Sat. Mar 25th, 2023

Golf News
Last Updated: 29/01/23 5:26pm
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Patrick Reed remains in contention for Hero Dubai Desert Classic victory after being involved in a controversial ruling late in the third round of the Rolex Series event.
The former Masters champion is four strokes behind leader Rory McIlroy at Emirates Golf Club after a third-round 69, where Reed mixed six birdies with a double-bogey at the par-four eighth and a disputed incident on the penultimate hole of the day.
Reed saw his tee shot on the driveable par-four 17th finish lodged in a palm tree, with the LIV member and rules officials using binoculars to try and identify the ball from the markings that he uses.
The American said he was “100 per cent certain” that the ball identified was his, enabling him to take a penalty drop near the base of the tree instead of having to return to the tee, although TV replays show the tee shot finished in a different tree to the one Reed thought his ball was in.
Speaking about the incident, Reed said: “I felt like I hit a perfect drive, looking at the line I was looking at. If anything, I was hoping it might have been a hair more right. I hit that tee shot, I didn’t even see those palms.
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“I felt like it was on a good line, just left of the green and I guess I just need to be a little more right or a little higher. It’s an unfortunate break, but at the same time I hit the line solid. I hit it right down the line I was looking. That’s all you’re going to ask for. You’re going to get bad breaks once in a while. You just have to bounce back from them.
Reed, who is no stranger to rules issues, later told the Telegraph: “I would have gone back to the tee if I wasn’t 100 per cent. 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, luckily, was there to reconfirm and check it to make sure it was mine as well.”
Reed eventually salvaged a bogey before bouncing back with a final-hole birdie to take him back to 11 under, leaving in the group of seven players tied-fourth in what his first appearance of the year.
The DP World Tour released a statement clarifying the situation, saying: “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.”
Speaking during Sky Sports’ coverage of the third round, Dame Laura Davies said about the incident: “We said at the time we don’t know where it had gone and the reason being that it went into the first tree. I think the video evidence would suggest that [they were in the wrong tree].
“The trajectory is wrong for that third tree, the far left one, so I think it has gone into the first tree. There’s a lot of balls in that tree and a lot of people use the same brand that Reed uses.
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“Reed has been very unlucky here because he has found the ball he plays, the number he plays with a similar black line – it would appear with the evidence it has gone in the first tree and couldn’t have actually been his. He has been incredibly unfortunate and been told the wrong tree.
“He has done everything he could in that he has identified what he thought was his ball, but it looks like it wasn’t his ball with the video evidence. It’s just an unfortunate thing and I don’t know what you do about it really.”
Who will win the Hero Dubai Desert Classic? Watch the final round live on Monday from 5am on Sky Sports Golf.
©2023 Sky UK


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