team.

Whether coach, club manufacturer, agent or caddie, all are working towards one goal – the best result for their man each week.

Some players have a closer relationship with their bag-man than others but, given the time spent together on the range and course, it has to work and continue to keep working.

For Will Zalatoris, this week was the end of the road for his working relationship with his caddie, Ryan Goble. Strangely, though, it came in the middle of a tournament.

The world number 14 remains the highest ranked player yet to win on the PGA Tour, his high status coming via six top-10 finishes in majors over the last couple of seasons, and a host of similar results as a temporary and full member of the tour.

However, after finishing runner up at the PGA and US Open, and posting yet another top-five, this time at the Memorial, results haven’t quite gone to plan – a missed-cut in Scotland followed by 28th at St. Andrews and 20th at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

For Willy Z, things had to change. After opening with a 71 and 66 at the Wyndham Championship, Goble was gone, to be replaced temporarily by his short game and putting coach Josh Gregory, until getting the services of Joel Stock for the FedEx playoffs and beyond.

It was a tough decision for the 25-year-old, who said:

“Yeah, it was the toughest decision I’ve had to make in my golf career. Ryan’s a brother for life. We’ve kind of had a rough month together, and it was starting to affect our relationship. I know guys say that when they split, but it really was.

We were guys that we would love to have dinner together and hang out, and it started — what was going on on the course was starting to bleed off the course, and that’s not what you want.”

Confirming just how hard it is to ‘sack’ one of the closest members of your team, Zalatoris continued:

“He’s an incredible friend. I love him to death, and I told him I had to do what’s best for me. Like I said, he’s just an amazing friend.

You know, obviously you can tell how hard this decision was on me, especially the timing of it, but I think it was just getting a little unhealthy for both of us, and it was — obviously it hurts.”

Zalatoris did not reveal exactly why he made the move halfway through the tournament, but it appears to have been on the cards for a while.

“We both kind of sensed it for a little bit,” Zalatoris said. “And, you know, nothing’s permanent. It’s just something that, like I said, he’s a brother. I love him to death.”

“And obviously it was on my mind. I mean, the finish that I had obviously made the day [Friday] a little bit better, but the frustration between the two of us had just kind of carried over the last month. Like I said, first and foremost, I love him to death and, you know, he’s one of the funniest guys I know and obviously I’ll miss his humor over this next bit, but as I said, nothing’s permanent.”

The ‘finish’ he talked about was the two-eagle, one-birdie finish through the last five holes of the second round, resulting in a 66 and a weekend’s play. But with Gregory by his side, Zalatoris had his best putting figures of the week, on route to a second successive four-under round.

Gregory talked fondly of the previous looper.

“I feel awful, but Ryan Goble was first class the way he handled it,” he said. “He’s been there with Will when Will was ranked over 1,000 in the world and now, he’s a top-15 player in the world and going to trend upwards.”

“So, (Ryan) will be very successful in the future, and he will land a great job and things are going to be good. And it’s going to be a win-win for both of them.”

Zalatoris started the final round just six off the lead, and in with yet another chance of yet another top-10.

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