If there’s exhaustion from the Patrick Reed rules snafu over the weekend, that’s understandable. Sometimes it’s easy to tire of hearing from talking heads about what should or should not have been done differently in nuanced situations, especially from those who were not on the scene.
But in the case of Reed at the Farmers Insurance Open, you don’t have to step outside the bounds of his fellow colleagues who played in the same tournament on the same week to see similar sentiment over what went down on the 10th hole on Saturday.
Lanto Griffin, who finished T7 at the event, was asked about Reed’s embedded-lie drop on Saturday, which led to a par on the 46th hole of Reed’s tournament and a five-stroke win for the former Masters champion. Griffin certainly did not shy away from the question.
“It’s tough,” said Griffin. “Golf’s a game of sportsmanship, and it’s tough to put us in the spot to call him out because we weren’t there. But at the end of the day, I think 99% of the golfers out here, if it’s in question one way or the other, they’re going to go the other way, not taking a drop … that type of deal. So it’s tough to see, it’s sad, kind of pisses us off, but it’s the way it is. Hopefully something changes and come to a conclusion.”
“I think the rule is if you’re in doubt on something that’s going to give you an advantage and it’s not 100%, you know, then you kind of go the other way,” he added. “But I wasn’t there, I didn’t see it, so it’s hard for me to really judge, but I don’t know.”
Griffin brings up a good point, and Reed has been on the liberal side of this point on many occasions. There is gray area when it comes to the rules, but some players (Reed included) seem to never find themselves taking the conservative path, one Xander Schauffele defined when he was asked about it.
“I would wait for an official,” Schauffele said about Reed picking up his ball before the rules official got there and then having the official feel a depression in the ground. “You can put a tee in the ground and check your ball. I mean, he did everything by the book according to the official and everyone stood by there. Obviously, the talk amongst the boys isn’t great … but he’s protected by the Tour and that’s all that matters, I guess.”
While it’s technically true that Reed did call in an official, he did so after he’d already removed the ball from the ground, which is unusual and not something I’ve ever seen. Brandel Chamblee got into an even more detailed breakdown on Sunday before Reed teed off.
As I noted in this longer Reed piece, reading between the lines with other players here is not all that difficult. With Reed’s checkered history and sometimes-brash demeanor, the surprising part is not that two players who finished just behind him in this event spoke out against what happened. The surprising part is that there weren’t more.