Fan yells 'Cheater!' as Patrick Reed rolls crucial putt

Jay Busbee

When they’re heckling you in Hawaii, you know something’s up.

If Sunday at the Sentry Tournament of Champions is any indication, this is going to be a long, tough year for Patrick Reed and caddie Kessler Karain.

Reed was in the midst of a playoff with Xander Schauffele and Justin Thomas. Schauffele had just been eliminated, and Reed had the opportunity to put pressure on Thomas with a birdie. Reed, normally a steady putter, stepped up, tapped, and … you can hear what happened next:

“CHEATER!” someone bellowed, after the errant putt was already in motion.

The reference, of course, was to an incident late last year in which Reed moved sand while in a waste area at the Hero World Challenge, an apparent rules violation. Reed has protested innocence, saying his club was well away from the ball.

That didn’t stop the Australian galleries at the Presidents Cup from unleashing torrents of mocking abuse at Reed and Karain. At one point, Karain apparently got into a physical altercation with a fan and was off the bag for the Sunday singles match.

Looking forward, Reed’s likely in for much more of this. He’s never been a fan favorite, and if the gallery in Hawaii is getting on him, imagine how he’s going to fare when he gets to some of the louder stops on the PGA Tour. This is going to be a fascinating season for Reed, one way or another.

(For the record: Justin Thomas won the Sentry Tournament of Champions for his 12th career victory.)

Patrick Reed is dealing with pressure both inside and outside the ropes. (Harry How/Getty Images)
Patrick Reed is dealing with pressure both inside and outside the ropes. (Harry How/Getty Images)

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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.

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