LIV Golf’s Patrick Reed accused of ‘cheating’ by PGA rival Vera

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Patrick Reed’s dropped ball at the Dubai Classic on Sunday has come under intense scrutiny, with French golfer Mike Lorenzo-Vera claiming the star “f****ing cheated”. LIV Golf defector Reed was permitted a drop during the third round after claiming he could identify his ball, which had become lodged in one of the palm trees dotted along the fairway.

He went on to enjoy a late surge at the Emirates Golf Course but, ultimately, finished as runner-up to Rory McIlroy by a single stroke.

Reed consulted with officials using binoculars before he was allowed to take a drop near the tree in question, rather than have to return 275 yards back to the tee. However, footage later appeared to show his ball had disappeared into a tree closer to the tee.

Infuriated by the decision, Lorenzo-Vera took to Twitter with a foul-mouthed rant and accused Reed of cheating. He penned: “I just don’t understand how players stays (sic) silent after being robbed one spot by someone that cheated.

Fantastic golf player. But Reed f****n cheated!!!! How can you identify 100 per cent something very specific on your ball that is not in the tree??? How is the guy not [disqualified]????”

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Last week, Reed made headlines after it emerged he had flicked a tee at McIlroy after the Northern Irishman didn’t return his hello at the driving range. McIlroy had been served a subpoena by the American’s lawyers on Christmas Eve, but the PGA Tour protagonist later said he didn’t feel the “need to acknowledge” Reed.

McIlroy’s narrow win in Dubai saw him open his DP World Tour account for 2023. There did, however, appear to be some evidence supporting Lorenzo-Vera’s stance that the former world No 6 should have been booted from the competition.

The Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee relayed slow-motion footage that broke down the flight of Reed’s ball on Sunday’s 17th hole.

And it appeared his drive was far from the tree he claimed it got stuck in, with replays suggesting any drop should have been at least 20 or so yards back.

In response to backlash over the incident, Reed replied: “I got lucky that we were able to look through the binoculars and you have to make sure it’s your ball and how I mark my golf balls is I always put an arrow on the end of my line.

“You could definitely see and identify the line with the arrow on the end, and the rules official was there to reconfirm and check it to make sure it was mine as well.”

On Monday, having held off a charge from Reed to win the tournament, Rory McIlroy defended his rival, with whom he had fallen out last week. 

McIlroy said: “If it had been anyone else, it’s a nonissue, right. I felt it was fine. Kev Feeney is a really experienced referee out here and he’s not going to do anything wrong.

“Because of certain things in the past, people brought some stuff up, which is maybe unfair in some ways. Again, I don’t feel like he was trying to get any advantage.”

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