Patrick Reed said his motivation for the 2019 Presidents Cup in Melbourne is “turning personal” amid backlash and claims of cheating after his penalty controversy.
Reed, a captain’s pick for Team USA, takes to the course at Royal Melbourne Golf Club as the villain following his two-stroke penalty during last week’s Hero World Challenge. Already a maligned figure on the PGA Tour, Reed was penalised for improving his lie in a bunker, hitting the sand twice during his practice swings, sparking controversy.
The International team, led by Ernie Els, have been outspoken, with Cameron Smith saying, “I don’t have any sympathy for anyone that cheats” during the Australian Open last week.
Backed by United States captain Tiger Woods earlier on Tuesday, Reed fronted the media full of confidence as he strongly dismissed cheating allegations.
“It goes from wanting to beat those guys to it now turning personal, so it’s going to be a fun week,” Reed told reporters, with the Presidents Cup set to start Wednesday.
Asked how he felt about the word “cheat” being bandied about, Reed replied: “It’s not the right word to use. At the end of the day, if you do something unintentionally that breaks the rules, it’s not considered cheating and at the end of the day that’s what it is.
“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, because if it was, it would have been a really good lie and I would have hit it really close.”
On the backlash and comments made by members of the International team, Reed added: “They’re not supposed to talk good about us and we’re not supposed to talk good about them leading into this event, that’s normal. At the end of the day, all I can do is control me and what comes out of my mouth. Can’t whole what comes out of theirs.”
“Of course they are going to speak out, because they want to get their crowds going and get on their side,” Reed continued. That’s the name of the game. At the end of the day, all I can do is control what I can do and how I play, and so it doesn’t matter who I’m playing on the other team. My job this week as Captain [Woods] has told all of our guys, “Go out and win your point.”
“Whenever your name is called, you have to go out and win your match and that’s what we’re going to try and do, go out and win the point. Not to do anything wrong, but strictly win the point for myself and our team and my country.”