Patrick Reed’s lawyer warns Golf Channel analyst to stop alleging his client ‘cheated’
An attorney for Patrick Reed has sent a cease-and-desist letter to a Golf Channel analyst telling him to stop inferring his client cheated at a golf tournament last month, Golfweek revealed Friday.
Brandel Chamblee accused Reed of cheating after he was penalized two strokes for appearing to improve his lie in a sandy waste area at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas on December 6.
Chamblee said on the Golf Channel on December 9: “To defend what Patrick Reed did is to defend cheating.”
But Reed denies he cheated or that he was trying to improve his lie. “If you do something unintentionally that breaks the rules, it’s not considered cheating,” he told reporters at the Presidents Cup in Melbourne, Australia on December 10.
Reed’s lawyer Peter Ginsberg sent the letter, dated December 13, to Chamblee. CNN has seen a copy of the letter.
“The purpose of this letter is to obtain assurance that you will refrain from any further dissemination, publication or republication of false and defamatory statements concerning Mr. Reed, including any allegations that he ‘cheated’ at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas,” Ginsberg wrote.
The 29-year-old Reed, who won the Masters in 2018, was shown on TV taking a number of practice swings, which had the effect of flattening the sand behind his ball and improving the club’s access.
The incident happened on the 11th hole at Albany Golf Club, and quickly went viral on social media. Reed, who was leading after two days, was called to discuss the incident with rules officials after his round and hit with the punishment.
Reed claimed the camera angle was misleading, saying there was a distinct gap between his swings and the ball.
He told the Golf Channel: “It’s my word against their word…. You have to accept it and move on.”
‘Decaying traditions of the game’
The American was heckled constantly by fans at Royal Melbourne during the Presidents Cup the following week.
His caddie Kessler Karain — his brother-in-law — was thrown out of the tournament ahead of the Sunday singles because of an altercation with a fan, according to the PGA Tour.
At last Sunday’s Sentry Tournament of Champions on the PGA Tour, Reed was on the third hole of a sudden death playoff against countryman Justin Thomas when a spectator in the stand behind the green was picked up on TV shouting out “Cheater” after Reed putted.