Patrick Reed found himself embroiled in another controversial moment at the Dubai Desert Classic when his ball became stuck in a tree.
His hopes of striding up to the green to find his ball on the putting surface were dashed when his ball crashed into a palm tree and remained above ground – at which point the controversy began.
Reed wandered up the area with DP World Tour chief referee Kevin Feeney to discuss options.
A pair of binoculars were deployed as Reed sought to identify his ball, which is the rule in order to secure a penalty drop at the point where the ball came to rest.
Should the player be unable to identify his ball, the requirement is to go back to the tee and play a third shot from there.
Reed was heard on camera saying with 100% certainty that he had identified his ball with the use of the binoculars.
Armed with that information from Reed, Feeney awarded Reed a penalty drop directly below the ball, from where he went on the make bogey in a round of 69 to leave him four adrift of McIlroy with one round to play.
“I got lucky that we were able to look through the binoculars,” said Reed at the end his round. “You have to make sure it’s your ball.
“How I mark my golf balls is I always put an arrow on the end of my line, because (on) the Pro VI, the arrow on the end stops before it, so you can see the arrow.
“You could definitely see and identify the line with the arrow on the end. The rules official luckily was there to reconfirm and check it to make sure it was mine as well.”
The controversy only ramped up, as footage from broadcaster Sky Sports appeared to show that Reed’s ball was not in the tree he said it was.
Footage clearly showed the ball clattering into and coming to rest in the first of three palm trees.
Reed was seen looking up at another tree, and then identifying his ball.
It caused a whole host of debate, and prompted a statement from the DP World Tour.
The statement read: “During round three of the Hero Dubai Desert Classic, two on course referees and several marshals identified that Patrick Reed’s ball had become lodged in a specific tree following his tee shot on 17. The DP World Tour chief referee joined the player in the area and asked him to identify his distinctive ball markings. Using binoculars, the chief referee was satisfied that a ball with those markings was lodged in the tree.
“The player subsequently took an unplayable penalty drop (Rule 19.2c) at the point directly below the ball on the ground. To clarify, the player was not asked to specify the tree but to identify his distinctive ball markings to confirm it was his ball.”
The statement did not clear up the matter, and footage showed there were a host of balls lodged in the trees.
Until such time someone goes up the trees to retrieve the balls, there will be a question mark over the situation.
“And at the 2021 Farmers Insurance Open, there was a question about whether Reed should have been able to get relief from an embedded ball; PGA Tour rules officials subsequently said that Reed had acted within the Rules of Golf in that instance.”
Read the full article here
Leave a Reply