In 2012, then-USGTF president Geoff Bryant and I, along with several other USGTF professionals, were invited to play in a lucrative and important pro-am in Trinidad & Tobago, at the Plantation Golf Course, where USGTF professional Ricky Campbell is now the director of golf. In the field were former PGA Tour players Jim Thorpe, Dick Mast, and Dave Rummells, among others.

Also in the field was someone I had never heard of at the time, but he was apparently boasting to anyone who would listen about how good he was. He went on to win the tournament, and his name was Patrick Reed. After, while standing in line at the airport in Trinidad waiting for our flight to Miami, I went up to Reed, introduced myself, and we proceeded to have a pleasant 15-minute chat.

With Reed’s victory in the recent World Golf Championships event in Mexico, his past has once again been brought up, with the alleged cheating and stealing while at the University of Georgia, to the sand-moving incident at the Hero World Challenge in December, to Peter Kostis recently alleging he’s seen Reed improve his lie on no less than four occasions when he was a golf announcer for CBS. Reed’s nickname on tour is “Table for One,” because apparently no one wants to socialize with him off the course.

Not personally knowing him outside a brief 15-minute interaction, it’s hard to say what’s really inside a person’s mind and heart. I would like to believe Reed doesn’t deliberately cheat at golf, something Brooks Koepka, Cameron Smith and Brandel Chamblee have claimed. But given his overall known history, including the very odd estrangement he has with his parents and siblings, I think it’s obvious that Reed will do whatever it takes to gain an advantage, perhaps to the point of breaking the rules. I’m not ready to get on the Koepka/Smith/Chamblee bandwagon, but there can be no more rules incidents from Reed for the rest of his career, lest all doubt is removed. My best guess is he knows his every action on the course will now be under the microscope, his every shot captured on video. I don’t think we’ll see any more rules situations with Reed going forward, unless his IQ turns out to be as low as his golf scores.

By Mark Harman, USGTF National Course Director

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