Patrick Reed has been accused by a large number of golf fans on social media of "cheating" during the third round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines following a controversial ruling in the rough on the par-4 10th hole.
Reed sent his tee shot into the fairway bunker and then struck his second shot into the deep rough left of the green, which is where the controversy commenced.
The full exchange as Patrick Reed takes embedded ball relief on No. 10. pic.twitter.com/gSPH6PrAoW— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 30, 2021
Patrick Reed with a VERY shady ruling here. Claims the ball is embedded in the rough after not bouncing beforehand (it did) and picking the ball up before talking to a rules official. Here’s the convo with the official pic.twitter.com/pJn4Kb7I3Y— GolfMagic.com (@GolfMagic) January 30, 2021
The American got up to his ball and proceeded to pick it up and move it after considering his ball had "embedded" into the turf. A nearby volunteer told him that she "didn't see it bounce."
However, upon a video replay of the shot, it was evident that Reed's ball had indeed taken one bounce before diving into the rough.
WATCH the videos above to make your own mind up - you can also hear the full conversation between Reed and the rules official.
"I checked it and I believe it broke ground," said Reed to PGA Tour Rules Official Brad Fabel. "Since I picked it up to check, it seemed it broke ground. They said it didn't bounce."
WATCH: PATRICK REED EXPLAINS HOW HE DID "EVERYTHING PERFECTLY" WHEN IT CAME TO HIS 'EMBEDDED BALL' RULING!
Despite Reed having already picked up his ball, Fabel took a closer look at where the ball had entered the turf and he deemed it to have embedded. Fabel said he could feel a "lip" to where the ball had entered the ground.
Reed responded: "I thought so, but I just wanted to double check."
The former Masters champion was then told he could take one clublength from where the ball had entered the turf, and was able to clean his ball and take a free drop.
Reed would then chip his ball onto the green to around 15 feet, and would go on to hole the putt for par.
Rules Official Ken Tackett explained during the CBS broadcast that because PGA Tour Rules Official Fabel determined Reed's ball at 10 did embed in the ground, then it does not matter that the ball took a second bounce. The decision had been made.
Despite Reed claiming the rules official told him he did everything "absolutely perfectly", Tackett - at the time of all this happening on the telecast - said: "Yes, Patrick kind of got ahead of himself a little bit there. The best practice is to mark your ball and then wait."
If a ball embeds into the ground, then a player gets a free drop under Rule 16 in the Rules of Golf.
Despite not receiving a penalty, many golf fans on social media seemed to think Reed more than got away with the ruling. Here's a look at a number of tweets following the controversial incident.
Sorry to say it but he's cheating again. Picked his ball up, before the Rules Official came over, plus the cameras caught the ball bouncing before resting, so it couldn't be a plugged ball #cheatinggolfer— Colin Jones (@Firegadgy999) January 30, 2021
Never in my life have I MOVED MY BALL before rules official has arrived to determine if it broke ground ...— Marina Alex (@Marina_Deee) January 30, 2021
This was nothing more than PR selling a fake plugged ball...— Steve Elkington (@elkpga) January 31, 2021
Reed leaving Torrey before the post-round interviews today. pic.twitter.com/2s6tm05CiM— Kyle Porter (@KylePorterCBS) January 30, 2021
If Patrick Reed can get away with it on the PGA tour, just think of what goes on at your clubs monthly medal— Gerard Stewart (@Gerard_stewart) January 30, 2021
1. He shouldn't have picked it up before a rules official was there— Daniel Digby (@Dan_Digby) January 30, 2021
2 he "might" not have seen it bounce from where he was but
100% don't pick it up wait! Let's be honest golf isn't a quick game whats an extra 2 mins? Or was it not plugged and just a garbage lie??
Reed cheating again. No way Patrick Reed’s ball gets embedded on the SECOND BOUNCE! #pgatour how can they allow this to happen.— Torgeir Jørgensen (@Villsvinet) January 30, 2021
Have we considered that maybe Patrick Reed just doesn’t KNOW the rules of golf? It’s the only explanation that makes a lick of sense. Guy just out there making it up as he goes— Amanda Coleman (@Ama_Cole589) January 30, 2021
Patrick Reed endearing himself to golf fans again!— Murray Conallin (@MConallin) January 30, 2021
I hate Patrick reed so much. Guy is a cheater always has been always will be #patrickreed— Big D (@Dr_DGritz) January 30, 2021
Patrick Reed is so sketchy.— Mac (@DubLifeMac) January 30, 2021
Reed has previous when it comes to a controversial ruling on the course, none more so when seemingly improving his lie in the sand at the Hero World Challenge in December 2019 - WATCH HERE.