Patrick Reed began Friday in the lead at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas but by the time the third round ended, not only did he lose his spot at the top of the leaderboard but he was also at the center of a rules infraction that dropped him further in the standings.
After meeting with rules officials following his third round, Reed was given a two-shot penalty for having had improved his lie when he was in a sandy waste area on the 11th hole.
Golf Channel video captured a clear shot of Reed preparing for his second shot by taking two practice swings that ended up brushing sand from behind the ball which was sitting down.
Reed went on to make bogey on the par-5, 11th and would accept the two-stroke penalty after the round that changed his score to a triple-bogey 8. The 2018 Masters champion entered the day with a three-shot lead but after the penalty was enforced now sits three shots off Gary Woodland’s lead, in sixth place.
The Specific Violation That Reed was Penalized for Concerned 8.1a (4)
Golf rules can sometimes be maddening and open for interpretation but the one Reed broke on Friday seems to be pretty cut and dry.
According to Golf.com, “Rule 8.1 concerns Player’s Actions That Improve Conditions Affecting the Stroke.”
Reed’s violation concerned 8.1a (4), which reads:
A player must not take any of these actions if they improve the conditions affecting the stroke:
4. Remove or press down sand or loose soil.
Following the round, Reed spoke with reporters and said that the ball was at the front of a full footprint and that the camera angle from behind didn’t present an accurate picture.
“I think with a different camera angle they would have realized that if it was from the side you would have seen that with the backswing it was not improving the lie because it was far enough away from the golf ball,” Reed said. “But after seeing that camera angle, because it brushed the sand it was a penalty.”
Star-Studded Leaderboard Heading Into Final Round Features Tiger Woods in Contention
Reed’s 74 in the third round opened the gates for the rest of the field to make a charge.
Gary Woodland continued his dominant play this week in the Bahamas, picking up birdies on 17 and 18 to finish with a 4-under 68. The reigning U.S. Open champion will take a one-shot lead into Saturday’s final round.
Lurking close behind is a star-studded cast of the game’s best that should make for a drama-filled Saturday shootout.
2016 Open Champion Henrik Stenson sits one back at 12-under and a power trio will start the day only two off the lead, with Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas and Jon Rahm all at 11-under.
Woods continued his hot streak following his knee surgery, recording four birdies on his back-nine en route to a 5-under, 67.