Rory McIlroy explains his Patrick Reed-like incident during PGA Tour event

Rory McIlroy experienced a similar incident as Patrick Reed during last week's Farmers Insurance Open and he has revealed what led him to replace his golf ball.

Rory McIlroy explains his Patrick Reed-like incident during PGA Tour event
Rory McIlroy explains his Patrick Reed-like incident during PGA Tour event

Patrick Reed's name was trending on social media on Saturday after golf fans labelled him a "cheat" for picking up his ball without speaking to a rules official first, but Rory McIlroy experienced a similar incident on the 18th hole the very same day.

There were nowhere near as many tweets and comments about McIlroy in comparison to his American counterpart, but this isn't the first time Reed has been accused of cheating.

PGA and USGA rules officials cleared both Reed and McIlroy of any wrongdoing, but morally speaking, golf fans, journalists and even fellow tour professionals were left with a bitter taste in their mouths.

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The Ryder Cup rivals were both made aware following their rounds that their balls had bounced before settling into the ground, meaning they were not permitted to take relief.

Reed went on to win the Farmers Insurance Open and in pretty dominating fashion, with a winning margain of five shots, the largest of his career which has seen him claim nine PGA Tour titles.

Speaking to the media after posting a tied 16th finish at the event, McIlroy explained in detail his scenario and why he was led to believe his ball was embedded.

"Look I came in here yesterday after hearing about what Patrick had been through on the 10th hole sort of giving him the benefit of the doubt because I just went through a similar thing on 18 yesterday," said the four-time major winner.

"I hit a 5-iron for a layup. It sort of got caught up in the wind and ballooned and it landed beside three volunteers, but they didn’t see it. So the three guys were searching for the ball as I got there. It took me a minute and a half to find it and then one of the guys found it, he said, well no one saw it.

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"So I basically did the same thing as Patrick did. I said, well, I’m going to just check if it’s embedded. I just saw the video of it, because none of them saw it bounce, so I checked if it was embedded and it was in its pitch mark.

"I took the ball out and there was a lump of mud on it and it had broken the surface. I said to Rory Sabbatini, look, this ball’s embedded and he said yeah no problem at all.

"He had an embedded ball on 15 down the right side. So I basically just said look, this ball’s embedded. He said yep, no worries at all. I took relief and proceeded on."

Golf pundits and analysts had argued the point that a ball that bounces is highly unlikely to embed into the ground, but McIlroy felt that the way in which his ball had come to rest, there seemed no other explanation.

"I feel the way my ball was definitely in its own pitch mark, it had to be, and that was why I was so confident to take relief and do what I did."

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