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Patrick Reed’s Presidents Cup just got worse.
First reported by Golf Channel’s Steve Sands, Reed’s caddie, Kessler Karain, was involved in an altercation with a fan after Saturday morning’s fourball session at Royal Melbourne. No further details were given intially, but Sands added that the PGA Tour was aware of the situation.
“[Reed] was really hearing it from the fans, and it got a little out of control there,” Sands said during the telecast.
— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) December 14, 2019
Reed has been the target of the home fans all week in Australia after his rules violation at last week’s Hero World Challenge prompted allegations of cheating. International team members, including Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith, urged their fans to bring the heat.
“I don’t have any sympathy for anyone that cheats,” Smith said. “I hope the crowd absolutely gives it to not only him, but everyone (on the American team) next week.”
The fans listened, greeting Reed with boos in Thursday’s opening session and then cheering as Reed’s first tee shot found a bunker.
“You’re really going to make your caddie carry 14 clubs and a shovel?” one fan shouted.
The heckling continued Friday, prompting Reed to respond by pretending to shovel, a reference to him being penalized two shots in the Bahamas for twice brushing away sand from behind his ball with his club.
U.S. captain Tiger Woods said before the week that he wasn’t worried about Reed being a distraction.
“Whatever Patrick has put out there, he’s focused like he is in every Cup, he just goes out and gets his point,” Woods said. “Next week will be no different.”
Before Saturday’s altercation, Reed lost his third straight match alongside partner Webb Simpson. Reed is 0-3 this week at Royal Melbourne and was benched for Saturday afternoon’s foursomes.