Golf

Patrick Reed says he didn't cheat as Presidents Cup gets personal

American golfer Patrick Reed has denied cheating in a tournament last week and hit out at International team players for saying he had, as a little edge entered proceedings on Tuesday ahead of the Presidents Cup.

U.S. captain Tiger Woods tries to move past 2018 Masters champ's sand violation

Patrick Reed, 2018 Masters champion, was penalized on the weekend for a rules violation that cost him a chance at a playoff. (Getty Images)

American golfer Patrick Reed has denied cheating in a tournament last week and hit out at International team players for saying he had, as a little edge entered proceedings on Tuesday ahead of the Presidents Cup.

Reed received a two-stroke penalty for improving his lie when he moved sand with his practice swing on Friday at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas. The incident has dominated the run up to the biennial contest, which begins on Thursday.

The penalty meant the 2018 Masters champion missed out on a chance to force a playoff against winner Henrik Stenson at Albany Golf Club.

Cameron Smith was quoted in Australian media as saying Reed had been "cheating the rules" and some of his International team mates said the American had exposed himself to some flak from the crowd through his actions.

Reed fired back at a news conference on Tuesday, saying "cheat" was inaccurate because he had not seen the sand move and the officials concurred that he inadvertently improved his lie.

"It's not the right word to use," said the 2018 Masters champion. "If you do something unintentionally that breaks the rules, it's not considered cheating...

"If you're intentionally trying to do something, that would be considered cheating, but I wasn't intentionally trying to improve a lie or anything like that...

"It's just wrong, it's just not right."

On Monday, United States captain Tiger Woods attempted to draw a line under Reed's rules violation.

Reed received a two-stroke penalty for improving his lie in a bunker on Friday during the third round of the tournament hosted by Woods in the Bahamas, where most of the American team prepared for their trip Down Under.

A jet-lagged Woods was asked about the incident after making the long journey to Australia for the 13th edition of the biennial contest at Royal Melbourne.

"Yes, I have spoken to Pat about it, it's behind us, we're onto this week, we're focused on going against this great International team here," the 15-time major winner told reporters at the official launch of the tournament.

"As we all know, Pat was penalized and that was it, end of story. Unfortunately, he missed the playoffs by those two shots but we're looking at this week."

Video later surfaced of Reed appearing to make a similar motion at a tournament in 2015.

Woods said he thought the famous Australian love of sport would ensure a great atmosphere for the contest.

Woods said the team had spent the journey, which he described as "a day to kill in a tin can," resting when they could but also doing some team building and having a bit of fun playing cards.

"It's a great team, a great mix, a couple of older guys but the majority of the team is under 30," he said.

"I'm telling stories about what happened way back in '98 when some of these guys were in diapers.

"To have the opportunity to lead these guys and come down to one of my favourite countries in the world and play one of my favourite golf courses, it's a dream come true."

World number four Justin Thomas was only a couple of hours into his first trip to Australia and, while excited at the prospect of extending the United States's winning streak to eight Presidents Cups, clearly had more immediate priorities.

"It's going to be a great week and we're all looking forward to it, and I'm really looking forward to a great night's sleep tonight," he said. 

Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford, B.C., is Canada's lone representative on the International team. 

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