Patrick Reed ‘all good’ with Xander Schauffele after drop controversy

Patrick Reed says he has cleared the air with Xander Schauffele following the rules controversy which overshadowed Reed’s victory in the Farmers Insurance Open.

Reed was cleared of any wrongdoing by rules officials after taking a free drop for an embedded ball in the third round, but joint runner-up Schauffele was among those unimpressed with the situation.

“Obviously the talk amongst the boys isn’t great, I guess, but he’s protected by the (PGA) Tour and that’s all that matters, I guess,” Schauffele said.

Speaking ahead of this week’s Saudi International, Reed said he and Schauffele had exchanged text messages, adding: “I’m just going to leave it between him and I because really, it’s one of those things that all you can do is try to do the right thing and from that point, move on.

“We’re good. We’re all good.”

Saturday’s incident was not the first rules controversy involving Reed, who was handed a two-shot penalty during the Hero World Challenge in December 2019 after being adjudged to have improved his lie.

Asked if he felt such incidents meant that he was viewed unfairly, Reed said: “I would say yes.

Patrick Reed
Patrick Reed plays out a bunker on the 11th hole during day four of the BMW PGA Championship (Adam Davy/PA)

“Really what happened last week, I feel like it was handled the best way that we could, and it was obviously handled the correct way when talking with the rules officials and seeing it through the rules officials.

“I went through the processes that are in the rules. You put the tee down to mark the ball after asking the guys (playing partners) and declaring that you’re going to check to see if the ball is embedded.

“So you put down the tee to check to see if the ball is embedded. And when it looked like it was, that’s when you call over a rules official to see, not only have him just reconfirm but also to take a drop and figure out what the rules are.

“Because also, that’s one of the rules that has changed from the past where it used to be you drop the closest spot to that and now it’s a club length. So for me it was making sure I was doing the right drop rather than taking the incorrect relief.”

Patrick Reed
Patrick Reed (left) is introduced during the opening ceremony of the Ryder Cup at Le Golf National, Paris in 2018 (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Reed insists he is “not at all” bothered that his ninth PGA Tour title was overshadowed by the incident, nor that his tarnished image amongst his fellow professionals will make life difficult in team environments like the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup.

Instead the world number 10 is focusing on attempting to win his first regular European Tour event in Saudi Arabia, where Masters champion Dustin Johnson, US Open winner Bryson DeChambeau, Tyrrell Hatton and Paul Casey are among a strong field.

“For me, it’s always fun coming over and playing on the European Tour, get away from my comfort zone at home,” added Reed, who finished third on the Race to Dubai in 2020.

“It’s one of these things that I call my second home, and to be able to come over and play and support both tours for me means a lot.”